Bridge Park Bowling Club might not be one of the oldest bowling clubs in Auckland, but we have a history that’s as interesting and colourful as some of the characters who’ve held office at the club over the years.
Back in 1966 a local woman, Mrs Margaret Foreman convened a public meeting to instigate the formation of a new outdoor Bowling Club that would eventually become Bridge Park Bowling Club. We’re proud that it was a lady who started the ball rolling. All this at a time when women still weren’t welcomed into some other bowling clubs until well into the first decade of the 21st century.
After years of fundraising, the club was finally able to purchase a Keith Hay hall from the Mangere Baptist Church that became the clubhouse for the new club. The clubhouse was opened on 28 September 1973. One person who has taken a strong interest in the club for many years has been our Club Patron since 1998, Colin Dale. Colin back then was City Manager of Manukau City Council and we’re very blessed to have had his support for all these years.
The club quickly grew in numbers from 43 men and 23 women to 120 men and 60 women a decade later. The clubhouse needed to be extended to cope with this growth, but this caused one of the darkest days in the club’s history when a devastating fire ripped through the existing building and the extension. The bowlers lost their bowls, the builders lost their tools and even worse, the greenkeeper ‘lost’ his green with the natural ‘grass’ green we had at the time badly scorched.
The fire was the catalyst though for a lot of change. Out of this carnage we achieved the magnificent clubhouse you see today, and we replaced the fragile natural greens with one of the first artificial greens in Auckland.
The growth and development of the club continues to this day. In 2019 we replaced the artificial surface on A-Green with a new, $240,000 state of the art surface that will see the club through another 15 -20 years of growth.