This page has been created to provide a concise history of Lincoln Bowling Club, mainly using photographs to tell the story. The text has been selected from the original words by Lois Begg and Gavin Eastwick, crafted to support the 75th Anniversary of the club. The photographs have been selected from hundreds collated by Dave Grey for the same event.
The club has steadily improved the facilities and bowling options available to members and is now the premier club in the district, with a membership covering a wide area of Selwyn.
HISTORY OF THE MEN’S CLUB
In 1946 the Lincoln Bowling Club was established. The foundation members were F. Hill (President), A. Geddis (Secretary), N. Bissett, S. Bray, J. Doherty, E.D. Greaves, H. Greaves, C.F. Howell, S. Major, H.W. Perryman, R. Rickerby and W.D. Templeton. The first annual meeting was held in the Lincoln Public Hall supper room on 28th July 1947.
In the early years ground was given to establish a croquet club on the basis that when it was no longer required it was to be handed back. In September 1950 it was first mooted that a shared clubrooms with the croquet club be built, as long as it cost no more than four hundred pounds. On 17th November 1951 the clubrooms were officially opened. There was a close association between the clubs with some fund raising being done jointly.
THE FIRST GREEN
The first green was composed of sawdust and soil and much of the work to establish the green was donated as were most of the materials. In the mid 1950’s a grass green was established.
By 1970, the croquet club had ceased to function and the bowling club sought permission from the Domain Board to take over the ground. In 1975 the Ellesmere Country Club outdoor bowls section was granted access to play bowls on the Lincoln green.
Shelters were constructed at the northern end of the green and continual improvement was made to the club’s facilities, thanks to the voluntary efforts of many.
THE 'ALL WEATHER' CARPET GREEN
It was at the annual meeting in June 2006 that Alan Eathorne, the then Chairman of the Finance Committee, presented the research he had undertaken into constructing an all weather green. In January 2007 it was unanimously agreed that the club proceed, subject to the necessary funding and approvals.
The “New Green 2010” report was tabled at the 2010 June Annual General Meeting :-
• Selwyn District Council’s approval had been received.
• The women’s fundraising calendar had raised $10,000.
• Debenture money raised and promised totalled $28,500 (see below)
• Council Reserves Fund approved an application for $50,000.
• Lincoln Community Board allocated $3,500 to the project.
• The Canterbury Community Trust donated $20,000 and agreed to lend $50,000 for 10 years at 3% interest per annum.
Debentures, loans and gifts, mostly interest free, were eventually advanced by about 20 members to about $50,000. Don Watson was very active talking to members on an anonymous basis.
After much investigation and costing the club decided on a “greengauge” carpet from an Australian firm, with a local firm for constructing the base work. A number of club members contributed their time and equipment when needed.
In May 2012 the official opening, celebrating the completion of the green, was conducted by the Mayor, Kelvin Coe. Invited guests and representatives of Ellesmere Bowling Clubs also attended. Fittingly, the all weather green was first used for the Alan Eathorne Memorial Trophy tournament held at the end of the 2012 season.
THE WOMEN'S BOWLING CLUB
The first meeting of the Lincoln Women’s Bowling Club was held at the home of Mrs F.H. Robson on 4th November 1952. Those present included: Mesdames Robson (President), Hewton (Secretary), Blakemore, Freeman, Perryman, Rickerby, Wilson and Mr Rickerby.
It was decided that the club colours be maroon blazers with blue braid or monogram. The Women’s subscription to the Men’s Bowling Club was 30/- (thirty shillings), plus 2/- (two shillings) affiliation fee.
Through the 1950’s there were only about 10-12 members. The first 10 years were a struggle, but membership went up to 20 in the 1960’s. Bring and buys and sales tables were the main ways of raising money for the Club.
The women’s 25th Jubilee was celebrated on 19th October 1977 with a dinner held at the Union Building at Lincoln College. During the 1970’s the women’s membership increased and by 1980 there were 31 women members.
AMALGAMATION OF THE MEN’S AND WOMEN’S CLUBS
On 22nd August 2000 it was moved by the women’s club that a letter be sent to the men’s club suggesting talks begin on amalgamation.
The men agreed to the commencement of talks. Initially there were three men and three women involved in the discussion. The women prepared the agenda and confirmed that a copy of the draft new constitution was to hand. The women noted in November 2000 the discussion with the men’s club was going well.
Thirty-nine members attended a special meeting on March 10th 2001 to adopt the new constitution.