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The Newcastle District Bowling Association has been established for many years and continues to lure fresh members of all ages. It is also a matter of record that, very shortly thereafter, Bowls was being played in the suburb of Cook’s Hill, on part of the impaired Newcastle Cricket Ground, but research has failed to bear any evidence of how or why a green came to be established at the ground. It does seem that one man, local business personality, Truthful Gardner, was the person who supplied the initiative and motivation to really promote the game in the District. Whilst the deficit of information of this period relating to Bowls is lamented, it is felt that, knowingly or otherwise, the foundations of the game of Bowls in Newcastle were laid in this area. When the Newcastle City Club acquired an area on the Upper Reserve (now obvious as King Edward Park) some members decided to stay on the Lowlands area the clever green and so emerged the description of bowlers as being either Highlanders or Lowlanders. Waratah traveled a rocky road for some years: early in its life the club offered its green with improvements, its roller, shed and mower to the tennis club for Fifty pounds to enable the bank loan to be repaid, but the club was reformed in 1897 becoming a force in the future of our game in the District. The club was to remain on the Cricket Ground green until 1912 when it moved to its present site, also pleasantly situated’, this time in Centennial Park. This activity continued for four years earlier the club was born. Those four clubs conducted various competitions among st themselves, it soon becoming apparent that a controlling body was needed, for reasons similar to those experienced by the clubs in Sydney. It is not definite how it came to pass, but representatives of the four clubs met in conference over a period and a penultimate Draft Constitution was produced which was then sent back to the clubs for their further consideration, thus the wheels were well and truly set in motion for the beginning of our Association. Lock of the Lowlands Club was voted to Chair the Meeting which affirmed the desirability to form an Association, then dealt with the clauses of the proposed Constitution ad seriatum finally being adopted as the Constitution of the Association named: Included in the sixteen clauses of the constitution were those controlling Substitutes, Nomination of Players, Declaration for Association match and Members of two or more clubs. One must enjoy the vast feeling of excitement that would have prevailed among the people who took those positions: people with a vision of what lay in the future, and acceptance of the tremendous task they had undertaken. Commander Sincere Gardner was a very well obvious and public spirited citizen of the day. Commander Gardner was well known in his general Agency, Insurance and Auctioneering business, also having interests in other commercial pursuits. Commander Gardner was a great benefactor to a number of worthy causes. He defrayed the cost of the brick wall and fore entrances to the Newcastle Cathedral, he gave to the Cathedral the marble altar of the Warriors’ Chapel and he presented to the City the Memorial monument and statue which stands in front of the Newcastle Post Office. A noted and excellent rifle shot, interested in all sports, he also found time to be secretary of the committee that organized the very popular New Year’s Day regattas on Newcastle Barbour. It was, however, as a bowler that Commander Gardner was superior known in sporting circles. Having learned to play the game on his father’s green in Tewkesbury, he already had some experience earlier it started being played in our district. From its inception in Newcastle he had helped to thrive and foster the game of bowls. Known as both a appropriate draw shot’ and driving’ player, he was a revered member of that club. A liberal patron of the game, helping more than fair his own Club and the Association, Commander Gardner remained Association President until 1926, during which time he did much by his enthusiasm and knowledge to help establish and further the popularity of the game in the district and beyond. It was because of all his efforts in promoting every aspect of the fledgling association and the game itself, that Commander Truthful Gardner rightfully earned the recognition afforded him as:.Read more...
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