A meeting was called on the 10th day of April 1957. The convenor of the meeting, which was held in the C.W.A Hall, was the town’s Mayor – Mr F. A. Slack.
At this meeting it was decided to form a bowling club and blowing enthusiasts be invited to donate one pound ($2) as a foundation membership fee. The new club idea quickly became successful with some 460 members paying their foundation membership fee. Mr Slack was elected as the club’s first President and he was requested to approach the council to seek land available for the formation of the new club in West Kempsey on the “Mountain View Reserve”.
It was resolved at a meeting that the club formed would be known as “Kempsey Heights” and not “West Kempsey”. Meetings continued to be held regularly and in 1958 the council made land available for the erection of the club’s buildings and greens.
Work began almost immediately – site clearing was organised under the coordinated efforts of A. T. B. Anderson, Harry Hession, Dexter Thomas, Ron Escott and Harold Kemp, who organised the necessary machinery and equipment. The site clearing took place on the 26th April 1958, with some 76 people participating.
In 1959 Mr Jum Craig undertook the task to raise funds by membership subscriptions, debentures and life membership at 25 pounds ($50). Negotiations took place with the Grand United Lodge to borrow 20,000 pounds, which was granted.
Meanwhile a ladies auxiliary was formed and fundraising was attacked from all angles to assist with finances. By November 1959 the club’s second green had been completed.
Kempsey Heights Grand United Bowling & Recreation Club was under way.
On the 1st October, 1960 Br. George Bale, the Grand Master of the United Order of Oddfellows, laid the foundation stone for the new building under construction, being built by Mr Dudley Blight for 23,000 pounds. The new completed clubhouse was officially opened on the 24th June 1961.
Since this time several major building extensions have taken place.
- 1977 – Further extensions to the clubhouse
- 1982- Third green constructed.
- 1998 – Installation of a complete new bar.
- 2006/7 – Extensions to sports area of the club and outside deck and installation of two new carpet greens. This created more floor space for members, an outdoor smoking area and also comfortable viewing of all bowling greens.
Old, then new bar
New Sports lounge and picture of outside of club as it is today
Work continued on the greens and clubhouse surrounds, which finally culminated with the winning of the Small Clubs Best Clubs Development category in the 2008 Clubs NSW Awards for Excellence.
From humble beginnings our great club has grown to be an establishment that we can all be proud of.
50 years and still going strong!