TWBC - The First 50 Years
HOW IT ALL STARTED
The happy atmosphere that pervades the Turramurra Club came out of its early inception when a small group of ladies formed an auxiliary in 1956. The men’s bowling club had been formed in 1952 and an attempt was made to acquire land through the Ku-ring-gai Council, but the Council had already promised to help several other bowling clubs, so Turramurra gave up after a long wait. It would be some time before the Club found a permanent home.
It was in 1956 that a decision was made to hold a meeting to organise the wives of TBC and others interested “with a view to assisting the Club socially and to eventually form a ladies’ bowling club”. This meeting took place on 31 August 1956 at the home of Mrs H.B.Ferguson, wife of the then Secretary, and office bearers for the Auxiliary were elected for the next six months.
This Committee of 14 members was headed by Mrs J Dykes as President and Mrs Norma Apps as Secretary, and a subscription of 3 guineas for six months was decided upon to be reviewed by the Committee after that period. To start the fund raising process, a set of bowls for a raffle was donated by Mrs J.L.McLennan, wife of the foundation President of the Men’s Club.
A NEW CLUB IS FORMED
The inaugural meeting to form a women’s bowling club was held on the evening of Wednesday 6th February 1957 and was attended by Mrs Wolinski, State President of NSW Women’s Bowling Association at the time. She addressed the ten ladies present, explaining the requirements of a club and conditions necessary to become affiliated with the NSWWBA. She complimented Mrs Dykes and the ladies’ Auxiliary in general for their work and then “Proceeded to outline the pleasures in store for a bowling club and also told of some experiences of bowling interest”. Obviously the ladies were impressed for they resolved then and there to form Turramurra Women’s Bowling Club.
Foundation members were Mrs Dykes and Mesdames Leila Higgin, Norma Apps, Phyllis Browne, Leila Chalmers, Muriel Forbes, Audrey Dearden, Ida Wolff, Isley Adamson and Gloria Ford.
A vote of thanks was recorded for the way in which Mrs Dykes had kept members together and for the work she had done during the period leading up to the formation of TWBC but she declined to accept the position of the President. Mrs Wolinski occupied the chair for the election of officers and an Executive and Committee were elected – Mrs Ida Wolff being nominated as President.
All was not smooth sailing however, as it was later found that Mrs Wolff was not eligible to hold the office of President because she was not the wife of a member of the Men’s Club, and at a meeting on 21 May 1957, she “formally and regretfully resigned from the position”.
And so it was that Mrs Leila Higgin became the first President, Mrs Leila Chalmers was elected Secretary and Mrs Audrey Dearden (later Audrey Hart) Treasurer, with Vice Presidents Mrs Apps, Mrs Ford and Mrs du Faur. Mrs Wolff was asked to remain as Patroness, which she accepted with pleasure. Later the Mayoress of Ku-ring-gai was appointed as a second Patroness.
A Committee of Management, with sub-committees, was also elected and a few weeks later an official account was opened at the Turramurra branch of the Bank of NSW with a balance of Seventy-three pounds and nineteen shillings. Just over 12 months later the financial statement as at 30 June 1958 showed a closing balance of Three hundred and thirty-seven pounds and fourteen shillings, a testament to the efforts of the Committee.
There were still a few loose ends to be tied up as both the Auxiliary and Women’s Bowling Club had been recognised by the Men’s Club, but after a conference among the Executives, the Men’s Club offered “accommodation on and off the green when same becomes available”. The question of who should be the recipient of the books and moneys of the Auxiliary also arose but this was resolved on 5 March 1957 when the ladies Auxiliary formally and officially became Turramurra WBC and its rules were adopted. The ladies lost no time in its intention to “assist the Men’s Club socially and financially” as the Secretary was instructed to ask permission to hold a ‘Film Evening’ and for the men’s views on holding a Fete with their help.
Following an application to State headquarters, the Club officially became affiliated with NSW Women’s Bowling Association on 26 June 1957.
