History – Patronesses and Patrons
Mrs W. Collins
Mrs M Selwyn Smith
Mrs T. Buss
Mrs E. Teese
1975-84 E. Lancaster
1985-88 H. Buss
1989-92 K. Stuckey
1993-05 G. Bontoft
2005-present B. Dauth
Welcome Message from Patron [by Barry Dauth] (an Extract from the publication issued for the Diamond Jubilee of the Club in 2011)
Welcome to the celebration of our 75th anniversary! As patron of this great club it is my honour, and indeed pleasure, to share a few memories with you.
On browsing through the brief history of the club compiled by Keith Stuckey for our Golden Jubilee, I discovered that my birth occurred in the month between the inaugural meeting (September 1934) and the second meeting (November 1934) held to discuss the formation of a bowling club. It seems I have been involved in one way or another ever since.
Ernie Lancaster was very much the driving force behind the formation of the club resulting in the registration of 52 Foundation Members. A great effort! Sep. (my dad) and George (uncle) were Foundation Members, as was May (mum) when the Ladies’ Club was formed.
My Christmas present from George in 1958 was membership in Beaudesert Bowling Club. What a great gift! George, a bachelor, was “married” to the club. In 1954-55 he served as President and, subsequently, served many years as Treasurer. On Saturday night March 19, 1960, he wrote up the club’s banking for the day, went to bed, and died 10 minutes later.
Mick Enright was President when I was welcomed as a member. He suggested that, as I had a good pedigree (Sep. – five singles titles and May – 13 titles), I should make a good bowler. Initially it seemed he could be correct. I managed to reach the Open and B Grade finals at the first attempt, but fell at the last hurdle to Len Teese and Les Bench. I reached six or seven more finals, but it took 25 years to clinch one, and just in time, for it was then that the “Whiz Kids”, as they were dubbed, came on the scene viz., Glen Bailey and Phil Jordan.
The honour boards show their dominance on the greens and their representative achievements have kept Beaudesert “on the map”. I say “kept” because Beaudesert was well represented in the early days by Bill Lupton and Ernie Lancaster in winning the Country Pairs and, after that, my two Patron predecessors Gordon Bontoft and Harry Buss were held in high esteem both in Metropolitan and Gold Coast Clubs for their bowling skills and for being all round “good blokes”.
How lucky I have been! I rode on the coat tails of these two members. My first involvement in 4’s Championship was as a substitute in Harry’s team. After that first game I became a permanent member of his team. We often travelled to All-day Carnivals; as a non-drinker I came in handy as the driver. Our best effort was in winning the Gold Coast 4’s in 1962 with Artie Dee playing as second. In one round, played at Surfers Paradise, Gordon indicated to Harry that we were 1 (one) down and it was impossible to draw. Harry walked up and inspected the head, muttered a couple of times, walked back, set himself on the mat – and drew the “impossible” shot. We won the game by 1 (one) shot. Harry played the absolute best shot I have seen in over 50 years.
Over the 1960’s and 70’s we used to host all-day carnivals once a month alternating between men and mixed. Teams would come from Brisbane and neighbouring clubs, but fuel prices, breathalyzers and other interests seemed to put an end to those carnivals.
Toby Gannon in his Golden Jubilee article named “famous bowlers who have played at Beaudesert”. Maybe not many “famous” ones have played here over the past 25 years, but in this great game one has the opportunity to meet and play against “famous” bowlers simply by entering State and Gold Coast competitions. It has been my great pleasure to meet and play against Ron Marshall, Keith Poo1e, Artie Booth, Stevie Shannon, “Harpo” Marx and, in more recent times Kelvin Kerkow, Mark Casey and Nathan Rice. Our good shots are as good as theirs – we just don’t play them as often!
As we live in a dynamic society, things change. I have noted a few changes that have occurred since 1958:
- From “Bowling” to “Bowls” – with the advent of Ten Pin Bowling in the 1960’s.
- Mat sizes changed to approximately 2/3 original.
- Lines on the green – a very helpful innovation.
- Scoreboards – used to be blackboard and chalk.
- Bowls –
(i) only two brands were available viz. Dunlop and Henselite; a few people owned wooden bowls (sometimes the “disc” would fall out!). Ernie Lancaster had a set made of Bernite glass which were black, red and white, described as “blood and guts”!
(ii) used to be standard weight and bias.
- Minimum length of end – changed, changed, changed and changed.
- Standard dress – obviously dress standards have changed dramatically and bowls has become a very colourful game. (The important thing seems to be the Bowls Australia logo.)
- Playing surface – used to be mainly couch. ‘Tiff’ is now very popular.
Ernie’s “blood and guts” bowls disappeared from our greens because Ernie, originally from Essex, joined the A.I.E and was captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore, February 1942, and landed in Changi prison where he remained until WWII ended. One Thursday afternoon in late 1945 Ernie made a triumphal return to Beaudesert to the honking of car horns, ringing of church bells and the cheers of his family and many friends who wondered if they would see him again. After a lengthy convalescence the old “blood and guts” once more graced the greens.
In concluding my ramblings, I must say how much I have enjoyed my years in this wonderful, most sociable of sports.
Over the years we have relished the company of members from all walks of life and many facets of society. I am pleased to say that I have not been absolutely a free-loader having served as Games Director and have also been a Pennant and Club Selector and Delegate to the Gold Coast. My earnest endeavour is to be a good ambassador for the game.
Many people have been responsible over 75 years for the advancement of the club and we are fortunate to have members who have worked and continue to work indefatigably for the club. Current Men’s Club President, John Harris, was President for our Golden Jubilee and has put enormous effort into preparing for this celebration.
Congratulations to you John and all your Committee and fellow workers. Congratulations Beaudesert Bowls Club Inc, thank you everybody, I hope you enjoy our hospitality.