City of Echuca BC celebrates 100 years

by Team BV

City of Echuca Bowls Club will be celebrating its centenary during February 2018, with a week of bowls and social events at the club.

The celebrations will kick off with mixed social bowls and afternoon tea on Sunday, February 18, 2018. During this event, the centenary plaque and new water fountain will be unveiled. Old bowls and old bowling clothes are an option for this opening day. 

The week that follows will see all the normal social bowls events take place at the club under the banner of centenary events – twilight triples, ladies social bowls, and men’s pairs.  

A Corporate Challenge night for sponsors and other local groups has been organised for Wednesday, February 21. The celebrations will culminate with a Centenary Dinner at the club on Saturday, February 24. 

A centenary book has been written and this includes a detailed history of the club’s 100 years, as well as many photos, achievements, pennant wins and memories and recollections. This will be on sale alongside our centenary port and our centenary stubby holders. A comprehensive display of memorabilia will also be on display all week. 

All current and past members of the club, as well as bowling friends, are invited to join us at City of Echuca for this great week of celebration. Enquiries for further information can be directed to: John Blair on 0437 566 225 or email 


How City of Echuca Bowls Club came to be 

Formed at the tail-end of World War I, City of Echuca Bowls Club has survived tough times and 100 years through the strength of its volunteer and membership base to become a successful club – both on and off the greens. 

On May 28th 1918, fifteen men met at the Mechanics Institute in Echuca to discuss the formation of a bowling club. The discussion was brief and the motion of Dr Elcoate, seconded by Mr W Grimwood stated: “That a bowling club be formed in Echuca.” The motion was carried. 

And so, a century later, we will gather again to celebrate 100 years of bowling at Echuca. 

During its 100 years, the club has had two names – firstly Echuca Bowls Club and more recently, City of Echuca Bowls Club Inc. During this time, it also occupied two sites – its original site was on railway land in Annesley Street, then the club moved to its present site in 1957. 

For almost half of its life it was a male only club, supported by a ladies croquet club. For many years the ladies were not able to participate in bowls at the Echuca Bowls Club, despite a number of attempts to move a successful motion at the men’s committee meeting. 

The Echuca Bowls Club has always had as its strength the number of volunteers who work hard to allow the club to function. It has not always been easy to maintain a profitable ledger and on a few occasions the club did come quite close to being in financial difficulties. A few attempts over the years to merger with existing clubs in the area failed so it has always been up to the members to keep the club afloat. 

Throughout its history, Echuca Bowls Club has always maintained a strong membership. Two of its past members were awarded the RVBA Medal of Merit for their service to bowls – Allen Sewell in 2001 and Jim Campbell in 2003. The club has boasted four Victorian State singles champions – Olive Vicary (1965), Doug Phillips (1966), Melissa Roberts (2011) and Philip Thorn (2016). Perc Berryman also won the Victorian Country singles in 1951 and George Lynch won the same title in 1963. 

Today, City of Echuca Bowls Club is a successful club, both on and off the greens. It has a strong membership, excellent facilities and four magnificent bowling greens. They pride themselves on being a friendly club and with all of this in mind, they look forward to celebrating their centenary in February 2018.