The City of Melbourne Lawn Bowls Club was founded as The West Melbourne
Lawn Bowls Club on 18 August 1866 at the Sablioniere Hotel, once on the
corner of A'Beckett and Queen Streets, West Melbourne.
The Club moved to the Flagstaff Gardens in 1879. In 1880, we were a
foundation club when the Victorian Bowling Association (VBA) was formed.
Our inaugural president was Sir Charles McMahon, and the inaugural
president of the VBA, Sam Amess, was one of our bowlers. He was also a
former Club president and a Lord Mayor of Melbourne.
The first VBA singles champion was also member of the Club and we have
produced numerous state players since our inception.
The Club changed its name to City Bowling Club in 1904, and to the City Of
Melbourne Bowls Club 1964.
In January 1994 fire destroyed a large part of our clubhouse, decimating
our facilities, organisation and records. However, with the tireless
support and dedication of club members, the Club regouped and continued to
operate and prosper, even with limited facilities.
With thanks to the City of Melbourne Council and Council staff, the opening
of our new Clubhouse marks the completion of a journey which began on that
tragic day in 1994. We welcome the City of Melbourne to our club.
We have been successful in winning many competitions of the
RVBA in our 146 year history. In recent times we have progressed from
Division 8 in 1996/97 to Division 3 in season 2002/03 (The highest grade of
competition is Premier grade, then divisions 1 & 2).
In the 2005/06 RVBA pennant season the Club fielded sides in Divisions. 4,7
& 8. All teams finished on top of their section in each Division. The
Division 7 side played for the pennant flag, and were successful by 14
shots. This was the club's first pennant success since the 1984/85 season.
After two seasons of operating from other clubs, whilst our home was being
rebuilt, the Club moved back into its Flagstaff home in May 2009.
At the 145th Annual General Meeting of the club on May 28 2011,
long-standing Club official, player and life member Kevin Mansbridge
retired from the Board of Management. History will record Kevin as one of
the most significant contributors in the history of the Club.
Later in the year regretfully we lost life member and long serving
president Cliff Noonan who will also be remembered as a great contributor
to the club during the lean years after the 1994 fire. Without Cliff and
Kevin the club would not have survived.
Due to great contributions of many volunteers, the club thrives and was
able to streamline its administration in 2011 and appoint professional
staff in the form of manager Martin Rule and bookkeeper Cheryl O'Dwyer.
At the 146th AGM on 27 May 2012 Bruce Taylor was elected to life membership
making him only the 31st. member in 146 years to achieve this honor.
In 2013 the club formed a committee to plan its 150th anniversary
celebrations for 18 August 2016. These will include the commissioning of an
author to write the club history and a big bowls tournament.