The following is transcribed from a series of reflections by former President Max Harrell, put together in December 1992.
In 1950 Malvern was a “men-only” club. Annual subscription had been increased £8 per annum. The club had four pennant teams: 1A, 1B and 2C teams. They were graded in alphabetical order then, instead of the numerical system Div. 1, 2, 3, etc. as is the case now.
Trophy spoons were awarded to each member of a winning pennant team.
Ron Palmer transferred from City of St Kilda to become a Malvern player in 1952. Frank Clarke was selected as a skipper in an interstate match, Victoria -vs- Tasmania.
1953 saw a petition presented to the committee, calling for the introduction of Sunday bowls. Heated discussions took place (as there were many members against the proposal) before a ballot was taken, and the motion succeeded. However strict rules were enforced for Sunday play:
- No preparation of the green by the greenkeeper.
- No organised games or games against other clubs allowed. No competitions.
- Any member wishing to bring a guest must notify the committee prior to the day of play.
In 1954 they received a request from the Ladies Bowling Association for use of the Malvern green. The secretary replied that our facilities for ladies were quite unsuitable, and with regret were unable to accommodate them.
A huge hedge formed the boundary along the east side of the green. This was removed and a wooden fence erected. Cost of removing hedge: £60. Some concreting and erection of fence: £535. The Club Secretary approached property owners on the eastern side of the green with the intention of purchasing approximately 10 to 15 feet of the property. They were not impressed.
Electric lights were erected over the green at a cost of £700
In 1956 the greenkeeper’s wages were £15.8/- per 40 hour week.
1958 saw a levy of 1/6d. per member imposed by the RVBA to send a team of seven players and a manager to the British Empire Games held in Wales.
Perhaps one of the most fiery periods for the club was season 1959/1960. A proposal went before the Committee seeking endorsement for the introduction of lady associate members. After lengthy and often heated debate, a ballot was taken. Result: a tie. The President then had the casting vote and voted in favour of the ladies. A further petition and delegation went before the committee protesting the decision to allow the ladies membership.
Keith McKinley Wilson became a member in August 1959.
In August 1959, arrangements were being finalized regarding lady associate members. Ladies were finally admitted as associate members but with conditions.
Marjorie Wilson was a participant of the first ladies delegation which met with the Malvern Committee. The ladies’ fees were set at £2.2/- for season 1959/1960.