Tooronga Bowls Club, located in the picturesque Gardiners Creek Valley off Burke Road, was originally called “City Brick Bowls Club”, as it was a private Club, for members of the City Brick Company, whose land the Club was created on, started in 1955/56.
In 1958/59, the Club went Public, and became Tooronga Bowling Club. Many of the Foundation Members continued to play actively in the Club, through to 1993/94, when it merged with the neighboring Gardiner Bowls Club, to become Glen Iris Bowls Club. (Refer separate history pages for these Clubs). Some of these Foundation Members included Charles Poulton, Norm and Grace Cooper, Jack and Astral Bridgart, Les and Lorna Allen, to name a few (All except Grace are deceased).
Tooronga’s playing surface, the Green (a square 8 rinks), would be based upon part of the Brick Companies ground, and hence had a large about of Brick debry as a foundation… this would, in later years, be part of the reason for the Greens closure, as part of Glen Iris Bowls Club in 1999/2000.
During the time of the Club, from Foundation until the early 1960’s, the Tooronga’s Clubhouse would be a wooden structure, to the east of the green. In the early 1960’s, the more palatial City Brick made Clubhouse to the South East of the green, would be created and built on the site.
This Clubhouse would house the Tooronga Bowls Club activities for all of it’s years, with a small outer office, Kitchen with two entrances, main hall, and toilet/shower facilities. It was, in every sense of the word, a modern structure, with modern fittings. The Club would, in its heyday, win a number of Pennant Flags in the RVBA and VLBA, most recently in 1989/90, winning the Section of Division 9 RVBA.
In the early 1980’s, when the writer started playing at Tooronga, there were 16 Divisions of Players in the RVBA, compared with only 8 Divisions now in 2007/8, the space of 20 years. This period has seen the closure of many smaller Clubs, or merger with other Clubs, to maintain viability (as did Tooronga, Gardiner and Glen Iris later on).
Tooronga also maintained an active role in the hosting of the annual Victorian Blind Bowlers Championships and Carnival, held annually at the Tooronga Green and clubrooms.
During the 1980’s, many of the Foundation Members passed away, and the small band of helpers on the Green, ably led by Charles Poulton (or Charlie, to his friends), changed in style, with Charlie leading a more younger group of helpers on the green work and maintenance.