Breakers Bowling Club Wamberal History
Breakers Bowling Club Wamberal began as an intra sporting Club of Breakers Country Club formerly known as Terrigal Memorial Country Club (TMCC). The Wamberal Men’s Bowling Club (now Breakers Bowling Club Wamberal) celebrated its 25 year anniversary on Saturday July 10, 2010.
By comparison with some of the older bowling Clubs on the Central Coast such as Wyong and Woy Woy, Wamberal B.C is a sporting Club of the progressive and modern Breakers Country Club which grew from humble beginnings in a tin shed The Country Club became licensed on September 18, 1973.
Clubs are only as strong and as active as their members and in 1982 a request initiated by R Hicks and B Mahoney, members of TMCC, to establish a bowling green at the Club was tabled. A steering committee was appointed on May 21 1984 from nominations by Kevin Lovelock*, Arthur Stuart*, Jim Abrahams, Larry O’Haiher*, Keith Harrison*, John Wise* and Bert Evans*.
On August 13 1984 an inaugural meeting was held and the Terrigal Memorial Men’s Bowling Club was officially formed. Foundation officer bearers were, President, Kevin.Lovelock; Vice Presidents Larry O’Haiher and Jim Abrahams; Secretary, Ross Shoesmith, Treasurer, John Sneyd, Bowls Secretary Arthur Stuart, Committee Keith Harrison, Bruce Cooper, John Wise Foundation Patron Harry Lee*. Jack Ryan was the Club’s first coach. A foundation members badge was subsequently struck in February 1986 for the 129 foundation members.
Two greens were officially opened by Jack Ball, President, RNSWBA on July 6, 1985 in the presence of Greg Oxley, President of TMCC.
The clubs first venture into District Pennants was a Grade 5 side in 1985 and with the greens not quite ready for competition play the Terrigal Bowling Club generously allowed the Club to use their greens.
A ladies Club was founded on September 18, 1985.
Initially the Club had an identity crisis within bowling circles because of the similarity of names between Terrigal Memorial Country Club and Terrigal Bowling Club, so an approach was made to RNSWBA in 1987 for a name change to Wamberal, which more accurately reflected the Club’s location. This was approved as the new playing name on August 28, 1987.
The aboriginal meaning of Wamberal is “Where the seas break”
A Club badge and flag were designed to represent Wamberal – blue sky, sea on the rocks, beach and sand. Sky blue, light navy and white piping trim were subsequently registered as the Club colours for bowling shirts.
During these formative years the Club maintained a very active bowls programme (including mixed games) with numerous visitations and annual inter Club competitions. For many years Wamberal represented the Wamberal Surf Club at the annual Swansea Bowling Club “Surf Club Day” bringing home a surf ski each year and on one occasion a rubber ducky.
Another popular day that fostered many friendships and tall tales was the annual Golfers / Bowlers Challenge Day with 21 ends of bowls and 9 holes of golf. The Clubs most prestige event which has been in existence since its inception is the two day Winter Carnival played over the second weekend in August. It was initially sponsored by the National Bank and has played host to many visiting teams.
Dedicated and long serving office bearers have played an important role in the Club’s short history. Kevin Lovelock the inaugural President, served three years at the helm and remained actively involved as Patron from 1988 until his passing in 2002. Foundation Vice President of the Bowling Club Jim Abrahams first became a Director on the board of TMCC from 1985-1988 and re-elected in 1991 and he served 19 years continuous service in that capacity. He was elected President of the Breakers Country Club in 2009 until retiring in 2015. Barry Homann is the only Bowling Club President to serve two terms, 1990-92 and 1994-97 and was Patron from 1998 to 2015. Publicity Officer Kevin Dring produced a Club newsletter under the name of the Wamberal Whisper since 2001, keeping members informed of important happenings, rumours and the odd joke or two. The quiet unassuming Jim O’Halloran is our longest serving Club Secretary having performed that role from 2003- 2010.
Harry Ward our present Secretary has performed these duties since that time. Also John Bramwell is our longest serving President who was elected in 2010 till the present time.
During one of the more testing times drought conditions prevailed from around 2005 and with the associated water restrictions the mother Club was prompted to convert one of the turf greens to a low maintenance water free synthetic carpet surface in 2008. Initially the ultra-fast surface of the carpet was an issue with a number of members and as a result some chose to move to neighbouring Clubs. The surface speed was ultimately modified and it was not until 2012 this artificial green was returned once again to a grass green. The re-introduction of this grass green was much appreciated by the members.
Over the years the Club has developed a competitive spirit and has progressively gained the respect of other Clubs in the Bowls Central Coast, Zone 15, Pennant competition. It won its first Zone Pennant, a Grade 7 flag in 1990 and then had to wait a decade before tasting success with a Grade 3 flag in 2000 and attendance at the State play-offs in Taree.
Subsequent Zone flags were won in 2001, Grade 4, with the State play-off at The Entrance, 2004, Grade 6, State play-off Greenlees Park, 2008, Grade 3 State play-off at Tumut, and 2014 Grade 3 State play-offs Mt Lewis BC.
The ultimate goal of winning a State flag has to date eluded the Club with its best performance being the State Grade 3 semi-finals at Tumut.
Other memorable Club victories have been winning the BCC - Z15 C Grade Mid- Week Triples in 2007and the B Grade in 2010 and 2011.
In 2013 after a series of Special Meetings the members agreed to change the bowling Club name to “Breakers BC Wamberal” to better reflect its identity as an intra sporting Club of the modern and progressive Breakers Country Club and provide a stronger marketing base. Members considered it important to retain Wamberal in its name and the mother club subsequently introduced the Wamberal location identifier into its trading name.
There have been some notable winners in the various Zone Championships with members winning the Zone Reserve Fours Championships in 2013 and 2014 and runners up in 2015. Also Paul Charge won the President’s Reserve Singles Championship in 2015.
The Club’s digital honour roll proudly reflects the many players that have won Club Championship titles in the various title events over its 25 year history. The most prolific winner and still a current player, is John Luxford, with an outstanding 28 titles to his name including, Minor Singles 1990; Major Singles 1991,92, 93,1994, 2003, 2007; Pairs 1987, 94, 2000, 2002, 2009, 2012; Triples 1990, 1991, 1992, 2003, 2007, 2014; Fours 1992, 2008, 1999, 2010, 2012; Mixed Fours 1987, 88, 89, 91 & 92.
Another current day player, Bob Rowe has won 17 titles across all Championship events. Bob is the only player to take out the coveted “Grand Slam”, winning the Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours in 1996.
The late Brian Windshuttel was another frequent winner with 16 titles, although many were mixed events played with his wife Deidre.
Over the years, the Club has honoured eight of its members with life membership for their dedicated and loyal service. They were, Kevin Lovelock* (1994), George Lowe* (1995), Jack Ryan *(1998), Barry Homann (1999), Bob Rowe (2001), Col Ward* (2003), Bryan Keating (2010) and Jim McCreadie (2013).
Throughout all these years membership numbers have fluctuated around the 140 mark and although they peaked at around 190 in 2006, numbers today have unfortunately dropped back to around 100.
A feature of a smaller club like ours is its very friendly and happy atmosphere, whilst still retaining a competitive spirit on the green.