Warrawee Bowling Club
This is a complete photographic record of the holders of the top office at the Club since its inception in 1907.
In its early days, the Club was known as the Ku-ring-gai Recreation Club and remained so until 1923, when a Special General Meeting voted to change it to Warrawee Recreation Club.
It was called a “Recreation Club” because, in addition to Lawn Bowls, the Club hosted other sports, including Croquet, Tennis and Cricket. At the time, the Club was able to conduct all of these sports simultaneously as it occupied a sprawling 4.25 acres (17,000 square metres), covering its current site and surrounds.
However, by 1928, Lawn Bowls had become the major sporting activity and the membership voted to change the name to Warrawee Bowling Club.
From the start, the top office in the Club was known as President and the candidate was elected at each Annual General Meeting for a term of only one year. Following the conclusion of that year, the President was entitled to stand again, and most did.
At some time in the 1950s, there appears to have been an understanding that no-one would serve for more than two consecutive years. This was never enshrined in any version of the Club’s Constitution but was adhered to by a “gentlemen’s agreement” (or whatever the gender-neutral equivalent is these days).
In 1972, the men were joined by ladies with the founding of the Women’s Bowling Club and in 1989, the Croquet Club was formed. On each occasion, the Club’s Constitution was amended to incorporate the changes.
At no stage has there ever been a constitutional impediment to a member of either Women’s Bowls or Croquet to holding the top office. However, up to now, the office has always been held by a member of Men’s Bowls.
Decades of serene conduct of these affairs were disrupted in 2013. A serious rift in the Club resulted in the sudden resignation of the President (Ian Salmon) and some of the other Directors.
The Constitution had provisions in place for filling casual vacancies and the remaining Directors approached former President Bob Moran to fill the role of President again. Bob went about re-building the Board and “righting the ship” before moving along himself. He was followed by Roger Bromley, another Board appointee who was Vice President at the time.
Roger and his Board presided over a major revision to the Constitution, to bring it in line with contemporary, corporate good practice. This was adopted by the membership on 29th August 2015.
Amongst other things, the new Constitution abolished the elected office of President and Roger’s tenure ended at the following Annual General Meeting.
The office of President was replaced by Chairperson, who was not directly elected but was to be an appointment made by the duly elected Board of Directors, from amongst their number.
The first appointment to this position, following the 2015 Annual General Meeting was retiring President Roger Bromley, who chose to use the title Chair rather than Chairperson which he thought was too formal.
Roger moved out of Sydney so he did not contest the 2016 election and the elected Directors appointed Brian Harris to the position of Chairperson/Chair.
Subsequent Boards have not considered the previous two-year limit of tenure to be of any significance.
This compilation of portraits was commenced some years ago by a Club member whose identity is not known to me. I have merely brought it up to date and transformed it into a digital format, adding a few minor details and flourishes along the way.
It is interesting to note the quality and nature of the photographs. Privately-owned cameras were a rarity a century ago.
The founding President Sam Nettleton was a very wealthy man and his photograph is obviously a studio portrait.
The next five are photographs taken of pages from a newspaper or magazine.
Following that, the portraits are a mixture of studio photographs and those taken by enthusiastic shutterbugs.
I trust that this Gallery will continue to be maintained by my successors