History of the Old Bowling Club.

Main families involved in the building of the Willow Tree Bowling Club were,,

Heymans, Schofields, Greers, Dalys, Hector Barwick, Sevils, Swains, Perkins, Howards, Avards, Martins, Symonds, Press's, Phipps, Wilsons, Carters, Mackeys. 

Volunteers for labour and machinery. Trucks and bulldozers to dig the greens out, on weekdays and weekends. Vince Bowe and Tom Wilcox were the main carpenters. The pine timber was cut on Barney Greers "Joselands" property and milled at Austins in Quirindi.

In financing the club, money was raised through debentures.
In fosicking through old receipt books and records, just a few outstanding examples of the generosity in those days.

R. R. Schofield. £120.
M Boland. £100.
W T and district bushmans carnival £100.
Farmers and Settlers association. £100.
Uncle John and Helen Perkins paid for the new roller. Money paid back with interest. 

Accounts that stand out from the construction of the Club.
Wonderlick ceiling. £216.17.00
Roofing Iron. £165.00.00.

This was a tremendous achievment by our founding membersto put this little club together. 

Some figures on bar takings in the early years.
1.11.1965. £383.15.00
22.11.1965. £372.18.01
20.12.1965. £433.01.11
29.12.1965. £615.09.06

At that time a new holden car was about £1100.
These takings were paid in by Cyril Phipps and signed by the banky, Ross Williams.

Over the years we have had many banky treasure's including Williams, Pollard, Kingsmill, Barwick, Crane. All doing a magnificent and thankless job.

Not forgetting the police and school teachers/headmasters who came to Willow Tree in their line of work and the input they had into the club.

In the early to mid 80's the club was in financial difficulties, with the population dwindling, especially on the farms, where most farmers needed less workers than before due to increasing maecanisation. Voluntary bar work was started with a roster and everyone learnt to poor a beer, wash the glasses and even hook up the kegs and get the beer to the appropriate taps, with great difficulty at times. 


Victor Heyman, Ranville Schofield and Jack Daly talk about the formation of the club. Building of the clubhouse and first green. Town was thriving at the time with sheep and wool being worth good money as well as wheat. Plenty of farm workers. 

Building. Carpenter Vince Bowe and volunteers.
Pine was donated by Barney Greer.
Was cut and milled by Reg Sevil at his saw mill. 
AACo supplied the land in 1959 for the cost of 10/- shillings.
Excavations by Hector Barwick and Ranville Schofield. 
Howard and Bernards carted material with trucks. 
Ditches for green was manufactured in Armidale. 
New electric green roller was aquired on 31st May 1960 at a cost of  £265.
New bottle fridge was purchased 17/11/61 for  £298.
Bore was put down at cost of  £91.
Plans to build new [second]?? green.


                      Pres.                    Sec.                    Tres              Club Champion.


1961/62     V G Heyman      J Kelly/K Tobin        R Williams
1962/63              “                  R R Heyman               “                     V Bowe
1963/64              “                            “                D Pollard              J H Sevil
1964/65              “                           “                     “                     E K Hines
1965/66              “                            “              M C Kingsmill             “         
1966/67    R R Schofield      V G Heyman                “                      J J Daly 
1967/68              “                           “                   “                      T Sevil
1968/69              “                            “                 I Cadell               E K Hines 
1969/70      J J Daly               G Bayliss                  “                     J H Sevil 
1970/71              “                            “                  “                      W Daly  
1971/72               “                            “               G S Barwick       J J Daly
1972/73               “                            “                  “                      W Daly 
1973/74              “                 A K Avard              G P Crane           J J Daly 
1974/75              “                 G Bayliss                  “                      W Daly
1975/76    R R Schofield                    “                   “                           “   
1976/77              “                   R Kelly           Crane/Packham       T Sevil






Bowling club July 1965. Shows the club before the 1977 extensions.

1960 to 1970.

*Presidents. Victor Heyman. Ranville Schofield. Jack Daly.
*Good years with plenty of bowlers. Great bar sales.
*A second green put in to cater for extra bowlers. To play bowls you had to book ahead.
*Staff Greenkeeper Sam Kelly and manager Cyril Phipps plus casuals.
*Delt with the change to decimal currency. 14/2/1966.
*Ladies bowling club started.
*Supplying of meals for functions.
*Support of truckies and farmers waiting at the Willow Tree grain silo, sometimes till the early hours of the morning.

1970 to 1980.

*Presidents Jack Daly, Ranville Schofield and Les Howard.
*Club extensions were built in May 1977 by Ray Schoobert from Murrurundi. Cost of $16,488 and plumbing done by Ray Callaghan.
*Prawn and Chicken nights were big winners and carried on each year.
*In 1976, the club moved from the Upper Hunter to Central Northern District Bowls association.
*Police bowls days were a great fund raiser, generating much dollars for charity.
*First pennant team No. 4 won in 1977.
*Games nights.

1980 to 1990.

*Presidents Les Howard, Barnie Greer, Bob Young, Frank Heyman, George Bayliss, John Ham.
*Running Willow Tree Cup Calcutta and race day.
*Ongoing supposrt of Willow Tree School.
*Friday night bistro and BBQs.
*In the mid 1980's the club ran into financial difficulties. Les Howard called a special meeting to overcome the problem.
*Volunteers started working on the bar and helping with the greens and gardens. Mistakes were sometimes made, eg, hooking up the beer lines wrong. Once the New and Light were hooked up the wrong way. Club was occasionally left open when volunteer bar staff got too drunk.

1990 to 2000.

*Presidents, John Ham, Earl Kelaher, John Upton. 
*Legacy Bowls days every year. 
*Anzac Day support with Eric Hines running 2 up. Anzac Day luncheon. 
*Carpet was replaced early 1990's. Being donated by the Singleton RSL. 
*Volunteers playing a major part in the survival of the club.
*Christmas parties. Prawn and Chicken nights.
*Lions meetings were a big help for the club. 
*Many community meetings held in the club. 

2000 to 2010.

*Presidents David Bernard, Erle Stockdale.
*November 2003, the Bowling Club house in Willow Tree was sold for $50,500. This money was invested then later, with grants from the Shire and Government, the tennis courts were built under the supervision of David Bernard. The tennis courts brought in a whole new group of members. 
*2004. Mark Marchorie accident. Fund raising generated $50,000. 
*Eddie and Pauline Beljaars.
*Westpac helicopter fund raiser. 

2010 to the 3rd January 2017 fire.

*Presidents Erle Stockdale and Peter Wilkinson. 
*The club gets broken into a few times in succession. New security measures get introduced.
*Bowling Club burns to the ground on afternoon of 3rd January 2017. Everything is lost. Not even time to gather Honour boards from walls or trophies or anything.


Bowling club after the 1977 extensions.
3rd January 2017.
3rd January 2017.

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Latest comments

25.09 | 09:36

Absolutely delighted to come across a part of my direct ancestors history about which I knew very little and shall endeavour to find out more
Thank you Prof. A.

23.09 | 22:23

Very interesting Kelaher family history. Impressive number of trained nursing sisters. Jack lent the Copelands a cream horse, Playboy, in 1950's, ridden by Kate

09.09 | 17:58

Wonderfully informative. Thank goodness for Jane and John Atchison's work

06.09 | 14:33

I am Jack Kelaher and I am proud of my pop, dad and ancestors.

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