THE CLUB FINDS A HOME
In 1956 it was decided to purchase the present site, which was part of a subdivision of Apps dairy, from Mrs Norma Apps (later Norma Forbes), a Foundation member of the Women’s Club. This property comprised an area of some 2 acres on the corner of Apps Avenue and Bobbin Head Road and also contained the family home. All were anxious to start on alterations and six months before the contracts were signed, work had commenced and the Clubhouse was in use.
During these six months, Norma lived in part of the house while funds were raised to finalise the sale. Little do passers-by realise that parts of the original house are still incorporated in the modern, comfortable clubhouse that has become a favourite meeting place for so many members, families and local organisations.
Norma and the men’s President John McLellan turned the first sod to start the first green, and the first bent seed on our own green was sown in April 1957, the area having been surveyed free of charge by Mr Lyle West, a local resident. A permanent Greenkeeper, Mr J Tozer was appointed and play commenced in November of that year. The greenkeeper and his family lived in the house for a period and on one occasion, when a meeting was in progress, all business came to a halt as Mrs Tozer, wife of the greenkeeper, crossed the room with baby wrapped in a towel from the bathroom!
At first meetings were held at night but due to poor attendance daytime meetings were later instigated. In the beginning, only two of the ladies– Ida Wolff and Norma Forbes - could play bowls. While functions were being held to raise money, the ladies were given the opportunity to learn to play and were offered the use of a green at the Lady Davidson Home. Regular games were played on Tuesdays and Mr Harry Wallbank, a very good friend to the Club, allowed the women to use a rink at his home in Bobbin Head Road for practice and in return they paid 2 shillings each towards the cost of top dressing. The ladies’ first Christmas party was held under the trees beside this rink.
“Wally” Wallbank, Harry’s wife, was a great supporter and worker for the fledgling club and records show that she died on the green during a competition match in 1963 having skipped the runner-up team in the Club Fours shortly before. In the garden near No.1 green stands a plaque and a Magnolia tree planted in memory of “Wally” which still blooms beautifully each year.
When the ladies of Asquith Club invited our ladies to play on their green, our players, finding they had no official hat bands and badges, had to wait in their Clubhouse for our Secretary to arrive with these before they could compete.
At the annual meeting in 1958, Phyll Browne was elected as one of the two Vice Presidents and a few months later when President Leila Higgin stepped down for health reasons, Phyll became President and held the position for 6 1/2 years. During this time the members set about helping to improve the amenities, and by working together and using some imaginative ideas to raise money, supplemented by their own donations, they certainly made a difference.
On 7th April 1959 shortly after its second birthday, the Club was officially opened with a membership of 20. The President Mrs Phyll Browne welcomed the State President, Mrs S. Mogford, accompanied by Mrs G.Patterson, Vice-President of the Australian Women’s Bowling Association, and Mesdames A.Baker and J.Starr, Vice President and Treasurer respectively of NSWWBA. Turramurra Bowling Club was represented by President Mr Charles Hughes and Vice President Mr Fred Roberts.
It was a gala occasion with a “spider”, ditch-to-ditch competition and a short game of bowls before luncheon, followed by entertainment. Among the guests were social members and representatives from 12 other clubs, and members were delighted with its success and that “it afforded them the opportunity to entertain those who had been so hospitable to them in the past”.
It is interesting to note the origin of our badge. During her term of office as President of the Women’s Club, Phyll Browne, realising the Club did not have an official badge, approached the men and obtained their sanction to submit a design. She owned a Buick car at the time and taking the shape from the car badge, “just happened” to colour it in blue and yellow with the gold trim, which became the Club’s official colours. The same badge is still used by the ladies today.
Looking back on those early years, we can only wonder at the conditions under which the first Committees worked and performed their duties. The kitchen was tiny, and our volunteers in those early days prepared supper for the many happy and successful social evenings that were held in the room which is now the lower lounge. Most members would attend and somehow space was found for a band and dancing. The ladies regularly prepared and served afternoon teas for the bowlers where homemade scones and cakes were the order of the day. On special occasions, full meals were prepared and at times the menu would include baked dinners, cooked and served in the small kitchen.
