THE Clarence municipality is set to benefit following the official opening of a new $1.5 million, state-of-the-art indoor bowls facility at the Howrah Bowls Club.
Unveiled in late October, the Howrah Community Bowls Centre will attract state and national competitions to the Eastern Shore, while providing a venue for the community to enjoy a social game of bowls all year round.
The Howrah Bowls Club invested $510,000 into the facility, with the Clarence City Council contributing more than $930,000 and the state government providing an $80,000 grant from the Department of Premier and Cabinet Sport and Recreation Division.
Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman said he was pleased to see another major sporting facility built in the region.
“The Howrah Community Bowls Centre is another high calibre sport and recreation facility in our city for our community and visitors to enjoy,” he said.
“We are excited about the opportunities this facility will present in regard to hosting state and national bowling competitions, and it will also be an important facility for members and the community more broadly.
“This facility is another step towards Council fulfilling its commitment to provide essential infrastructure to support, sustain and enhance community and social wellbeing.
“We congratulate the Howrah Bowls Club for passionately advocating for this facility and for the contribution the state government has made.”
The new eight-rink facility has been a long-term planning project for the Howrah Bowls Club.
Club president Dennis Lourey said past president Ian Cumine had issued a “challenge” to members back in 2009 asking where they wanted the club to be in seven-years’ time.
“The outcome from that challenge was the construction of a world-class indoor bowls centre,” he said.
“The club committed to making a substantial financial contribution and a dedicated group of members donated many hours in preparing grant submissions and drawings.
“The Howrah Community Bowls Centre is a facility that the Clarence community can be justifiably proud of.
”Federal Member for Franklin, Julie Collins, who attended the opening, said it was great to see the club’s expansion.
“I have been in contact with the Howrah Bowls Club for many years about getting this project to go ahead, so I know how long and hard they have worked to get to this point,” she said.
“The club had associated issues about needing to upgrade the ground works to fix underlying issues, so it’s great that they have been able to fix this with a new indoor green.
“The weather can ruin a day at the green, particularly at this time of year, so I look forward to seeing play continue, rain, hail or shine.”
Life member and patroness Bernice Archer said the new facility would cater for anyone interested in bowling.
“The new facility will attract casual bowlers who like to play a weekly game of barefoot bowls, as well as the dedicated full-time players,” she said.
“Howrah Bowls Club has also traditionally been used by school groups, people with disability and organisations such as the RSL, and this new indoor facility will be even more beneficial to them.”
During the coming months, the club will also be adding an office, storeroom, utility room and reception area to the premises.
The Howrah Community Bowls Centre is located at 11A Howrah Road, Howrah.
For more information, visit www.howrahbowls.com.au.
Caption: Clarence City Council Alderman, from left, Ald Kay McFarlane, Deputy Mayor Jock Campbell, Ald Peter Cusick, Ald John Peers, Ald Sharyn von Bertouch, Mayor Doug Chipman, Ald Doug Doust, Ald Debra Thurley and Ald Helen Chong pictured at the opening of the Howrah Community Bowls Centre.