Campbelltown Bowling Club is celebrating its 100th birthday with a major renovation, about to be unveiled.
Its new partnership with Campbelltown Catholic Club is both a source of renewal, and an expression of faith in the next century.
The ‘Bowlo’ was born in the jazz age of the ‘Roaring Twenties’. A time when electricity had just been switched on in rural Campbelltown, sporting teams were thriving, and the local newspaper bragged about the “astounding improvements” to the town. One of these improvements was a Campbelltown Bowling Club.
It was created on a block of land in Browne Street, next to the ‘Town Green’ (later named Mawson Park) with a shed erected as a club house in 1924. It was tiny and used mainly for the storage of a mower.
It was on 26 January 1925 that Campbelltown Bowling Club was officially opened — a glittering day for a glittering decade. Note the heeled shoes worn by the ladies in the old photos…a strict no-no at most bowling rinks, the grass treated as sacred ground.
“The ladies of the Campbelltown club are not strict in this respect and even allow dancers to disturb the perfection of the green,” the Daily Telegraph noted with astonishment.
“A series of dances is being arranged by the social committee, and those which have already taken place have proved most successful.”
The new club house — vertical fibro cement strips joined by timber lathes — finally opened in 1927.
The rest would become history…
Trophies were won, membership boomed, and a ladies bowling club opened — among the earliest such clubs in NSW. A Great Depression and Second World War could not blunt its growth, a liquor licence was granted in 1948, adjoining land was acquired, and the Club house was extended. It was in 1962 that that original Club house was removed and replaced by the existing modern building.
It is a story of liveliness, good humour and sportsmanship, but with an undertow of challenges in more recent times.
The partnership with Campbelltown Catholic Club has given the Bowlo a new lease on life. Both are both built on two cornerstones: community and service. Nonetheless, the Bowling Club will remain unmistakably at the centre of its own story.
We’re thrilled to share a glimpse into this extraordinary journey through a special 100th Anniversary video. We spoke to members and asked them to share their experiences and stories of their Club and what they were most looking forward to about the future. Their passion for the club and their excitement for the future are truly inspiring.