MT Pleasant Bowling Club has provided in-principle support to a merge with Melville Bowling Club at a new Tompkins Park multi-sports facility.
At a special general meeting of members held earlier this month Mt Pleasant voted to accept a City of Melville proposal to combine the two clubs, provided the City stands by the terms of its offer and that a relocation agreement is finalised within three months.
The Melville Times understands the City’s proposal includes at least two covered synthetic greens, lighting and a bar facility that will be operated by the new club.
Mt Pleasant Bowling Club president Ian Foster said the deal was contingent on Melville Bowling Club also agreeing to the move and merge.
“The recommendation and motion put to members was the result of many open, frank and honest discussions held with City representatives, who met with club officials on a number of occasions and provided all the relevant details and benefits for the clubs possible relocation to Tompkins Park,” he said.
“Our members have reluctantly made this decision, but believe it is in the best interests for our members and for the long term future of lawn bowls.
“By merging with Melville, the new club will not only become a strong lawn bowling club but have first class facilities to offer lawn bowlers and our many social members.”
Melville Bowling Club subsequently held a meeting of its own and will conduct a postal poll of members to see if they are supportive of relocation.
A previous vote in June showed little support for the proposal but president Ken Atkins has urged members to reconsider.
“(Melville chief executive) Shayne Silcox and City officers came down to a meeting of members at my request because I felt they had not been selling their own product, so to speak, and that members were not sufficiently well informed to a make a decision about the matter,” he said.
“None of us want to move because the Melville Bowling Club is a marvellous place but ultimately if we get the best on offer – and they’re talking about world-class facilities; for the overall good of the game of bowls it is a no-brainer.”
Mr Atkins said he had reservations about the size of the clubroom on offer but that the City seemed open to discussion.
Melville council voted to defer a decision on a forced amalgamation of the two clubs back in June but a wave park proposal for land currently occupied by the Melville Bowling Club appears to have accelerated negotiations.