HomeCommunityBurnett Bowls Club commemorates 75 years

Burnett Bowls Club commemorates 75 years

Burnett Bowls Club 75 years
Burnett Bowls Club 75 years anniversary celebrations with cake cutting by Burnett Bowls Club Chairperson Des Kemp, Ladies President Sue Petterson and Men's President Denis Bust .

Nestled in the heart of the Bundaberg community Burnett Bowls Club joyfully commemorated its 75th anniversary this month.

Burnett Bowls Club was founded by George McBride in 1947 with official play commencing in 1948. 

Throughout this time the club has been a focal point for passionate bowlers and a vibrant hub of camaraderie, competition and community engagement.

Burnett Bowls Club’s Kellie Kemp organised the 75th anniversary celebration, which took place on 2 – 4 June.

She said it was a proud affair to commemorate the history of the organisation.

“As members of our incredible club, we are so proud of reaching 75 years,” she said.

“What began as an idea and the need for another bowls club in Bundaberg, has grown into a thriving bowls club.

“Our bowls club prides itself on the respect that we have for all bowlers and visitors to our club.”

Burnett Bowls Club 75 years
Nestled in the heart of the Bundaberg community Burnett Bowls Club joyfully commemorated its 75th anniversary this month. Photo: contributed

Established by a group of dedicated enthusiasts who sought to create a place where locals could come together and enjoy the timeless sport of lawn bowls, Burnett Bowls Club has stood the test of time.

Through the history shared during the 75th anniversary celebrations it was noted George was a pharmaceutical chemist who had to stop playing golf because of back trouble when he decided to try bowls.

At the time, Bundaberg and Tantitha had a full complement of members, so George decided to find land and form a new club. 

“On the 26 November 1946 the first meeting was held,” the history read.

“Mr Eric Boden, who was an architect, drew up a plan with the city engineer which was then submitted to Department of Lands.

“The name Burnett was suggested by Arch Murphy, one of the many guarantors.”

Burnett Bowls Club 75 years
Bill Brennan provided the funds to build the ladies green at Burnett Bowls Club and it was then named in his honour. Photo: contributed

In the first annual report, George advised there were 105 town members and two country members, and the ladies club had a membership of 35. 

The following year George approached Bess Butler and asked her to form a ladies club and in October in 1950 a special general meeting was convened at the request of the men’s committee to consider a ladies green.

After considerable discussion a second green was eventually agreed and it would be used conjointly by both the ladies and mens club.

The membership of the ladies club continued to grow and by 1979 stood at 116 members with three life members.

Burnett Bowls Club 75 years
To wrap up Burnett Bowls Club’s 75th anniversary celebrations of a mixed triples carnival was held on 3-4 June. Photo of the winners: Jake Fehlberg, Cody Fehlberg, Fiona Dowling, Shannon Clarke and Burnett Bowls Club Chairperson Des Kemp.

Over the past seven and a half decades, Burnett Bowls Club has become an integral part of the local culture, promoting healthy competition with its 185 members while fostering lasting friendships.

“Our club has been through it all,” Kellie said.

“With some struggles as every business goes through, we have come out on the other side stronger than ever.

“Our motto is ‘The Friendly Club’ and we always welcome visitors and guests who want to learn how to play bowls.”