Our facility might be new, but the Wallaroo Bowls Club has a long, proud history
In 1936, with the threat of the Mount Lyell Bowling Club being closed in the near future, several members of the community of Wallaroo felt that they would love to have their own bowling green on public land. The members then approached the Mayor (already a dedicated lawn bowler) who joined with them in promoting this idea and at a meeting held in the council chambers on 19th August presided over by the Mayor W.H.Harbison the Wallaroo Bowling Club was formed.
The club President was Dr Harbison himself, Vice Presidents were Mr J Wood and Mr T Benson, Secretary Mr A Mansfield, Treasurer Mr Gray, with 2 committeemen Mr P.D Anderson, and Mr G.H Seeley, Mr T Young was appointed as the Greens Keeper where he served the club for 14 years
One can imagine the great deal of work that was required if this small coastal community was to turn green fields into a bowling green with fences and a small clubroom, with a very limited budget. This didn’t deter them and with shrewd utilisation of the numerous volunteers from the community they managed to perform minor miracles and had established a serviceable bowling green before the start of the following bowling season.
On the 15th September 1937 the then executive of the Mount Lyell Bowling Club that had been operating out of the Wallaroo smelter area for many years area were accepted into the membership of the WBC and the Mt Lyell BC was disbanded.
By September 25th of the same year the club was declared open, with the WBC being accepted as a member of the Yorke Peninsula Bowling Association (YPBA) on 28th October 1937.
In October 1953 the Ladies of the community were invited to become members of the Club and participate in ladies divisions. Our Clubs most successful lady has been Mrs Rita Chittleborough who was WBC ladies champion on 9 occasions and the YPBA champion 5 Times.
The club expanded in 1954 by including another green dedicated to the Club President Mr G Boase who was a tireless worker for the WBC.
The history of the club during a fifty year period went into a grey area at this time, but one can only assume that it took the course of many thriving country bowling clubs of this era, with many players coming and going, but at all times managing to field both men and ladies teams in pennant matches where they enjoyed their fair share of success.
In 2006 the WBC committee made the significant decision to investigate the building of two synthetic greens to replace their grassed ones.
This investigation was conducted thoroughly with several of the club’s members travelling throughout the state to look at the various synthetic carpets that were available, finally settling on the Green Gauge carpet.
The investigation was undertaken due to the ongoing battle to keep the greens up to pennant standards over the many decades by the green keepers against the striving Morton Bay fig trees lining the main street. The fig trees were declared the winners.
Of course this was a far more expensive project than the WBC could afford, but with assistance of a well fought for grant from the Commonwealth Water Grants (CWG) of $247,000:00 we were in a position to approach the District Council of the Copper Coast (DCCC). The DCCC had to be approached as the club still required a further $247,000:00 to match that of the CWG.
This was seized upon by the DCCC as they were at long last able to rescue the Main Street of Wallaroo and bring into the 21st century as a strong tourist centre. Of course this was never going to be an easy venture for the DCCC as they wished to formulate one club to run the three principle clubs that were now involved in their project, but with perseverance, and many, many hours of work and meetings, and many more disappointments Barry (Toby) Price, President Kevin Taylor, Secretary Peter Graham, the Mayor Paul Thomas and his council ( who placed $2.5 million into the project) were able to come up with an acceptable plan with the result that today we have a magnificent facility that is destined to become another majestic jewel in the crown for the Copper Coast.