Bowling club marks major milestone

The Cashmere Bowling Club celebrated its 100th birthday over the weekend.

Past and present club members gathered to mark the centenary with a tournament and dinner on Saturday night.

The club on Christchurch's Port Hills was established in 1924. Back then only males were allowed on the green until women could join about 20 years later.

The Cashmere Hills Recreation Club in the early 1930s. Photo: File image
The Cashmere Hills Recreation Club in the early 1930s. Photo: File image
Greenkeeper and longest-serving member Stu Dalley said he has experienced some memorable occasions at the club over the years and some challenging ones too.

Dalley told The Press the ground lifted by about 80mm and a big crack opened up along the green during the 2011 earthquake.

He and others took on the "big job" of rebuilding the club.

Another challenge arose in 1939 when the tennis, croquet and bowls sections went their separate ways.

President Bryan Mackay said the centenary is “quite a milestone”.

“I imagine in the old days, if you didn't play bowls, you wouldn't be allowed in the door.”

Back then only white uniforms could be worn and men and women never mingled.

But now many young people are taking up bowling, Mackay said.

“Now there’s no rules for one or the other, everyone’s the same," he said.

Cashmere Bowling Club milestones over the past 100 years:

  • On April 27, 1922 the Cashmere Hills Recreation Club Ltd was officially registered (with capital of £5,000), and the next day (April 28, 1922) a meeting of “Provisional Directors” was held to instigate formation of the Club. This entity was to provide facilities for tennis, croquet and lawn bowls.
  • As at March 1926, the Recreation Cub had 28 bowls members (plus 187 tennis and 28 croquet members).
  • The land in the Cashmere Valley for the Recreation Club was purchased (for £1,825) on March 31, 1927.
  • Between 1935 and 1939, prospects for the recreation club were in doubt due to rising costs and diminishing memberships.
  • On April 17, 1939, the recreation club was “officially wound up”, and on the May 1, 1939, the Heathcote County Council took over responsibility for the club.
  • Cashmere Bowling Club committee meeting minutes of March 3, 1947, state: “That ladies be granted use of green etc on 6 March 1947”.
  • The Recreation Club annual meeting of June 16, 1959, decided that residential qualification for membership be expanded beyond the Cashmere Hills, because “players are now reduced to a very low number” due to “deaths ... of six members” and “serious illness of several others”.
  • On July 22, 1961, the Heathcote County Council transferred the land of the Cashmere Valley Recreation Reserve to the Crown. On August 25, 1961, the Crown then vested the reserve with the council for recreation purposes, ensuring that the reserve can never be sold for other purposes.
  • On November 13, 1963, the Cashmere Bowling Club Inc. was registered as an Incorporated Society.
  • On July 2, 1966, the Executive of the (men’s) Cashmere Bowling Club was authorised to form the Cashmere Women’s Bowling Club (maximum 32 members, limited to wives of existing male members).
  • On October 18, 1966, the Cashmere Women’s Bowling Club was officially opened.
  • On April 19, 1997, a special general meeting of the Cashmere Bowling Club approved a new constitution that combined the men’s and women’s clubs into the Cashmere Bowling Club Inc.
  • As of March 2024 there were approximately 75 full and social members.