The Nightcliff Bowls Club Inc. was formally opened on at these premises in June, 1984 with the Club playing as an entity 2 years before this out of the Darwin Bowls Club facilities.
Its genesis originated with a partnership with Nightcliff Sports Club Inc. As one of the Articles of Association for the Nightcliff Sports Club was the establishment of a lawn bowl green and club. This was a basic plank of the Sports Club obtaining the current land plus the land allocated to bowling greens.
By the late 1970s as nothing had occurred in constructing a bowling green, the Darwin City Council gave the Sports Club two months to commence this work. This was completed with two greens pegged instead of the original agreed one green. Thus commenced work on the Nightcliff Bowls Club’s greens.
Formal opening of the club was performed by the Minister of Community Development, Mr Nick Dondas MLA and his Honour the Administrator of the Northern Territory, Commodore Erie Eugene Johnson OBE, AM, CStJ on 24th June, 1984.
Nightcliff Bowls Club Inc. at this time supported two bowls clubs Nightcliff Ladies Bowling Club and Nightcliff Men’s Bowling Clubs. These were merged into a single entity by 2001 with 2008 seeing our first combined ladies/men’s Pennant season in the Darwin Region.
Bill Rowland, after who our “Bill Rowland Green” is named, was instrumental in donating his plant, equipment and time during 1983/84. Bill has continued since this time to sponsor the Nightcliff Bowls Club and its event although he has never played the sport himself.
Our continued and longest term sponsor, our Mother the Nightcliff Sports Club Inc. has maintained and assists Bowls Club where ever possible. As we operate under a plan of Financial Management, this partnership facilitates running of our facilities and their maintenance.
The facilities generated by this partnership have been enough for us to host all but one of the biannual Arafura and a recent Australian Sides Championships.
Since this initial work and approximately 23 years of hard use and combatting tropical fungi and other grass diseases the Club management began investigation greens replacement in 2007. Options considered were to replace the greens with turf or look for a suitable alternative.
By the time of the Bowls Club’s 2008 Annual General Meeting it was determined that the members of the club should determine the course of our greens. This meeting determined that investigation of artificial surfaces should proceed and a decision to complete this work should be managed by the Club’s Council.
Following an interstate trip of investigation by two members of the Council 3-4 alternatives were presented to the Council who, on behalf of the members, decided to proceed with the ProGrass’ DryMax Pro option and work was scheduled to commence following the 2009 Bowls Carnivals.
Prograss staff attended and replaced the greens with the DryMax Pro surfacing in September of 2009. The job was completed by the first week in October that year.
We have since enjoyed all year, all weather lawn bowls and visitors attending our carnivals and the area during the southern winters have grown as word gets around as to how good this surface is compared to the high-maintenance turf which it replaced.
Nightcliff Bowls Club Inc. acknowledges with thanks the work of Graeme Munro, a past Life Member, for the provision of this historical detail.