Australia’s most northern bowls club gets an upgrade
- 12 December 2019 12:13PM
It’s hard to judge accuracy when you’re playing lawn bowls on an old, bumpy, black rubber green.
It wasn’t ideal, but it’s all the local bowls club on Thursday Island had.
“The rubber surface was very uneven; the most challenging green you could ever play on,” Thursday Island Bowls Club President Russell Hubbard said.
The club decided to start working on a new plan—to get a first-class synthetic bowling green.
In a remarkable show of generosity, Moama Bowls Club in Victoria donated the green while the cost of freight was donated by Sea Swift.
Locals set about pitching in to get the green installed, led by Thursday Island builders Straits Services and a long list of volunteers and local businesses.
But it was a big task, perhaps too big—heading towards two years of planning and building.
That’s when Queensland Sport and Recreation stepped in to provide funding to finish the job.
“There’s no comparison to what we have now compared to what we had before, it’s like a billiard table,” Mr Hubbard said.
“The following is huge now. We had 14 teams turn out last week; everyone was running up and down the green, laughing and having the most wonderful time.”
As well as the synthetic green, the club has new drainage and fencing.
Now, Australia’s most northern bowls club can attract more visiting teams, and players can practice on a surface equivalent to any on the mainland.
“We have 386 social members and 25 competitive members who travel to the mainland to compete with other clubs so they will all benefit greatly,” Mr Hubbard said.
It will be handy not to have to travel as often though; the closest bowls club is Weipa which is a ferry ride and five-hour drive through croc-infested water away.
The green has been named in honour of Des Murfet, a former life member of the club who passed away two years ago.
His widow Silen David was on hand to officially open the new green with a plaque honouring her late husband.
A fitting tribute to watch over the next generation of bowlers playing at Australia’s ‘top’ bowls club.