Since its humble beginnings the original Clubhouse has seen many changes and renovations. The first extension of the clubhouse and the second green were officially opened on 6th January 1968 and a second extension less than 3 years later on 4th December 1971, both opening ceremonies were performed by Presidents of the Royal NSWBA at the time. Further extensions and renovations were completed in 1992 with a major upgrade in 1998.
In those early days, the main source of income was from donations, raffles (the old stand-by) and fundraising functions held at members' homes. At one of these, a BBQ at Mr Harry Wallbank’s home, it was recorded that an "Amateur Hour Hill-Billy Artist” was engaged, 1 doz (bottles) beer was donated and raffled and a profit of 81 pounds 8/6d. was realised – a pretty good return at 7/6d. per head! To help raise money for a second green, a box was set up at one stage for members’ “spare threepences” and lottery tickets were purchased (no mention of any win though).
BBQ’s were popular and other functions included Melbourne Cup Dinners, film nights, fashion parades, plant afternoon (bring one, buy one), theatre parties, wine tasting, theme nights such as Music Hall Social (“booked out in a flash and a howling success”), a Mad Hatter’s Night, Fun & Frolic Revue (complete with printed programmes and song lists) and a Champagne & Chicken Night – all well supported by members.
All manner of items to equip the Club were personally donated by members, while “drives” were organised to replace smaller necessities such as tea towels and dishcloths. Donations ranged from badges, the first Club flag and flagpole, the first refrigerator (given with the proviso that the women’s club has access to it on their days) and a dishwasher. Money was also raised for greenkeeping equipment, paths and amenities for the greens.
It was 1969 before members were in a position wherein they could dispense with fund-raising projects just to cover running costs. Two projects continuing today are the Card Day and Trading Table and the proceeds received from these provide the Club with a small but regular income.
The first carnival was held under a marquee, all members helped to man the many stalls and attended to catering whilst the green was filled with visitors. Lunch had to be served in two sittings.
In 1960 it was decided to co-operate with the Men’s Committee and hold a mixed Melbourne Cup Bowls Day followed by a social dinner in the evening. On this occasion the dinner was catered for, and Dot Greenwood, one of the Social Committee ladies of the day, recalls that the caterers brought the hot food to the Club where it was passed in through the small kitchen window and served from there.
To begin with, membership numbers had to be restricted due to the lack of amenities and in 1963 membership was actually closed for a time – there was a waiting list and only applications from wives of men members were accepted - and any player transferring from another club had to be an experienced bowler. Membership gradually increased to 100 in 1969, 155 in 1986 (the highest total) and was a healthy 110 at the end of 2006. Nowadays new members are very welcome.
Ladies were Associate members of the Club Ltd until 1990 when full membership with voting rights became an option that was taken up by a number of ladies. As reported in the Club’s newsletter at the time “the ladies were received with open arms (pardon the pun)”. By 1993 all women were made full members, thereby allowing them to nominate and to vote for the Board of the parent Club and in that year Mrs Norah Watt (Boven) was the first lady to be elected as a Director. These days the President of the Women’s Club is automatically appointed to the Board, as is the President of the Men’s Club.
PATRONS AND LIFE MEMBERS
During our 50 years, our Patrons have been - Ida Wolff (who held the position from the Club’s inception until 1982), Norma Apps-Forbes (1980-1991); Dorothy Schiess (1991-2002) and our present Patron, Helen Nagle. In early years others were appointed as joint Patrons for a short time, they included Mrs Beth Carter (the first Lady Alderman of Ku-ring-gai Council), Mrs Davies (Lady Mayoress) and Mrs Doris Braybon, wife of the late men’s President Cliff Braybon.
As previously mentioned, Ida Wolff was actually elected President at the inaugural meeting but was ineligible to hold the office because she was not a wife of a member. Those restrictions obviously did not apply to being Patron because she held that appointment for the next 25 years!
Norma Apps-Forbes was a Foundation member whose family home became the first Clubhouse. The land and house were part of Apps’ Dairy which was subdivided (hence Apps Avenue) and acquired by the Club in 1956.
