One of Maitland’s oldest institutions is being forced to shut up shop, as it “runs out of time”.
Maitland Park Bowling Club has occupied the current clubhouse since the late 1950s, following relocation after the 1955 flood in town.
Earlier this week, staff and key user groups were informed of the decision to close the Club, which is owned and leased out by Maitland City Council.
On June 16, the Board posted this on the Club’s Facebook page: “It is with heavy hearts and much sadness that we made the very difficult decision to close our doors on the 4th July 2022.
“We have exhausted all avenues in an endeavour to entice groups to use our facilities. Interest has been shown by some, however we have run out of time for these to eventuate and grow.
“A sincere thank you to our wonderful staff, past and present for their loyalty and efforts, who have gone far beyond the call of duty, and to all the volunteers who have put in a huge amount of time and effort, and to all our loyal patrons who have supported us through these difficult times.
“Many thanks for your understanding. The Board of Directors,” the post said.
Judy Jaeger, group manager Culture, Community & Recreation for Maitland City Council, told Newcastle Live: “To see one of the city’s oldest institutions have to close is such a shame, but we applaud the small yet strong group of volunteers who have fought tooth and nail to avoid this outcome for as long as possible.
“There are dozens of community groups who use Maitland Park Bowling Club, and our Major Venues & Facilities Team will be reaching out to those people to help accommodate them at some of our facilities around Maitland.
“We don’t currently have any plans for the future of the site, but Council will take on responsibility for its upkeep to ensure it’s well maintained,” said Jaeger.
Maitland Park Bowling Club Board Chairman Terry Mills said: “The history of the venue and the bowling club itself is incredibly rich, but it’s no secret that the business has struggled in recent years, and the board thought it was important that we make this decision before it was taken out of our hands.”