History of Kurringai Recreation Club


In sifting through the Club's archives, I came across this type-written article titled "HISTORY OF KURINGGAI RECREATION CLUB" and the scanned copy is shown below. It is dated 20th November 1907, nearly 113 years ago and it has survived the ravages of time.

History of Kur-ring-gai Recreation Club

The text is a bit hard to read so I have reproduced it verbatim below. Note the spelling of “Kuringgai”, the hyphens must have been added later to give us the current “Ku-ring-gai”.


  In the year 1904 I (W.M. Alderson) became a resident of Warrawee, and always being a follower of sports I looked around the district for a sporting field and found there was no Recreation Club between Chatswood and Hornsby on the North Shore Line.

  Following up this lack of provision for a sporting area, I interviewed several of the residents on the probability of forming a Company to establish a ground suitable for cricket, tennis, bowls and croquet. My suggestion was met with approval and I was requested to initiate a movement to find ways and means to provide Recreation for the district. I issued invitations to those whom I thought would be interested, and after many meetings were held at my residence at Warrawee, it was decided.to canvass the district for probable shareholders, and the response was so favourable that we decided to form a company to finance the scheme. A Working Committee comprising Messrs. S. & A. Nettleton. W.C. Penfold, F.F. Cush, Bartin Haigh and myself were successful in raising £2,200, and a Company was formed in Jan.1906, on a 20/- a share basis, named Kuringgai Recreation Co. Ltd. with the following Directors:-

  Messrs.    S. Nettleton

             Jas. Gillespie

             Wm. Brooks

             I.C. Remington

             F.G. Sargood

             J.A. Murdoch

             G.G. Lufft

with Alderson Hon. Secretary: later on the following were added: Bartin Haigh, W.C. Penfold, F.F. Cush, Hon. Solicitor, Crichton Smith & Monaghan.

  After formation of Company the important business was finding a suitable site. After inspecting property from Gordon to Hornsby, it was decided to purchase the ground at Warrawee, it being convenient to Railway Station, which has since been proved as a popular site. The ground decided on was a dairyman’s paddock leased by S. King from Judge Heydon, and was purchased for £1100. The clearing of ground took some time as many trees sixty Feet high had to be felled.

  The tender for laying out the ground for the various sports was accepted from Messrs. Gunter & Knox for £859.4.5 – this was under the supervision of Mr. S.R. Dobbie in an honorary capacity. The ground was completed and handed over to the Company on the 1st April 1907.

  The making of the grounds being completed, it was necessary for a Club House to be erected. Plans and Specification were supplied by Messrs. Spain & Cush without cost to the Company. Tenders were called. A.H. Clark’s contract was accepted for £760. The Company’s funds were almost exhausted, and to provide the cost of building the Club House it was necessary to have our overdraft guaranteed at the Union Bank, after submitting the proposal to the Directors. The Guarantor was Mr. S. Nettleton, who always should be remembered by the members.

  The Specification for the making of the Bowling Green was supplied by Mr. W. Gordon, at that time City Surveyor in an Honorary capacity.

  To raise funds for the Club (after taking over from the Company) to keep revenue balanced, many open-air concerts and fetes were held which met with success. At one of these moonlight fetes a presentation of a silver coffee service and salver was made bearing the following inscription:

    “Presented to W.M. Alderson Esq. By the members of the Kuringgai Recreation Club as a token of their grateful appreciation of his many valued and disinterested services.

                    20th November 1907”

Secretary’s notes:

W.M. (William Mildred) Alderson obviously undertook secretarial duties for the Kuringgai Recreation Co. Ltd. in the lead up to the Club being established. However, he did not hold office from 1907 onwards.

S. (Sam) Nettleton became the first President and W.C. (William) Penfold the first Treasurer.

The Club’s honour boards show W.M. Alderson as Club Champion 1911-17. From this, I assume he won the championship for seven consecutive years.

Past Champions

Historical records show him as an old boy of Sydney Grammar School and the owner of a nearby property called “Fox Ground Estate”. I have not been able to find out exactly where this property is located but he appears to have been a neighbour of “Mahratta”, located on the corner of Fox Valley Road and the Highway.

The Ku-ring-gai Historical Society records his occupation as a “warehouseman” This seems like rather a modest vocation for a member of Warrawee (or Kuringgai), even in those days.

An article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday 10th February 1924 describing W.M. Alderson as a “prominent Mosman bowler” and listed recent bowling achievements there.

Having achieved what he wanted to at Warrawee/Kuringgai, our “W.M.” must have moved on to “greener” pastures.

First Presidents First Treasurers

On another note, you will notice that DRUCE C. A. was Treasurer in 1946. His full name was Crickmer Arthur Druce but he preferred to be called Arthur.

Arthur was the father of our Pam Mulvey and also Warwick Druce, a prominent member of Killara Bowling Club.


Secretary – Warrawee Bowling Club