TBCL - Mixed/Unisex Bowls


Mixed games were introduced in 1959 and held twice a month, then every Sunday afternoon when the greens were usually full.  Teams who wanted to play in the fortnightly “Turkey Triples” (winners won turkeys, runners-up received chickens) had to have their names in early because the overfill was balloted to play in the not-so-popular Sunday morning time slot.  Whenever one of the greens was taken out for maintenance, games were frequently played on Thursdays or at a neighbouring club that had space available.

On Anzac Days after the Remembrance Service and “Rum Ration”, the ladies made and served savouries to the men on the green throughout the afternoon and and a hot meal after their game.  This continued for many years and although some mixed games are recorded in the earlier times, it was not until 1991 that ladies were invited to play bowls on Anzac Days as a regular practice.

1963 proved to be another successful year in mixed bowls with the top attendance being in excess of 100. Owing to the Club having other commitments on Sundays, it was not possible to play any mixed championships.

In 1963, a mixed bowls match was played between our Club and Chatswood West for the Fred Terry Shield.  Originally the match consisted of 14 teams (seven away and seven at home). This was recognised as the first official inter-club mixed bowls teams event played in New South Wales and was held annually (with a few interruptions) until Chatswood West closed some years ago.  This event was instigated because there was a connection between the two clubs – both were built on land that had been a dairy farm until after WWII.

1964, according to the Annual Report, was even more successful and “probably the best year for mixed bowls in the history of the Club, with visitors attending from an increasing number of affiliated clubs”.

1969 saw the introduction of “Turkey” Triples which proved very popular, one green for Ladies’ and one for Mens’ games.

1970 saw the introduction of several all day games, pairs in the morning and fours in the afternoons (bowlers must have been fitter in those days!).

1974 saw the reintroduction of Mixed Pairs and Mixed Fours Championships.

1980 was the inaugural year for the Mixed Triples Championships. The popularity of Mixed Bowls on Sundays also increased to the extent that Pymble Bowling Club provided playing space for some events and, on other days, events had to be played in two shifts.

In 1983 Friday afternoon mixed bowls was also introduced and still continues, a low key afternoon enjoyed especially by our newer bowlers.

Winners of the Upper North Shore District Bi-Centennial (1988) Mixed Triples were Ted Whitehouse, Rita Dare, Bob Embury and Ernie Dare representing Turramurra Bowling Club.

As reported in the Annual Report to 31st March 1991, “attendances at Sunday bowls had fallen considerably of late whilst Mens, Ladies & Mixed Bowls each Friday became more popular”.

Another mixed bowls competition that began in 1994 with West Pymble - the “Bill Bannister Trophy” - is still held annually.  Teams play at both venues for the trophy of a painting gifted by the late Bill Bannister, who was a member of both clubs.

The Turramurra Bowling & Membership Committee (TB&MC) commenced during 2004, the result of a merger of the prior Membership Promotions Committee and the Joint Liaison Subcommittee. Policy, Objectives and current Office Bearers are located below the “About Us” tab on this website. The reportedly successful innovation of 1966 was the formation of a joint committee to organise Mixed Bowls, later to be replaced by a Director of Mixed Bowls on the Club Board, thus we appear to have come full circle. TB&MC, in particular the Mixed Bowls Match Committee, remain committed to ensuring Sunday Bowls regains its former popularity.

In 2010, TB&MC will be conducting its inaugural “Open Handicap Pairs” Event – “open” pertaining to all registered TBC bowlers with pairs of any combination, ie. 2 males, 2 females, 1 male plus 1 female. Handicaps are applied to all bowlers in the Club, thus encouraging all levels of bowlers, new and old. Handicaps give all combinations a chance of success in addition to the experience gained by newer bowlers participating against the higher credential bowlers.