Norma was Vice President for the first 4 years and a Committee member who generously donated to the Club, including the first flag and a visitor’s book. The ladies’ Singles Championship silver salver trophy, which bears her name, was one of her gifts and she also donated prizes for winners over many years. Norma was elected co-Patron (with Ida Wollf who was in declining health) in 1980 and at the time it was recorded that she was “one of the mainstays in getting the Club off the ground.” After 11 years as Patron, she resigned when she moved to Perth to live with family. She was made a Life Member in 1990, an honour she was particularly proud of. Norma died in 1994.
The next Patron was Dorothy Schiess who was a Past President of the Club. She too was a very active worker and her beautiful floral arrangements were often featured on special days. She was also very generous and for more than 10 years donated the Club’s hatbands, and the ladies’ white aprons embroidered with the Club’s badge, some still in use today, were donated by Dorothy. She was also a talented bowler and was successful in many club events and in Pennants. A gracious lady, she delighted in being Patron, and for 11 years took a keen interest in all the happenings, even when too frail to come to the Club. Dorothy died in 2002 at the grand age of ninety.
Helen Nagle is our present Patron as well as a Life Member. She was appointed as co-Patron in 2001 when Dorothy’s health deteriorated and she also has had a long and distinguished history of service with the Club since she joined in 1971. Within the first year Helen joined the Management Committee, serving continuously for the next 15 years, culminating in being President for the Club’s 30th Anniversary celebrations. She came back onto the Committee later, and took over the organisation of the Trading Table until recently. She has also been active in other bowling organisations, and was one of only a handful of NSW bowlers awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000.
Helen has a long list of bowling achievements to her credit. Recognised as “the best lead in the Club” she was part of the team that won the State Wolinski Shield in 1998 – the only State event to be won by the Club – and still enjoys a competitive game of bowls. Helen’s dedication and service to the Club was recognised when she was granted Life Membership of the ladies’ club in 1994, and when her husband Neville was awarded Life Membership of TBC in 2001, they became the first and only husband and wife to be so honoured. In 2006 Helen received another historic accolade – as a Patron and Life Member of the TBC Limited – the first lady to hold either of these positions.
Life Member Phyllis Browne - The very first Life Member was Phyll Browne who was a Foundation Member of the Club and one of the driving forces behind its success in the early years. She was part of the original Committee as Chairman of Social, a very suitable choice since she owned the “Wattle Tearooms” at Turramurra. It was at this establishment that meetings of the ladies club were held for the first few months until space in the clubhouse became available.
During her 6 1/2 years as President, Phyll’s guiding hand and her business acumen had a significant impact on the development of the fledgling Club, setting it firmly on the road to success. Her bowling prowess was well known and she figured in many winning teams of early club championships. Phyll moved to live in the Camden area in the early 1980’s, but was still a stalwart supporter of the Club until she died in 1987.
Life Member Esther Webb - Esther joined TWBC in 1960 – she was Esther Vandine then – and some 15 years later she met and married Alf Webb, who was also a bowler. Essie, as she was fondly known, was another of the quiet achievers whose enthusiasm and commitment shaped the early years of the Club. She served on committees for more than 20 years, including Vice President for 3 terms while at the same time doubling up as Chairman of the Social Committee which did all the catering, including afternoon teas, as well as preparing and serving meals in what was then the tiny kitchen. On one occasion, a President’s Day, Esther and her Committee catered for 108 people, which was a capacity crowd in those days.
Esther was elected Club President in 1971-1973 and was a firm but gentle leader who brought out the best in her Committees and helpers with her organising skills and always lead by example. She represented our Club as State and District Delegate and she also was a keen and capable bowler - her name can be seen many times on Achievement Boards in the Clubhouse.
Another of Esther’s talents was as a member of the cast of the “TBC Players” concert party, and she featured in many of its productions. As she was tall she was mostly cast as a man and played the part to perfection. A special “Esther Webb Day” was held for her in 1988, and in 1992 she was elected to Life Membership, a well-deserved honour in recognition of her contribution over many years to the Club. She always had a kind word for everyone and she continued to be an interested and loyal member right up to her death in November 2000.
