Please Note: The following information is provided by members of the Club and may contain details that have not been fully verified, but are taken in good faith.
Grange Bowls Club
When it became obvious that World War 2 was drawing to a close a number of A.R.P. Volunteers, who travelled on the same tram each morning, decided that there should be some means of keeping the group together. One of them eventually came up with the idea of forming a bowling club. So the club really originated on that tram.
Alderman E. Lanham, the City Council member for the district and also a bowler of note at Enoggera, was approached and asked how they should go about the formation of a club. He promptly fell in with the idea & called a meeting in the Newmarket Progress Hall on the 22nd. May, 1944, at which there were 40 prospective members & a number of Q.B.A. (As it was then known) executives who advised on correct procedures. It was then decided at this meeting that a Bowling Club be formed & Ernie Lanham was elected as the first Chairman (President) and Fred Smith as the Secretary.
He then proceeded to form a Committee at a General Meeting by declaring that he wanted. D. Gibson & L. Finney (both having heavy transport available) as Vice Presidents, R. Heathwood (an Accountant) as Treasurer & F. Smith (School Teacher) as Secretary. "Now" he said "fill up the rest of the positions with whom you like.
Ernie Lanham undertook to conduct the necessary legal matters with the City Council regarding the Lease of Property in the park (which incidentally is Lanham Park) & the Club was granted sufficient ground for a Club House & Green at a rental of £10.10.0 per year.
It must be understood that everything, particularly building material, was as scarce as the proverbial "Hens Teeth" 'but Ernie Lanham, as Chairman of the B.C.C. Works Committee was able to procure all kinds of equipment necessary for the building of a Green.
Voluntary labour was organized & members attended with picks, shovels & wheelbarrows & work on No. 1 Green commenced.
The number on the roll at the end of December 1944 was 82 & this became the deadline for foundation members.
A statement issued at the same time showed that the total assets were £374, comprised of Cash £85, Green £259, Equipment & Tools £30.
In 1945 a small shed was erected of fibro, galvanized iron & timber, mostly donated by members. The floor was part concrete & part ashes. Afternoon Tea was had at trestle tables while the Presidents Chair was a beer keg. There was great jubilation one Saturday afternoon when a truck arrived with a second-hand "Four Holer" & Fred Smith was promptly appointed Caretaker.
Wives & Friends not only supplied Afternoon Teas (in spite of severe rationing) but also helped in teasing grass when the planting stage was reached. One weekend Ernie Lanham lined up the Ladies in alphabetical order ( Christian names) & invited each of them to plant a section of turf.
Meantime Social Evenings, both Public & Private, were held at regular intervals & the bank balance slowly, but steadily grew.
The Club was officially opened on the 3rd November 1945 by Mr. Joe Gibson, President of Q.B.A. now R.Q.B.A.
The Lord Mayor, Alderman J.B. Chandler unveiled the Marble Plaque which is now attached to the North Western corner of the Club House.
Thus, the Club became the first Post War 2 Club in the Metropolitan Area if not the first in Queensland
The Social Committee and the Ladies Club each donated £110.0.0 in the first year from Dances and Social Functions conducted in the Progress Hall.
During 1946 representations were made to the Brisbane-City Council to build a second Green. The following year (1947) No. 2 Green was commenced, planted in October and opened for Play in Nov. 1948.
Meantime an Army Hut was bought to replace the old tin shed. It was partitioned and portion was allotted to the Ladies Club.
In 1948-49 we had the unusal experience of having Don & Joy Cole in the Presidential positions in their respective clubs. This has not been repeated since and, according to present appearances, may not be repeated in the foreseeable future.
Memorial Gates to commemorate the memory of de ceased members were opened in December 1954 to plans drawn up by Jack Mackenzie, who was the husband of the Ladies Patroness.
Weather conditions in 1952 were so bad that it was decided to bore for water. Holes were sunk just outside the main gate and on the site of No. 3 Green but the water was not chemically suitable for use on the Greens so volunteers were rostered to hose the Greens at night.
In 1957 a subcommittee was formed to enquire into plans and specifications for a new brick building. These plans were approved by members at a General Meeting and then sent to the B.C.C. & R.Q.B.A. for their approval. With a few minor alterations the building then commenced and was opened in August 1959 at a cost of £17,500
In 1965-66 it was found that No. 2 Green was suffering from faulty drainage problems, so it was due out and completely rebuilt.
In 1966 application was made to the Brisbane City Council for a further area of park land for the construction of a third Green. This application was granted and the building of No. 3 Green commenced and opened for play in August 1968.
This coincided with the completion of extensions and improvements to the Club House which increased the floor space by 1500 sq. Ft. The Total Cost of No. 3 Green and surrounds, building alterations and new fittings amounted to $41000.
It was realized in 1972 that players on No. 3 Green were not being catered for during play, so a new auxiliary building was opened in 1974- to satisfy their needs.
1978 saw the purchase of a new Rider Roller which is Wally Morgan's pride & joy though he has not got a driving licence.
After many deferments, further extensions to the Club House eventually got under way & the new extension at the Eastern End of the Building was officially opened on 29th April 1979, at a cost of approximately $60,000.
At a Special General Meeting on 13th September 1981, it was decided by a substantial majority that No. 2 Green be converted from Couch to Tifdwarf & work commenced on this conversion on 24th October.
On 24th Sept. 1981 a general strike by Greenkeepers occurred & it fell to the lot of a few willing workers to maintain the standard of the Greens. This carne at a vital time as the Warana Carnival 15th was due to commence on 30th Sept. But Wally Morgan and his team of workers gallantly came to the rescue and provided three good playing surfaces for the Carnival.
A new Greenkeeper (Don Seccombe) was appointed after the strike and he commenced duties on 9th November, thus relieving the pressure on the voluntary workers
The Bell, used to summon players on or off the Greens, was originally used on a fire engine answering a call to a fire. Ernie Lanham was, at the time of the Club's formation, also Chairman of the Fire Brigade Board, and so was in a unique position to acquire the bell.
The gong, used on the Chairman's Table at meetings or afternoon tea, is a shell case retrieved from Tobruk. It was presented by Ray Gwynne who is one of the "Rats of Tobruk ''.
An Asset which often goes unnoticed is a valuable collection of over 4,000 badges, possibly the best in Brisbane, mainly collected and donated by Jack Le Hane. Thank you, Jack.
Pennant Wins over the years are as follows:-
1949 Div 5
1952 Div 3
1966 Div 4
1975 Div. 6
1980 Div 1 Res
1981 Div 1