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Albert Bowls Club bucks the trend to celebrate 70 years of play

Errol Frank, chairman of the Albert Park Bowls club.
Errol Frank, chairman of the Albert Park Bowls club. Renee Albrecht

BOWLS: What started off as a way for the Gympie community to band together after the Second World War has flourished into one of the most popular sporting clubs in Gympie.

The Albert Park Bowls Club will celebrate its 70 year anniversary next week.

Steeped in tradition and etiquette, both lawn and indoor bowls have been a mainstay on the Gympie sporting calendar for decades.

But despite the longevity of the sport, local administrators admit they have had to move with the times in order to stay afloat.

Albert Bowls Club chairman Errol Frank said an open minded approach has been key for his club to move through the tough times.

Established in 1945, the club held its first fixture in 1946.

However, it wasn't until 1947 the Albert greens were officially recognised as a club.

"Originally it was a men's club only,” Frank said.

"The ladies came on board a couple of years later, originally just as social members.”

Ladies president Doris Watt recounts a time when women players' uniforms were inspected pre-match to see if they complied with regulations.

Female bowlers were required to dress in all white with skirts that reached well below the knee as well as wearing gloves and head dress.

While times have changed on the green, with many players adopting coloured uniforms and abandoning many of the early formalities of the game, the love of bowls has remained and it is this passion which has kept the sport alive.

"It (the bowls community) has opened up a lot and we have endeavoured to create more friendship and fellowship within the community to get people to come and play bowls,” Frank said.

"By doing that clubs have changed a lot.”

In line with their 70th birthday celebrations, the Albert Bowls Club will host a day of bowls on Sunday, May 7.

The day will include a free game of bowls for all members of the community as well as a barbecue later in the day.

Play starts at 1pm.

Topics:  albert bowls club cooloola coast bowls club gympie bowls club kandanga bowls club

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