Life Member Joy Surrey - Joy took up bowls in 1965 joining her parents who were already supportive Club members, and was the youngest lady member for many years thereafter. She became an accomplished bowler winning many Club Championships both ladies and mixed (with husband Lindsay) as well as District events and she played in teams which went on to compete in State playoffs.
Joy held most positions on the Management Committee, starting with Social and House Chairman and was elected President in 1981-83. It was during her Presidency that TWBC celebrated its 25th Anniversary (and the Club Ltd’s 30th) and Joy’s talents were put to good use on the organising committee for the celebrations which included a formal Ball, 4 carnivals and 2 Presidents Days (one for ladies and one for men and ladies), all held in the space of a few weeks. For 20 years Joy was in the cast of the legendary “TBC Players” concert group and produced the shows in 1975/76/77.
Joy has been an Umpire for more than 25 years and one of the first 3 lady Umpires in NSW to qualify nationally. She went on to become State, then National, Chairman of Umpires, achieving 15 years on State administration culminating in her election as State President for 3 years, a great honour for her and for our Club. Life Membership of TWBC was conferred on Joy in 1996 and on Australia Day in 2005 she was awarded the OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) in further recognition of her long and dedicated service to bowls.
Joy and Lindsay moved to Port Macquarie to enjoy a well-earned retirement, but sadly Lindsay passed away last year. Joy has always been a great ambassador for Turramurra; and her achievements and personal touches, and the standards she set have become a benchmark for the Club. She still takes a keen interest in the happenings of “her Club” and calls in for a visit whenever possible.
Life Member Phyl Morson - Phyl transferred from Port Macquarie in August 1976 and quickly began working for the Club, being very active on Committees for the next 20 years, including Secretary (1980-82) and President in 1993/94.
Phyl’s forte was catering and many will remember her peeling endless potatoes and pumpkin for the many functions catered for by the ladies. On Anzac Days trays of savouries were served to the men playing on the greens during the afternoon before they came in for a hot meal in the evening! Many times this was organised by Phyl and her team of volunteers who frequently prepared food at home to bring to the Club.
Phyl was another member of the concert group who was also a keen bowler and her cheerful, unassuming nature made her a very popular member of the Club. In February 2001 Phyl received Life Membership of the Club, and although she now lives in the Port Stephens area with her family, she loves to come to the Club for special days.
Over those years and still today the Club has had members who excelled in many fields, such as catering, cake decorating and floral arrangements. Once during a national carnival, one of our ladies, Jean Attwell arranged beautiful floral displays in Sydney Town Hall for the official reception and the Club donated the flowers.
As previously mentioned Card Days and the Trading Table are two regular fund-raising projects for the Club that still continue from the early days. It is recorded that the first Card Day was held in the 60’s to augment Club funds, when organiser Edith McKenzie and her helpers catered for 100 people squeezed into the Clubhouse which at the time consisted of only a part of the lower lounge as we know it today. This was made possible by enlisting husband Angus who, using a scale, fitted in every table required. The day was such a success that it was decided to continue it regularly under the guidance of Edith, who carried on for a number of years in that capacity. It was then handed over to Marjorie McDonald who, with her efficient willing band of helpers, carried on the monthly Card Days into the 90’s. The end-of-year Smorgasbord luncheon became one or the highlights on the calendar when the ladies brought their own specialties and all kinds of delicious dishes were served to the card players.
Thanks to the many organisers and helpers who have followed on, Card Days have become an institution that has endured uninterrupted for over 40 years – a welcome get-together of members and friends – while the proceeds provide the Club funds with a regular income.
The Opportunity Table commenced in 1962 and was originally held once a month, but since July 1974 it has been run weekly as the Trading Table. Traditionally it is stocked by members’ generous donations of “anything saleable”. Home made cakes, jams and pickles and handiwork have always sold well and fresh produce from local gardens are quickly snapped up. Sometimes items that are brought in are quite unusual - Esme Gillings, who was “Sales Manager” for 20 years, often told how she once sold silkworm eggs to members for their grandchildren!
