The life of the Taieri Bowling Club
• Mosgiel, as a town was only 9 months old when a group of local men took the first steps towards the birth of the Taieri Bowling Club
• In 1881 a group of interested persons met, led by Dr. H McCaw, and suggested that a canvas of the district should be carried out to ascertain likely members.
• However, it was not until late in 1885 that the idea really took place, and on January 2nd 1886 the Taieri Advocate reported that “a movement is afoot to establish a bowling club in Mosgiel. It went on to report that 40 to 50 gentlemen expressed a willingness to become members.
• On January 28th, 1886 the Athenaeum in Mosgiel was the scene for a gathering of 50 gentlemen who passed unanimously a resolution to establish the Taieri Bowling Club.
• Approximately 6 months later, the construction of the green got underway after renting a portion of the recreation Ground off the Taieri Cricket Club at a cost of 1 pound per year.
• Saturday February 16th, 1887 was the first day the Taieri bowling green was played on, a 100 foot by 100 foot very bumpy green, where enthusiasm far outweighed the observation of the rules.
• Club colours were agreed upon, a mouth watering brown and green, the stripes on the blazers were 1.5 inches wide, each bordered with a line of white, yellow and orange.
• Taieri’s first match was played against the Dunedin Bowling Club on their green on March 5th, 1887. Unfortunately the match was lost.
• Taieri’s first home match was played on April 16th against an unknown opponent, also resulting in coming second.
• June 1887, Dr H McCaw was elected the clubs first president (who was also the Taieri Rugby Clubs, first president). The local chemist J.F.Leary became vice president.
• A year after the first game in Mosgiel, Taieri succeeded in winning the Champion Cup at a Bowling Association tournament in Dunedin.
• In the same month, April 1888, Taieri recorded their first match win by taking 22 points against Caledonian. Inter club matches started for Taieri in 1888, the club winning one losing five.
• No specific information is to hand concerning buildings at the opening of the new club, and in 1909 serious discussions began for a new pavilion to be built, estimated to cost about 150 pound. The pavilion was opened later that year.
• In 1910 the first account for electricity appears in the books.
• In 1921, two 500 c.p lamps were installed over the green.
• In 1910, it was put forward for the club to install a telephone, but the committee would not be hurried and said that members should be given time to consider such a radical move.
• Ten years were to go by before the idea was brought forward again, resulting in the phone being installed in 1922.
• 1913 saw Taieri becoming involved in the Holmes Feather competition. There had been a Feathers competition in the club prior to 1913 known as the Findlay Feathers.
• 1923 saw a Mr T. K. Sidey become a member of the Taieri Bowling Club. (few would need reminding that he later became Sir Thomas Sidey after introducing New Zealand to Day Light Savings in 1927).
• 1924 saw J.A McKinnon becoming Taieri’s first life member, followed quickly by W.Wedderspoon.
• With the pavilion having adequate facilities, women were able to cater for the hard-bowling male members with a lot more ease and scope, which was highly appreciated of, and mentioned in every annual report. Through the years the men thought that mere mentions in despatches were not enough, and started to make real efforts to show their appreciation and how highly these ladies were thought of, by creating social events, such as social evenings, picnics to places that could be reached by train, boat or drays. The men always gave much thought to the type of entertainment to be staged in honour of the women, and it was always emphasised that that would be the one night when the women were “off duty”.
• As was fair, the women were given use of the green every afternoon except Saturdays. In June 1928, an entry in the AGM referring to “afternoon players only” was deleted and the term “lady members” inserted. Nothing was decided, but by October 1931, the women members were paying a subscription of 1 pound for their afternoon use of the green.
• In 1938, approval was sought and won for the formation of the Taieri Women’s Bowling Club.
• In 1939 club colours was the subject of a special meeting, where it was agreed that the club change to a navy blue blazer with navy blue buttons and a gold monogram. However the blazer never appeared and when the matter was raised again in 1945, black was adopted as a colour.
• In 1944 weed was coming into favour over grass as the cover for the greens, and efforts were made to obtain good weed from Mr Riddle on the Otago Peninsula. A year later the first moves were being made towards the construction of a second green.
