The sport of bowls

Here are a few items relating loosely to the establishment of the game of lawn bowls in Australia as a club-based recreation for gentlemen of the likes you see in this illustration.  Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil – 5 May 1886.

The Melbourne Bowling Club was established in 1864.  An account of its first annual meeting is found in The Argus – 20 June 1864

Reference to the source of water for the bowling club (Yan Yean reservoir) is found in the Sydney Morning Herald – 28 December 1853.  The official sod-turning was amusing – if only for the number of parties who failed to arrive before the Lieutenant-Governor performed the ceremony.

His Excellency and suite arrived on the ground before the general company; and after postponing the ceremony for at least one hour beyond the time appointed, the contractors led his Excellency to the spot appointed for turning the first sod – minus the very tasteful wheelbarrow, which had been constructed of colonial wood, but which having been packed on the top of a coach, unfortunately came in contact with the branch of a tree on the journey. The ceremony was followed by a splendid cold collation. The band, also, did not arrive until the ceremony was over, and his Excellency had taken his departure.

ABC Radio’s Dimensions in Time looked at the history of lawn bowls in Australia in 2002.