Club History


Thanks to Beryl and Roger May for the following information about the history of our club in the early days.

The early foundation of the Club was instigated by the late Max Gage, who was at that time a member of the Meadows Bowling Club and had just moved into the area. Max advertised in the local paper for people who might be interested in forming a Bowls Club at Happy Valley.

Following a good response to this, a preliminary meeting was held in the Clubrooms of the Happy Valley Football Club which was attended by some thirty to forty people, both male and female. As a result, two committees were formed in early 1983, one for men and another for ladies. The Club was then registered, with the first Men’s Club President being Max Gage and the first Ladies Club President was Jean MacIntosh. I am proud to have been a member of that Committee.

The Meadows Council (now the Onkaparinga Council) was approached for help and very soon, land was granted for the purpose of our Club. Early Committee meetings were held at the homes of Max Gage and Jean MacIntosh.

Very soon, working bees were formed and were very well attended by both men and women, with a lot of hard work being done to create and develop the greens and the surrounds. After a period of levelling the ground etc., A Green was seeded by the ladies of the Club, who formed a “chain” across the green to distribute the seed by hand. This operation was supervised by the late Jim Light who was our first Green Keeper and he continued to manage both greens through those early years.

While this was taking place, the building of the Clubrooms was in progress with some of the labour being performed (under supervision), by young people from the “work for the dole” scheme, or R.E.D Scheme as it was known in these days.

10 (2)

Bowls began in Sept/Oct 1983 with practice and matches being played at the Morphett Vale Bowling Club. For the first year or two, Morphett Vales was treated as our “Home Club”, and our home games were played on their greens. We could practice on their greens on Tuesdays after 1pm. As our greens became useable, and the Clubrooms began to take shape, matches could be played at Happy Valley during the 1984/5 season. With no roof on the Club House at this stage, afternoon tea was supplied by the ladies who served from trestles, and a plank between two drums with a tub of ice, became a makeshift bar selling bottled beer and cool drinks. Until the Clubrooms were completed, members and visitors had to use the amenities at the Happy Valley Football Club.

18 Opening greens 1984

During the early days to get the Club on its’ feet, a lot of hard work was done by Club Members raising funds with progressive dinners, fashion parades, “Bull and Bush” evenings, concerts, bingo and raffles. We owe a great debt to the many people who have helped HVBC progress through the years from very humble beginnings.

15 President Max gage 1983-4