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Highett Bowls Club

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November 23, 2015

In the 1960s the bayside suburb of Highett, with its fast-spreading, war-service housing estates, caught the eye of humourist Barrie Humphries.

In Humphries’ satirical mind, Highett residents were completely fulfilled mowing their lawns and painting their wrought iron doors and kitchens in fashionable duck egg blue.

In the Highett Waltz Edna Everage sang that she wanted to “try it in Highett” because:

    “Vaucluse and Toorak
    Can go to the pack
    It’s quiet Highett for me”

But in reality life was far from quiet for the new settlers as they created new communities from old dairy farms and market gardens. The schools were full, as were the churches and sporting clubs, as Australia’s population boomed.

At the Highett Bowls Club, formed in 1954, two bowling greens were constructed and, between 1958 and 1960, a clubhouse was built for the 150 members. Fundraising and social events were held regularly and there was competitive bowls to play on Saturdays and through the week.

But like all “baby boomer” suburbs, as the area’s population aged, club membership declined.

Now, as the suburb enters a second period of rapid population growth, Highett Bowls Club expects to again play an important role in the social and sporting life of the suburb.

Club president Margaret Dobell said Highett’s current population of almost 10,000 was predicted to grow by between 20 and 50 per cent by 2030.

Most of that growth of between 2000 and 5000 people will occur around the Highett railway station and shopping centre and on the 5.3 hectare CSIRO site in Graham Rd, which is only a few hundred metres from the bowls club in Highett Grove.

“Our location gives us great hopes for expansion and future prosperity. We are a green space in an area that is short of parks and gardens. We are next to the Lyle Anderson reserve, which has a children’s playground and good parking, so we offer good facilities in a good location for social and sporting groups, mothers’ and children’s groups.”

Ms Dobell said young families were moving into the area and Highett was changing rapidly.

“We expect the interest in social bowls, which has seen a revival of many of the inner city bowling clubs, will flow through to Highett as new families arrive and seek to make a connection with the community.”

“We are a friendly, congenial club, open to all. We think there is a major opportunity for the club to play a positive role as a community hub as Highett’s population grows by making our facilities available and making new families and residents welcome,” Ms Dobell said.

“Lawn bowls combines outdoor recreation and social activity and is a lot of fun.  And it’s never quiet at Highett.  Barry Humphries got that wrong,” Ms Dobell said.

The club hosts monthly open days and barefoot bowls on Thursday nights for people who want to try their hand at lawn bowls. The club is a sought after venue for end of year functions for sporting clubs, community groups and local businesses.

The club recently upgraded one of its two grass greens and is developing a beer garden next to the front green and the clubhouse to better cater for social bowlers.

 

Enquiries:
President – Margaret 0402 456 228
www.highettbowlsclub.net.au or
email highettbowlsclub@bigpond.com