On the 5th of August 1956 a group of bowlers from Elwood Bowling Club held a meeting to investigate forming a new bowls club and finding a suitable area to establish it. Their names are on the plaque above the club office commemorating this first meeting as the date on which a new club was founded, but they faced a few more months of work, meetings and diplomacy to see their vision successful.
There were several meetings held at various homes, and at the meeting of 23rd November 1956, 33 male members and 10 female members were declared foundation members.
A site was found that was large enough to lay down 2 seven rink greens, provide off street parking and a large clubhouse. The site could be reached by public transport from all directions and was surrounded by beautiful park-lands.
Approaches were made to the trustees of Elsternwick Park and the Minister of Lands. On the 19th of December 1956, the trustees granted the occupancy of the area sought in Glenhuntly Road, at an annual rental of £60.
The committee was then able to lay the greens, at a cost of £4,300.
In early 1992, the then President, Bill Meneham, had the foresight and vision to recognise that the club was struggling and needed radical thinking to ensure its future. He recognised that in order to survive, the club not only needed to excel as a bowls club, but had to reach out and embrace other sports and expand and increase its membership.
In 1992 the club became the Elsternwick Park Sports Club Inc. when the Elsternwick Park Golf Club joined us as club members. Now our club offers memberships in both bowls and golf or combined.
Thanks to our partnership with the Elsternwick Park Golf Club, the Elsternwick Park Sports Club was able to approach the local council and obtain a grant for lights over both greens so we can now enjoy bowls 24/7.
This opened the club to an abundance of opportunities previously unthinkable. To offer bowling with functions bookings, do Barefoot Bowls nights weekly and compete in the Electric Light competition.
In no small part, because of our increased member numbers as a combined sports club, we were able to obtain a grant to install the synthetic club-house green in 2008 to conserve on irrigation and which allows bowling year-round.
Our opportunities and possibilities were opening up even further.
Who knew, but Bill Meneham did, that bowls and golf would be a marriage made in heaven.
As bowling clubs in general struggle with declining numbers of registered playing members and our club has faced it’s own challenges, it becomes increasingly clear that becoming a sports club was a clever move and if the club is to remain sustainable, we need to attract other sporting interests to come, join us and enjoy our club facilities.
Where will this lead us?
Who knows, but with a bit of clever planning the future could be very bright.
Welcome to Elsternwick Park Sports Club
The home of Bowls and Golf
The original Elwood Bowls Club circa 1954 at its location behind the Elwood Surf Life Saving Club.