By 1992 the women’s club had accumulated a very healthy bank balance from fund-raising projects, especially the concerts, and this enabled contributions exceeding $50,000 to be made over the next 7 years towards extensive renovations and refurbishment of the clubhouse. These improvements included equipping the new, enlarged kitchen with shelving and restocking with crockery, cutlery and other catering necessities, lockers for the new rest rooms and office furniture for the new selector’s office. Shade awnings and curtains were purchased for the clubhouse and when No.1 green required a major renovation, $10,000 was donated towards the cost.
The major additions in 1992 allowed the “Regency Lounge” (as it was known in those days) to be separated from the main auditorium, so now the club was available to host more than one function at the same time. The ladies club purchased 104 chairs and 26 tables to furnish this area, making it more attractive and versatile. Nowadays it is popular for Friday night BBQ’s and is hired out for private birthdays, weddings, etc. and these bookings plus regular meetings for Probus and Bridge clubs bring in a valuable income for the Registered Club.
Turramurra WBC is also proud of the fact that, as well as members’ interest in bowls, they have thought of others less fortunate.
In the 60’s when blind bowlers were introduced to the game, club members held a clothing drive to help equip the players and invited them to our Christmas parties. The visitors were met by our ladies at the station and transported to the Club where they played bowls, much to the delight and amazement of the sighted bowlers. Afterwards musical entertainment was provided and it was from this humble beginning that the “Turramurra Players” evolved, and this is a group of which we have been particularly proud.
The “Turramurra Players” concert party developed into a very well-known and professional cast of players giving up to 10 performances each season and progressing from live music to mime. There were concerts for Club Christmas parties, day shows for visitors and charity shows and so popular did these concerts become that they had to be limited to 200 people per show. Audiences would eagerly book from one year to the next to avoid missing out, and travelled in busloads from as far afield as Newcastle, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains.
A considerable amount of work and planning went into these productions and the whole Club became involved in the multitude of details needed to make each concert a success. The cast rehearsed and sewed costumes for months before the shows, bookings and seating was organised, and on the day of the concert guests were greeted with cocktails on arrival, a champagne and chicken lunch prepared and served by the Social Committee after the performance, then everyone waved farewell to the buses from the carpark as they left.
When Sydney hosted the Australian Carnival and National Championships in 1984 and again in 1997, the concert group put on shows to entertain visiting interstate bowlers and officials who were most impressed. Producers over the years included Joy Surrey, Edna Nash, and also Glennis Wood, who directed the shows from 1984 onwards. Sadly, The “Turramurra Players” gave their last performances in 1999, but not before they had raised a considerable amount of money for the Club and for charity.
DONATIONS TO CHARITY
The Annual Charity Day is another institution that began in 1978. In its first 5 years approx. $28,000 was raised and many thousands of dollars more since then. Each year a worthy charity is chosen and the ladies assist the men by donating all kinds of goods for sale and working on the stalls, raffles and other ways of fundraising as a joint effort.
On 21 January 1991 in the late afternoon, a mini-tornado struck Turramurra and surrounding suburbs, causing a huge amount of damage to the area. The clubhouse and greens were plastered with leaves and branches while the hedges and shrubs that are now so healthy were reduced to skeletons. Falling trees, flying debris and flooding of the building and greens put the whole club out of action while volunteer members rallied to clear the mess and repair the damage. Pymble, West Pymble, East Roseville and other Bowling clubs that were unaffected by the storm offered assistance with green space so bowls could continue, an offer which was gladly accepted. Due to the marvelous work done by the volunteers the clubhouse was up and running again within a week and fully functional a few weeks later. Proceeds of Charity Day that year were donated to Ku-ring-gai State Emergency Service who did a tremendous job clearing up after the storm.
Traditionally in December, donations are made to charities instead of sending Christmas cards, and at the end-of-year luncheon members provide gifts to be passed on to a welfare group to bring a little cheer to the needy. Last year the gifts were for the “Tree of Joy” the Drought Relief Fund for the farming families doing it tough and the proceeds of the Christmas Trading Table were also donated towards that appeal.
To begin with, as new bowlers joined, they learned from experienced players until Fred Attwell began coaching the ladies in the mid 1960’s. Many of today’s bowlers remember their first lessons with Fred during his 28 years as coach, and he only stepped down in 1991 when Reta Freestone and Zara White qualified to become national coaches, the first Turramurra ladies to do so. These days a panel of accredited coaches takes care of tuition.
