The end of an era: Newstead members 'disillusioned' by sale of club

SAD TO LEAVE: Newstead Bowling Club members Rick and Roger Annis-Brown. Photo: STEVE GOSCH                                                                    0810sgnewstead1
SAD TO LEAVE: Newstead Bowling Club members Rick and Roger Annis-Brown. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0810sgnewstead1

NEWSTEAD Bowling Club members will be sad to leave their heritage clubhouse following its sale last week, but look forward to future opportunities the move will bring.

Father and son Rick and Roger Annis-Brown have been members since 1980 and 1986 respectively - Rick, a past president and chairman, holds life membership, while Roger is a member of the bowls committee.

The two said they joined for the club’s welcoming atmosphere.

“As you come in, people say, ‘Hi, how are you going?’ and you can sit and talk for awhile,” Rick said.

“I think it’s the companionship over the years and the friendships you make and just the love of the game,” Roger said.

“It’s a challenging game and you’ve got nobody else to blame except yourself for your bad days.

“We’ve made a lot of great friends around the district and up and down the coast through bowls.”

While the duo have been fond of the club’s location, it has not been without its challenges in winter.

“It is very difficult because you’ve got to put that many clothes on that you can’t move and then your hands get cold and you can’t feel the bowl,” Roger said. 

However, they were sad the heritage clubhouse and greens had to be sold.

“I don’t like it,” Rick said.

“It’s unfortunate that it has come to this - it’s a bit upsetting,” Roger said.

However, Roger said the club had a committed membership, with successful working bees in the past.

“Everyone’s a bit disillusioned at the moment, but I think once things start happening, everyone will pull back together and we’ll be full steam ahead to get the new premises up and running,” he said. 

“We’ve got through the uncertainty stage of what was going to happen and I think now we’ll have a bit more of an idea on the direction we’re going to be able to take.

“Dad’s always been talking about an undercover indoor bowls centre so if we can, from the proceeds of the sale, get a little bowling centre, it may attract a lot more people to play bowls a lot more regularly.”

The club is in talks with three other sporting clubs and Orange City Council to find a new home.