Tears as club folds

TEARS replaced the usual laughter for Jamberoo Women's Bowling Club members last week, as the club hosted its final gathering before officially disbanding.

On the verge of its 60th anniversary, the decision was made to fold after failing to attract any new members.

"Numbers have been gradually declining over the years to the stage where we only had 12 members on our books and of those only four are active members, so, regrettably, a decision was made to fold," long-standing president Heather Shepherd said.

"All of our active members are over 80 and we just can't keep the club running.

"We sent out 500 flyers around the town a while back in an attempt to get new members and didn't even get an inquiry.

"With so many ladies now working until they are well into their 60s and younger ones busy with work and families it has made it impossible for us, as a smaller community, to keep the ladies club operating."

Shepherd, 82, who has been a member of Jamberoo for 38 years, said the decline in numbers led to some members, who wanted to play against stronger competition or compete in pennants, to move to other clubs with more players.

"You really can't blame them for looking for a stronger competition - because of numbers, we haven't played club championships here since 2006 and membership has been declining since."

Shepherd said the club had been a large part of her life and she was devastated to be one of the ones to call it a day.

"I have been a delegate to the South Coast for more than 30 years and at the last meeting they made a special presentation to me. I don't mind telling you there were tears - as there will be at the end of today's luncheon.

"But I suppose you can't dwell on the past - you have got to look forward."

With that thought in mind, Shepherd will now join the Berry Club, despite living in Albion Park, while the other three active members, Joan Caine, Shirley Swan and Gwen Ray, will be joining Kiama.

"I chose Berry because I have always enjoyed playing in the South Coast competition and both Albion Park and Kiama are in the Illawarra (competition). I just think the feel of their club is a little bit like Jamberoo and I really want to maintain that."

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