A meeting was held in the Green Island Borough Council Office I 1885, the purpose to procure a ground for the establishment of a Tennis Club and two years later the formation of a Bowling Club, Four gentlemen, who were to play a major role in Bowling Club activities, were to make the necessary inquiries, including the purchase of a suitable ground. This was achieved at a cost of ₤120 ($240) with a loan of ₤250 ($500) at 8% p.a. being taken out for levelling and fencing the ground.
In 1886 the first two rinks of the Green were laid by twelve enthusiastic gentlemen – the first of countless working bees during the Club’s one hundred and twenty year history. 1887 saw the beginning of the Green Island Bowling Club. The twelve Club members were known as gentlemen bowlers, the subscription being what they could afford. In 1889 five more rinks were added and membership had grown to twenty. In June 1900 the Green was squared at a cost of ₤5/18/- ($9.80). In May 1903 the Green was again extended for the last time and squared away. On 14th September 1904 the Club Colours were registered as green and gold replacing the formally used cardinal (red) and navy (dark) blue.
In 1906 a working bee was urgently required to eradicate the dandelions from the Green. It was then necessary to sift fifteen yards of soil, mix this with sand and top dress the Green. In 1911 the Green was topdressed with thirty pounds (13 kg) of crested dog-tail grass seed. In May 1915 eight bowling mats were purchased from the Dunedin Bowling Centre at a cost of 9d (7c) each. A number of years after the Club had been going, the Grounds Committee was asked to fix up a gentleman’s accommodation urgently somewhere in the vicinity of the Green. Complaints from members regarding an unsavoury smell drifting up from the open drain were quickly attended to, the drains were boarded up and the gentlemen’s comfort shed quickly re-sited. In 1917 a horse was grazed at the back of the Green for a fee of 10/6 ($1.05).
The Green Island Brass Band practiced in the Club Pavilion in 1918 but after a number of complaints by members saying they could not concentrate on bowls, a committee was appointed to look into the matter. In 1920 school children grew potatoes at the back of the Green to compete in a forth coming competition. In 1922 electricity was installed around the Green at a cost of ₤2 ($4). The First night tournament was played in March 1924. In March 1935 a general meeting was called to discuss grass v. weed. The meeting decided that weed was out so the Green was re-sown in grass. Ten years later in June 1945 at another General Meeting to discuss the introduction of weed, the decision was in favour. The following weekend the green closed early and a number of members set off for Brighton where thousands of weedplugs were procured. The plugs were inserted into the Green which was then top-dressed and sown down in grass. In 1950 Cotula was obtained from Maheno and further weed from the Brighton River Bank. Weed was proving a success, so a delegation of stalwarts set off for the Orepuki River near Riverton and brought back a further load including grooving from Invercargill. The weed was watched closely by sceptics and believers alike. The weed spread beautifully, the playing surface improved so much that 1958 saw the introduction of Maniototo weed from Oamaru and Maheno
Over the years the Club won numerous Centre titles of which we are justly proud. A number of Green Island players have gained representative honours in both Senior and Junior teams and all have acquitted themselves well. Green Island men and women have also served in administrative roles at Centre level. Green Island is proud of its members and what they have achieved over the years. We hope the Club will continue to grow and prosper.
Green Island Bowling Club, Ph (03) 488 3533, Email: email@example.com