Taieri Bowling Club was established in 1886 and is one of the oldest Clubs in the Bowls Dunedin Centre. The Club is situated in Wickliffe St Mosgiel, near Brooklands Park. It has 2 natural greens and huge Clubrooms some of which are also used for winter bowls (4 rinks). The Club is extensively used also by the community for various events.
The Taieri Bowling Club was formed in 1886 and by 1947 had reached a record for the time of 47 members. It has grown from strength to strength and by 2022 had reached a total of 279 members, retaining its position as the largest club in the Dunedin area. Our facilities are second to none and have developed from the first pavilion in 1907 to a three-level facility today with an indoor stadium, bar lounge, and upstairs hall and viewing gallery. The two greens Wilkins and McDonald were named after members who had contributed significantly to the club. Wilkins, who farmed next door was known as the ‘wee panther’ for the way he got down and followed the bowl.
The Ladies’ Club was formed in 1938 and a waiting list for membership soon ensued. Interestingly, in 1951 the ladies were requested to be off the green by 4.40pm on a Tuesday and Thursday so it could be rolled for the men’s evening play. These excellent facilities have, over the years, contributed to the hosting of numerous National events.
The club has produced many fine bowlers, with William Carswell being the first to win a National title, in 1888. He was also the first inductee into the Bowls NZ Hall of Fame in 2013.
There have been a significant number of members who have won National titles and competed internationally at senior, development and disabled levels. These can be seen at the club in the photo gallery and on digital displays.
The Club celebrated its centennial in1986 and to mark the occasion a group of energetic young men decided they would set out on an attempt for the Guinness Book of Records. They would go on to play 100 hours of bowls setting a new record, previously held by a Welsh club.
The support they received from locals was fantastic and they earned headlines on local TV.
In 2011 the women’s and men’s clubs were amalgamated and fine new blue, yellow and white designer shirts, displaying the Club’s logo, were introduced.
Since that time the club has promoted its facilities as a community hub and now attracts over 16 sports and community groups on a regular basis, as well as catering for weddings, funerals, birthday parties and the like. The club also gives back to the community and regularly donates to St Johns with money from ‘misdemeanours’ collected at fines sessions.
Because of the size of the facility and the relatively high ground (Mosgiel is flat) the site is used as the headquarters for the local Emergency Response Team. There have however been times when the greens have flooded and local members have tried their hand at skinny dipping!
A growth in casual bowling can be seen with the introduction of ‘Mates in Bowls’. (Now rebranded as Twilight Bowls 3 Five). For the last few years this event has attracted two greens’ full of enthusiastic bowlers on a Tuesday night, swinging along to the outdoor music and meeting for fun and fellowship afterwards.
Unlike most Bowling Clubs the Taieri Gate is a mystery. Not even the member with over 60 years at the club knows when it was built or the story behind it! The entrance sign and logo depict Saddle Hill which is known to all as the “Landmark of Mosgiel”