• 1952 was the year that the second green was the main objective of the club. Two years later it was estimated that 250 pound would be needed to complete the green and an estimated 1500 pound for the alterations of the pavilion.
• 1957 the club membership reached 73, and with addition of fund raising, another 186 pound was spent on the second green, which was still not considered fit for play.
• 1959 lights were erected on the new green however it wasn’t until the 75th Jubilee year in 1960/61 that both greens were available for Saturday play.
• 1961 saw the new hall opened to mark the clubs 75th Jubilee.
• In 1962/63 amid some controversy, a “social amenity” (the bar) was opened. It was tucked under the stage in what is now the workshop, and proving to be extremely popular, for the season’s turnover was 600 pound with a profit of 200 pound.
• 1968 the social amenity was moved upstairs.
• 1977 a decision was taken to recognise the services to the club of Howard Wilkins by naming the lower green the Howard Wilkins green.
• 1978 work concentrated on playing facilities with the upper green being extended to 110 feet and permanent banks constructed around the greens.
• 1979 a special meeting was called after mis-leading figures were being circulated concerning the new complex, and a group of members wanted the building of the complex scrapped. Their motion was defeated by ONE VOTE.
• 1980 saw the opening of the new lounge-indoor stadium complex.
• 1986 was the centennial year celebrated by holding 3 tournaments. The main event, a two day open fours tournament with 112 teams spread over 8 greens.
• April 1986 saw the world bowls record being smashed at Taieri. After 100 hours and 1 minute, eight men walked off the club’s green sore and tired, but highly elated they had just set the new record.
Dick Hambleton, David Archer, Russell Butler and Chris Waugh were the blue team and Paddy McCormick, Darryl Cape, Jim King and Kevin Archer the red team.
Foul weather drove them indoors twice for several hours but his was permitted under the rules. Five minute permitted rests each hour were accumulated and taken in one long break to allow some sleep in caravans behind the pavilion.
Passing the Welsh bowlers’ existing mark of 90 hours was greeted with loud cheers from spectators, and as the end of the marathon effort grew closer the crowd grew and the bowlers’ spirits likewise. Loud applause greeted the final shot, a Kevin Archer drive. In all, 651 ends were played and 20 tonnes of bowls delivered per player.
• 1987 saw the introduction of gaming machines as a means of increasing the clubs income.
• 1987-90 saw the pavilion extended to include ladies toilets, committee room and office, plus renovations to the gents toilets.
• 1989 saw the first year of the clubs longest standing tournament, the Over 70’s Mixed fours.
• In the late 1980’s an automatic watering system was installed with the majority of the work being done by club members.
• 1996 the pavilion was given a face lift via the way of new carpet, tables, chairs and curtains.
2007 it was decided to employ a salaried Club Manager. To date Robert Gibson has filled this position admirably
Where this great Club finds itself today are the results of the efforts of an enormous number of volunteers.
Some of those volunteers have provide exceptional service way above the normal and these efforts are recognised by the awarding of Life Membership.
These very special people are........
1924- J A McKINNON; 1925- W WEDDERSPOON; 1934- W CARSWELL; 1941- D D STEVENSON; E M CURRIE; 1950- A F QUELCH; 1951- J THOMSON; Mrs G GIBSON; 1957- R L FAIRMAID; J D HAIG; 1959- R WYLIE; S COUSINS; A STEVEN; 1966- J KEMP; 1970- Mrs N McCUNN; 1971- H T WILKINS; 1973- Mrs V WALDIE; W N COUSINS; 1975- A C STEWART; 1977- J E GORDON; 1982- J E ROSENBROOK; R M McDONALD; Mrs M STEWART; 1987- F E O'NEILL; W J TAYLOR; 1990- G S MILNE; B M BUTCHER; 1991- J J KING; G ELLIOT; 1997- R J HAMBLETON; G J OLIPHANT; Mrs A TRACEY; 2000- B R McDONALD; 2004- P K KNOX; R E WAUGH; 2008- Mrs J H THOMAS; 2009- R S CLARKE; 2013- K J ARCHER; 2014- B J THOMAS;
Below are pictured some of our members who were more recently honoured.