From the early days Turramurra ladies have wholeheartedly entered into State, Metropolitan, inter-club competitions and carnivals and have reached State playoffs many times. (Since the formation of Districts, the format of State fixtures has changed and these are played first at District level followed by Group level, with only the Group winners progressing to State playoffs.) Pennant teams have reached State finals on several occasions. In the 1975/6 season two Turramurra No.3’s made history by playing each other in the State semi-final, one team being State runners-up.
Our No.1 Pennant teams were State Semi Finalists in 1992, Runners Up in 2000, and in 2005 were 3rd in the State Round Robin playing against teams which had a number of national and international players in them. Our bowlers have won every District event at one time or another, and the Achievement Boards on the clubhouse walls list an impressive record.
However, the most notable and exciting success came in 1998 when the team of Helen Nagle, Anne Webb, Jan Woodcock and Mavis Hackett won the Wolinski Shield, the first State title won by the club.
Country areas had been divided into Districts for many years before the metropolitan area followed suit in 1986 and Turramurra became part of Mid North Shore District. At the District’s inaugural meeting Jean Attwell was elected Chairman of Match (having previously served on State Match) and Mavis Hackett on the Selection Committee.
In the 20 years since then, Turramurra has been represented continuously on one District Committee or another in every position, including being on the Executive - as Secretary then President (Mollie Rayner), Treasurer (Pam Howlett), Chairmen of Selectors (Mavis Hackett and Glennis Wood) and Chairman of Social and currently Vice President (Jeanette Browne).
The District flag was donated anonymously by a Turramurra club member and whenever the District President visits a club officially it proudly adorns their flagpole. It was appropriate that the flag’s very first unfurling was at Turramurra’s 30th Birthday celebrations in 1987, and incidentally this was the first occasion when both State and District Presidents had visited a Mid North Shore District club together and flew their flags side by side.
Since 1962 an inter-club match has been played for the “Rose Bowl”, a trophy presented by Mr Dick Benson who was Secretary of the Turramurra Men’s Club at the time, “to foster friendship and competition between St Ives and Turramurra ladies”. The match consists of 7 teams per club, hosted alternately, and to date the wins have been evenly spread. The winning Club holds the trophy for the year and fills the Bowl with flowers for the following year’s competition. Initially it was played in the early part of the year when roses were in bloom, but it still looks beautiful every year with lovely seasonal floral arrangements.
Dress regulations have seen many changes since the days of all-white uniforms (long dresses that were checked regularly for correct length, white stockings, hats and gloves) all of which lead to the uncomplimentary tag of “White Leghorns”. Rules were very strict then and even removing one’s hat to go shopping was frowned upon. Even after beige stockings replaced white ones in 1971, players needed a medical certificate to go without stockings; one of Turramurra’s ladies being among the first in NSW to obtain official dispensation to do so. The introduction of optional navy for slacks, jackets and other uniform items in the 90’s began a revolution in dress regulations that now encourages shirts and jackets featuring the Club colours of blue and gold, and bowlers are allowed to play bareheaded. How times have changed!
The Men’s club celebrated their Golden Jubilee during 2002, the ladies taking part in the week of festivities including bowls days and culminating in a gala dinner with official guests from both the Men’s and Women’s State Bowling Associations and honoured by the presence of the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC, as guest of honour. This was not the first time the Club had entertained a Vice Regal visitor – Sir Roden Cutler, the State Governor at the time, was a guest at the Silver Jubilee in 1977.
In retrospect, so much has been achieved over those 50 years and we all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the first pioneering members whose vision and commitment laid such solid foundations for future success. So many volunteers – possibly hundreds – have worked so hard for the Club during this time that it would be quite impossible to give them all their due, tempting though it may be to try. There is no doubt a great deal of the credit belongs to all those Presidents, Committees and members who have diligently carried on the traditions that have made Turramurra WBC the friendly club it is today - a club to be proud of - a fitting tribute to the past and a fine example for the future. Long may it continue.