A NEW bowling club for Corowa will be formed on Monday to save the town’s bowling facility at Ball Park.
It will be called the Corowa Civic Bowling Club and initially will charge $80 for membership, the same as the Corowa Services Bowling Club, which is part of the Corowa RSL Club.
Several men and women bowlers behind the new venture watched as shire councillors agreed unanimously yesterday to offer a free lease to the new club, plus $50,000 of services, though no cash payments.
They included Brian Davies, a former president of the RSL Bowling Club, and Sue Curtis, who said the women intended started playing on the greens on July 12.
“We don’t just hope to be playing then — we will be playing,’’ Mrs Curtis said.
Mr Davies said it had not been possible to form the club until he and his friends knew for sure the council was prepared to lease the five greens that have been part of the town for more than 60 years.
The council confirmed the offer without debate by rubber-stamping a committee recommendation made on June 8.
Acting general manager Bob Parr said the new club couldn’t take over until after the lease to the RSL club expired on July 12 but Mr Davies and his friends said they were ready to take on the facility immediately after that.
However, the group estimated it would need $40,000 to $50,000 a year for a greenkeeper and $14,000 to $15,000 for start-up equipment such as a heavy roller.
“We have been offered donations and will be seeking bowling association grants,’’ Mr Davies said.
“A lot of people have pledged donations.”
Monday’s meeting will be held at the civic centre at 7.30pm and the plan is to appoint an interim committee but no specific office bearers.
“That will be up to the annual general meeting early next year,’’ Mr Davies said.
“I’d be disappointed if we didn’t get 120 members to start with, though we need more than that.”
Mr Davies welcomed the council decision as it would save the greens that many considered were the best in Australia.
“There’s not one bowler in Australia who hasn’t heard of Corowa,’’ he said.
“This site has an enormous history.’’
Mick Molloy and Bill Hunter were among the acting stars who graced Corowa's Ball Park for the filming of hit Australian film Crackerjack in 2001.