Mackay Park Land gifted to the community 100 years ago : History reveals

If the Batemans Bay Bowling Club was still standing today it would be on land gifted 100 years ago to the Batemans Bay community as reported in the Moruya Examiner March 1st, 1919.

The land remained constrained for recreational purposes until recently when Council bought it from the Catalina Country Club (who had acquired the Batemans Bay Bowling Club In 1949 a group of men met in the Batemans Bay School of Arts and formed a working committee with the intent of establishing a bowling club.Council provided a loan of 1,000 pounds. ​In 2009, the Batemans Bay Bowling Club amalgamated with Club Catalina, in a bid to ensure its survival. The Canberra Times of March 27, 2013 reported that "Batemans Bay lawn bowlers are incredulous over the loss of $6 million worth of greens, their licensed club and equipment in just three years.The club, in the NSW coastal town popular with Canberran holidaymakers, is being forced to close its doors on Wednesday night - three years after an amalgamation with a nearby club. "The men's president Greg Wale said they could not have imagined what happened, after signing an agreement to amalgamate with the Catalina Country Club.He said they were struggling and thought the bigger club would save them, but instead it led to their quick demise." "But in the latest update to members president Catalina Country Club president Kim Odgers said following a review in January and February which revealed a substantial and unsustainable decrease in trading revenue, the club would shut on March 28." It has now been revealed that the acquisition of the Bowling Club was a matter under discussion between the Catalina Club and Council on and off from 2013. And what of the Batemans Bay School of Arts ?? Approx 100 years ago the Batemans Bay Town Hall & Community Centre, School of Arts Memorial Hall stood in Orient Street Batemans Bay. This hall was built on land that was gifted to the community and was the constructed with effort and contribution of the community.

Above: The School of Arts hall on Orient Street that was sold by Council whilst TRUSTEES resulting in the community demanding a new community centre be built with the proceeds of the sale.

Peter Neilson remembers well how the old favourite hall that had its own block and another at the back were sold by the Council of the day.Peter writes "And in a round about way the council got the opinion that they owned the hall and the land. The council decided they would build a community centre in its place at Hanging Rock but during meetings with council and the community I suggested that the community centre must be built for Batemans Bay in Batemans Bay and it was decided that it would be built where it is today. "It was decided during this meeting that the Memorial Hall and its second block on the river side, after it was sold by council, that this money should pay for the community centre for Batemans Bay." "So as I have said the community centre belongs to the Batemans Bay community and to no one else. "Now it’s being suggested that council want to sell the Community Hall which does not belong to them and of course whatever they sell the community centre for they would take the money from the Batemans Bay community and put it their pocket as it seems that this is the usual program of the council." Below: The Government Gazette placing Council as TRUSTEE of the School of Arts building (and assets including land).

Above: 1929 SMH School of Arts report

#BBayHistory #History #Opinion #BatemansBay #Weekly

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