The 50th anniversary of the Huskisson Bowling Club Limited was celebrated on Monday.
While the club has been operating since 1961, it wasn’t until April 1966 it was officially granted its licence.
More than 80 guests attended a special celebratory function held at the club, including foundation member, Toby Davis and his wife Lila, as well as a number of foundation members’ relatives.
Along with John Herbert, Mr Davis did the initial clearing of the club’s location.
Mr Davis launched a special book to mark the occasion, The First Fifty Years of the Huskisson Bowling Club Limited 1966-2016 by Judy Wright.
“It was important to document the club’s history and mark the 50th anniversary of gaining the club licence,” said chairman of the Board of Directors of Club Husky, Mark Schofield.
“Much of our history has been lost over time or was around in anecdotal or pictorial form,” he said.
“I remember going to a ClubsNSW seminar and it was stated the chairman is the custodian of the history of clubs.
“I didn’t know a lot of our early history so we had to document it.
“I approached Judy to write the club’s history and she has done a magnificent job.”
By interviewing long-time club members or residents, who remember the early days, she has been able to piece together the club’s history.
The book covers the early formative years from 1961 leading up to the time the licence was granted in 1966, charting the developments up to present day, where it now boasts more than 1600 members.
“There were some tough times, especially in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s,” Mr Schofield said.
“The club has run four debenture schemes over the years where it has had to borrow money from members to stay afloat.”
While telling the club’s history, the book also documents the development and growth of the Huskisson village.
“The book also contains the many achievements of the men’s and women’s bowling clubs,” Ms Wright said.
“There is also a special section paying honour to the club’s life members.
“Many men and women have made an incredible contribution to the club over the years to make it what it is today.”
While compiling the book Ms Wright came across a number of quirky and larrikin stories, which make up the club’s rich history.
One event was in the 1980s, when a strong rivalry bowling contest was held between the Fibros and the Silvertails - the people who lived in and around Huskisson and the “better off” members from Vincentia.
Or during the initial clearing of the site back in the ’60s, when blasting of tree stumps was being carried out and a kookaburra unfortunately met its maker when it inadvertently landed on one of the stumps just as the gelignite exploded.
Or how the greenkeepers’ shed was adapted to look like a railway station, complete with Huskisson Railway signs, which according to legend even attracted visitors one morning complete with bags waiting to catch the train.
There are also stories of a robbery at the club when the thieves escaped through a window but managed to snag and rip the bag in which they were carrying coins.
“Around $800 in coins was found leading to the car park where the thieves made their getaway in a car,” Ms Wright said.
They were later caught at the Berry Railway Station.
“There are just so many wonderful stories in the club’s 50 year history,” she said,