History of Bowls in Bendigo

The earliest records available for the Association are from 1890 when the Association was known as the North West Bowling Association.

It apparently carried on under this name until 1925/26 when a change was made to the Northern Bowling Association.

In 1933-34 it became the Bendigo District Bowling Association.

The earliest Clubs mentioned are Bendigo, which played as Sandhurst Bowling Club in 1870/71, changing its anme to Bendigo in 1872. Eaglehawk was founded in 1885 and Castlemaine in 1886. Heathcote was formed in 1904 and South Bendigo in 1905. Maldon, Kyneton and Daylesford Clubs received early mention.

The earliest bowls results go back to 1891, Bendigo Club winning the “A” Pennant in 1891 and 1894, with Castlemaine in 1892 and 1893.

Eaglehawk won in 1895, 96 and 97 to win outright the North West Association Cup, which they still proudly hold. A further win in 1898 made four in a row, a record which was not equalled until 1959/60 to 1962/63 when Golden Square won four and in 1973/74 to 1976/7 when Bendigo also were successful.

The first recorded singles Championship winners were T.F. Reid, Castlemaine 1894 and J Murley, Eaglehawk in 1895.

The ‘A” and “B” pennant competitions continued and in 1907 the Champion of Champions series commenced – winner J Murley-Eaglehawk.

In 1908 the Bendigo Club opened its new Pavilion on 21st October. In 1909 it is noted F Dobbie of the Bendigo Club won both the Singles Championship and the Champion of Champion title. In 1913 J Smalley of Eaglehawk won the Country Bowls Singles Championship.

In 1915 reference is made to the Pairs Championship for the first time, bein won by Van Heuren and Baker, Castlemaine.

In 1917/18 A E Brown (captain) H Taylor, J Keck and J Laidler of South Bendigo won the VBA Country Fours.

In 1920/21 Pennant was conducted in two sections, Northern and Southern. The play-off between Eaglehawk (Northern) and Castlemaine (Southern) was won by Castlemaine.

With the introduction of the Northern Bowling Associatopn in 1925/26 “A” Pennant teams became four rinks.

In 1950/51 there were 11 clubs now we have 23. These are date with entry date- Bendigo (1890) Bendigo East (1948) Bendigo Golf (1914) Bendigo VRI (1965) Bridgewater (1934) Calivil (1963) Campbells Creek (1965) Castlemaine (1890) Dingee (1964) Eaglehawk (1890) Golden Square (1922) Harcourt (1955) Heathcote (1904) Inglewood (1930) Kangaroo Flat (1945) Lockwood South (?) Marong (?) North Bendigo (1966) Serpentine (1965) South Bendigo (1905) Strathfieldsaye (?) White Hills (1951) Woodbury (1976)

In 2015 Bendigo Golf ceased due to lack of numbers and committee.