History – Altona North Bowls Club – Lawn Bowls
Over recent years, the Altona North Bowls Club has developed from a Club with the majority of its members age of over 50, to Club with the with most of its recruitment age below 50. It has also increased the number of Men’s Pennant sides from 2 to 3 teams competing in the Royal Victorian Bowls Association (RVBA).
With the extra side in the completion it has allowed all members the opportunity to play pennant on most Saturdays, as well as allowing for development of players skills. Bowls is a game for all people of all ages and abilities. You could be a 15 year teen or a 70 year old veteran and still enjoy the game, the people and atmosphere that you get from playing the game.
The coming season looks to be a promising year, with the 3 Men’s sides remaining as well as the development of new and returned bowlers to the club. With the continuing recruitment of new and returned bowlers, the club is seeing a growth in membership leading to a good future.
Development of the grounds has also been a big feature of the Club, providing bowlers with 2 greens to practice and compete on during the year. While the continual grooming and work around the surrounds of the greens, clubrooms and area in general, keeps the club looking welcoming and friendly in the quiet neighbourhood of the Paisley Park precinct.
Beginnings of the Club
Back in 1983 a group of industrious members of the community met to begin the formation of a Bowls Club. With just an idea and a blank notebook they set out to raise the money required for such a task.
During this time the Altona City Council issued a plan to develop the SEC Coal Dump, off Mason Street, as a sporting complex. In this plan there was the provision for a five rink bowling green. With this information in a hand the group called a public meeting, which was held at the then recently completed Lacrosse Clubrooms. During the meeting, which was well attended by members of the community, a committee was formed to proceed with the formation of the club with Lou Barker as President, Bill Gunn as Secretary and Les Hinds as Treasurer.
With a committee now formed, the group approached the Council for a lease on the area earmarked for the Bowls development. During this process it was approved that the then proposed one green of five rinks, be increased to two greens of eight rinks.
Work soon began, mostly voluntary, to develop the site and by April 1984 the greens were completed and the first Opening Ceremony was held under a tent, pitched on the edge of the current Number 1 green. With support from the Council, both moral and financial, the club was able to obtain temporary Clubrooms in the form of a portable building measuring 40 ft by 20 ft, which was doubled in size soon after. Due to regulations at the time, the temporary facilities needed to be replaced within four years, this paved the way for design plans to be drawn up for permanent Clubrooms, which still house the Club today.
During that time and even today, volunteer work continues with the development of shelters, fencing, paving and garden areas surrounding the greens and Clubrooms. Financial support to assist in these works has come from a number of sources including the ladies section, donations and sponsorship.
In 2004 the club celebrated its 20th Anniversary of serving the local community by providing a warm and inviting environment for people to enjoy sport and a social gathering.
In their first season of the Royal Victoria Bows Association (RVBA), season 1985/86, ANBC entered two men’s pennant sides which won the club its first Premiership and Runners-Up in one of the ladies two pennant sides entered in the Victorian Ladies Bowls Association of the same season. Since then results have varied and the Club has seen growth both in membership as well as development of the Club.