On the 19th July 1905, the first meeting was held at the Masonic Hall on Cambridge Street, West Leederville for the formation Leederville Bowling and Croquet Club, which is now commonly known as Leederville Sporting Club. Bowlers attended the meeting from all over the city along with the Mayor of Perth at the time, Harry Brown. Initially the first membership only consisted of forty bowling members (men) and twenty-one croquet members (women). A committee was soon formed to set the club rules and allocate financial agreements.
In that same year, the club was accepted as an affiliated member of the Western Australian Bowling Association (WABA). The acceptance was processed prior to any playable greens being laid with the condition that they were to be of high quality when opened. Wednesday 8th November 1905 was the official opening of Leederville Bowling and Croquet Club’s playable greens. The first game was played against Claremont the following Saturday. Unfortunately, they lost that game but were able to lift their spirits with a win against Kings Park the following week.
Disagreement arose between the club and WABA due to the clash of official competitions and Leederville’s visitor’s day that had already been organised. The president and secretary of the club wrote letters to WABA which were considered ill-mannered and got them suspended from the association. After legal advice was received the WABA were obliged to remove this suspension.
In 1924 the Fallen Soldier’s Memorial was designed and created by WA’s first local sculptor, Pietro Porcelli, who arrived in Australia in 1898. The gardens surrounding this memorial have recently been renovated and feature interactive displays and information about local soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice and whose names appear on the cenotaph.
Leederville Bowling Club was on the rise with a number of successes under its belt in State competitions during the period between World War 1 and World War 2. In 1935 the newly established Leederville Ladies Bowling club won Division 1 of the Ladies Bowling Association’s inaugural pennant competition. A few years later W Roberts, a member of the club, was named Champion of Club Champions in 1938, winning the Josh Hamill Cup.
The original clubhouse was officially opened on 19 October 1929 by the Rt. Hon. J.T Franklin C.M.G M.L.C 1st Lord Mayor of The City Perth.
The current club house was built behind the Leederville Town Hall in 1959 and opened in 1960. Over the years the bowling green has been extended to occupy the ground of the former tennis courts, picture gardens and the original croquet lawn. Leederville Bowling Club was one of the first clubs established in Western Australia and is currently the only club in its original location with grass greens still in use. In fact, the greens at Leederville Sporting Club now have State Heritage protection.
The name was officially changed to The Leederville Sporting Club in 1980 and the club reopened under that name by The Lord Mayor of Perth Mr Llloyd Zampatti on 29 November 1980.
During the late 1990’s many of the club’s older members were no longer able to bowl competitively and the club was no longer able to compete in WABA events. The early 2000’s saw the club turn its attention to the immediate local community to provide a venue for local community and sporting groups to meet while still offering social bowls for our past and present members.
Each year the club hosts, in conjunction with The Town Cambridge, the annual ANZAC Day community breakfast following the service at the cenotaph which always draws a large crowd from the local area and is well attend by local dignitaries and representatives.
In 2018 the club was nominated for several awards at the Clubs WA Annual Awards and was successful in taking The President’s Award for The Most Improved Club in WA which is a credit to the current staff and committee. The club is also a Level Three Good Sports Club and is the current meeting venue for Rotary Endeavor, West Perth Rotary, North Perth Rotary, Western Suburbs Prostate Cancer Support Group, Perth Historic Competition Motorcycle Club, Protect Ningaloo, Fluoride Free Association and the West Leederville Primary School Fathering Project
The 19th July 2020 the club will mark the clubs115th Anniversary.
From the Secretary – Matt Johnstone-Summers
“it has been an honour to be a member and office bearer of the club for over twenty years and it has been exciting to see the club evolve to the be the hub of the community that is becoming today. I would personally like to thank all of the past and present members and office bearers that have served the club over the past 115 years and we look forward to your ongoing support to ensure the club is here for another century or more and we hope to see you all in attendance at celebratory event to be held later in the year”