100-year-old club looks to future combination

The Anderson’s Bay Bowling Club is taking a realistic approach to its future and believes that the best option is to combine with other clubs in South Dunedin to form a super club.

Anderson’s Bay celebrates its centenary next month but the committee does not believe that it can survive in the long term unless it combines with other clubs.

Secretary Frank Robertson has written a history of the last 25 years to add to the 75th jubilee history written by Hugh Tohill in 1992.

"There are too many small clubs in South Dunedin and they are all weak, even if they do not recognise that," Robertson wrote.

He said that there should only be one bowls club in South Dunedin, with three outdoor greens, a membership of 200 to 300 and a paid management.

"Because of the cost of land and the size requirements the club of the future will not be on the Andersons Bay site.

"But until other clubs in South Dunedin share our view of the future our most practical approach is to devote every effort to increase our membership to a more desirable level."

The Andersons Bay club has talked to the St Kilda and Tainui clubs about finding a suitable site for a combined club but has not been able to reach an agreement.

The aim was to build the Super Club complex on Dunedin City Council land alongside the Dunedin Bowls Stadium and close to the Tainui Club.

The latest count showed that Anderson Bay had a membership of 67. Its peak in the last 25 years was in 2001, when membership was 129.

Andersons Bay is in a strong position because it owns the land on which its green and clubhouse stands.

About 100 past and present members will attend the centenary celebrations at Labour Weekend.

The club had a progressive approach from the start. The women’s club was started in 1921 and  membership was restricted to 24. The limit was increased to 50 by 1987.

The men’s and women’s clubs were amalgamated in 1999 and Norma Jones became the first female president of the combined club that year.

Jones was also on the council of Bowls New Zealand from 1996-98.

The most successful interclub performances came two years ago, when the men won the division 1 interclub sevens and the women division 2. Both teams represented the centre at the national finals at Auckland.

The oldest member attending the centenary celebrations at Labour Weekend is life member  Lorraine Swanson (87).

Each member attending the celebrations will receive a bowling cloth, drink bottle and centenary pen in the club colours of red, white and blue.

The centenary bowls tournament will be an optional mixed fours that will be restricted to 32 teams. Guest speakers at the celebrations will be World Bowls champion Mike Kernaghan and local historian and the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame director Ron Palenski. 


Andersons Bay BC

Bowls Dunedin presidents: Francis Campbell (1924-25), Joseph Read (1935-36), Alex Robertson (1943-44), Charles Peake (1953-54), R A King (1966-67), Stan Seear (1982-83), Dick Callon (1984-85).

Otago Women’s Bowling Centre presidents: Marjorie Granger (1970-71), Pam Cromar (1993-94).

Bowls Dunedin gold stars: Gaynor Reid 24 titles, Lyn Bevin 11, Lorraine Swanson 10, Lesley Dabinett 8, Winnie McLelland 8, Andrew McCallum 7, Robert Aitcheson 5.

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