Portland Rsl Memorial Bowling Club Food, Bistro, Great Value Meals, Free Entertainment


In The Beginning – 1958
For a long time it had been in the minds of several members of the sub
branch of the RSL to form an RSL Bowling Club. An approach was made to
the Portland Town Council for land for such a purpose. The Council in
turn, suggested an area of land within Flinders Park.

However, prior to this Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, owners of “Burswood” at the
corner of Cape Nelson Road and Must Street, donated three acres of
valuable land to the Portland Bowling Club as that club was looking to
relocate from an area on which is now occupied by the Portland Police
Station. Portland Bowling Club had the area bulldozed into two levels,
basically as it is today.

The contract for the top green was let to Mr. A Taylor, and when the
lower level was completed, this contract went to the Portland Harbour
Trust on both occassions the plant operator was Mr. Robert Boyer. The
top level for a club house and bowling green and the lower level for a
car park and a second green if and when it was required.

After spending one thousand two hundred and fifty pounds on earthworks,
the Portland Bowling Club was reportedly running into financial trouble
and so abandoned the project. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis reimbursed the Portland
Bowling Club for money spent on the earthworks and this area then became
the prefered site of the RSL sub branch for their bowling green.

The RSL then approached Mr. and Mrs. Lewis who offered the land to them
for an amount of one thousand two hundred and fifty pounds. A sub
committee was formed to investigate details and approximate cost for
such an undertaking. At a further meeting the RSL committee unaminously
decided to accept a generous offer by Digger Lewis and to make an early
start on the project, which was no more than a clay pan at that time.

Mr. Lewis was born at Watchhem in the Wimmera and later moved with his
parents to the Hamilton district. Mr. Lewis served as a driver in the
1st AIF in 39th Battalion, serving in France. He also donated land on
which “Lewis Court” was established. The RSL would further develop the
site not only for a bowling green but also as Memorial for men and women
of World War Two and the Korean War. Seven or eight rinks were being
planned for a start and others to be added later as circumstances

The green was envisaged to be a distinct asset to the town of Portland.
Membership to be composed of ex-service men and women and there would be
associate Members (men) approved by the controlling body.

The Portland sub-branch of the RSL set aside a sum of eight hundred
pounds from the patriotic fund for the new bowling club. The advance was
interest free and would be available for as long as it was required. It
is proposed to start in a small way at first, and it was felt that the
venture would meet with great success.

Formation Of The Bowling

A general meeting of RSL sub-branch Members, in the RSL Club Rooms, was
called for the purpose of forming a bowling club, on Friday January
31st, 1958. T. Duffy occupied the chair and the meeting was opened with
two minutes silence in honour of fallen comrades “Lest We Forget”.
Thomas / Reeves moved that a Bowling Club be formed and this motion was
carried unaminously.

It was then moved by Thomas / Moffatt that the club be called Portland
RSL Memorial Bowling Club. An amendment was then moved by N. Courtney /
Petrie that the club be called Portland Ex-Servicemen’s Bowling Club.
After lengthy discussion it was moved by Williams/Gray that the motion
be put to the meeting. The motion was carried and the amendment was