- Turbbul Tribe are the Traditional Owners
- The name Booroodabin means -Place of She-Oaks
1888 was a different time and Queensland was a very different place with the pulse of life being more in tune with our historical ancestry. The forefathers of Booroodabin Bowls Club were not only gentlemen they were genteel, testament to this is the prose of the day. The following extract from The Brisbane Courier has a colour and rhythm now long past.
These were some of the words expressed in June 1901 by the departing Governor of Queensland and first Patron of the club, Lord Lamington. In the audience was the former Premier of Queensland (Sir Thomas McIlwraith) whom as President of the Brisbane Bowls Club had been a driving force in the creation of the new club. In the closing years of the 19th Century and into the early years of the 20th, Booroodabin had a membership replete with politicians and businessmen who were known to use their time on the greens to forge more than just friendly rivalry. Many of their decisions of policy and commerce have woven the very fabric that is today’s Brisbane.
Just as Queensland moved from Colony to State and the district surrounding the institution that was the Booroodabin moved from timber homes to commercial activity only to return to avenues of apartments in the 21st century; so too has the face of Booroodabin – now called the Booroodabin Community & Recreation Club Inc. Once in an earlier time it was a lawn bowls club that welcomed Governors, Premiers and the captains of industry.
In the 21st century, with its welcoming family environment, it is a place of barefoot bowls, great food and a growing display from its profound historic legacy since 1888 …trophies, records, photographs and Honour Boards.
‘The Boo’ (as she is more affectionately known) has had to forsake much of what was once at the core of a traditional lawn bowls club. There is some sadness at the passing of the years and with them the slowing down of a very proud game; there is, however, no sadness at the fading memories of the ‘topless years’ when topless ladies served at the bar 3 days per week. Testament to what desperate clubs will do to survive. The current membership, merely caretakers of the club, has embraced a new model of broader community engagement to ensure the club survives.
There is no question that in 1888 Sir Thomas McIlwraith and Lord Lamington had any idea what was going to face their beloved club. It is the sum total of all the small and large decisions that defines who we are today and the old girl has survived the past so she can now look forward to the future.
You are welcomed as a part of that future.
Click here for the Courier article of Booroodabin’s grand opening Saturday March 30th 1889.
Booroodabin Bowls Club – 1899
The Booroodabin Bowls Club – established 1888 is Queensland’s oldest bowls club and part of Brisbane’s formative history.
Lord Lamington was the founding patron of the Booroodabin Bowling Club and went on to become Queensland Governor from 1896-1901. His name attaches to such Queensland state treasures as the Lamington National Park and Lamington Plateau. After serving as Governor of Queensland he took up the post of Governor of Bombay and later served meritoriously in the 1914 – 1918 war.
Lady and Lord Lamington are seated, second and third from the left
The original Honour Board which still hangs proudly in one of the oldest sections of the club lists Sir Thomas above a long line of distinguished Queensland family names. Many of them are synonymous with businesses that flourished in the more genteel atmosphere of the then emerging Brisbane and gave foundation to the world class city which it is today.
The original club house was erected in 1888 on what is Edmondstone Street today. We have no records of the date that the clubhouse was moved to its current location but hints of information suggest about 1912. Various additions have been made with the current façade suggesting completion in the early 50’s. The committee is committed to ensuring that the history of the site is maintained and that answers are found for some of the mysteries of the past 125+ years.
Today the traditional pursuits of the club have been widened to allow the broader community to have access to and use of a piece of Brisbane’s heritage. A more relaxed form of bowls allows anyone to enjoy some outdoor recreation as well as to take advantage of the club’s hospitality. Everyone is welcome to come in and look around.
1998 – Bar area where cold room is
1998 – Bar area, now long bar
1998 – original long bar
1998 – Front of Club House
1998 – Front of Club House
1998 – Inside hall area
1998 – Now kitchen area
2011 – Floods
2011 – Floods