MT PLEASANAT Bowling Club held an open day on Saturday to celebrate a new 21-year lease which secures its Bedford Road premises.
The renewed lease is a major coup for the Mt Pleasant community which rallied to save the club following its proposed amalgamation with the Melville Bowling Club in 2016 so its land could be sold off for housing.
The terms of the lease allow groups including Melville Cares, South Side Symphony Orchestra, Fremantle Women’s Choir and the Free Reformed Church of Melville to share the clubhouse.
Melville councillor Katy Mair said the renewed lease ‘”was a dream come true” after working with colleague Margaret Sandford and members to ensure the club remained open to the community.
“The club now has a prosperous outlook with $330,000 of funding to reinvigorate the current amenities,” Cr Mair said. “The club is keen to reach out into the community to encourage people of all ages to play bowls, attend social events and to enjoy what their facilities have to offer.”
Club president Robert Cook told the open day the club was an opportunity to connect with the community to tackle growing social isolation concerns.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for public recreational facilities,” Mr Cook said.
“The social aspect of the sport is vital for the broader community.”
Mr Cook said the club was looking to change the image of bowling as being a bit old and stuffy, introducing Barefoot Bowls among other initiatives to grow the low-impact sport outside the traditional demographic.
“The renewed lease has provided greater certainty,” Mr Cook said. “In the last two years we have increased membership from around 100 to 320.
by BENJAMIN FLECK