The Hawthorn Bowling Club was formed in 1880, making it one of the oldest enduring bowling clubs, not only in Victoria, but also throughout Australia. Still on its original site, HBC is set in the picturesque St. James Park, and the layouts of the greens and paths have remained relatively untouched over the club’s 130 plus year history.
The location was officially reserved in 1861. This is east of the Yarra River near where Church Street meets Burwood Road, and is easily recognised by Christ Church (1853) and The National School (also 1853) later West Hawthorn Primary (1853) opposite the club.
On June 18th 1880, the Hawthorn Bowling Club was formed, and the Mayor, Cr. W Cleverdon was elected first President, with F L Flint the first Secretary.
A three rink green was laid down and an official opening took place on December 16th 1880. Two more rinks were added in 1882, another in 1899, and two more in 1903.
The women’s bowling club was later formed in 1950.
Also in 1882, the local MLA Mr. Walker opened the first pavilion. This was moved in 1889 to the small green, and this served the club until 1938 when the present clubhouse was erected.