Whangarei RSA bowlers dig into position

By Mike Barrington

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Whangarei RSA Bowling Club, with officials Dave Hall (left), Jennifer Wellwood and Barry Nalder, is pushing ahead with plans to auction off the club's buildings and assets. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Whangarei RSA Bowling Club, with officials Dave Hall (left), Jennifer Wellwood and Barry Nalder, is pushing ahead with plans to auction off the club's buildings and assets. Photo / Michael Cunningham

The Whangarei RSA Bowling Club is pressing on with plans to auction its buildings and assets at the end of the month.

And the Whangarei RSA has gone under cover with any plans to prevent the bowlers from selling up and bailing out of the Rust Ave site shared by the old soldier organisations.

The bowlers last month decided to wind up their club because the RSA was looking at charging them for using their clubrooms and green.

Returned servicemen had built the green in 1947 using shovels and wheelbarrows after allegedly contributing 30 per cent of the site purchase price. Bowlers also claim they paid for their clubrooms and had no intention of paying rent to use them.

On Friday the RSA placed a public notice in Saturday's Northern Advocate advising that the bowlers had no legal right to sell their clubrooms as all buildings on the Rust Ave site belonged to the RSA.

However, the advertisement was pulled late on Friday and Whangarei RSA president D'Arcy Bailey yesterday declined to discuss the reason for the retreat.

The withdrawal may have been on legal advice because both the RSA and the bowlers have enlisted lawyers to help them avoid ambushes of any kind over the green separating the rival groups.

Bowling club secretary Barry Nalder said yesterday it was "full steam ahead" for the buildings and assets including bowling equipment, mowers, rollers and seats to be auctioned by Thomson Bagley at the Whangarei RSA Bowling Club clubrooms at 10am on August 31.

Bowlers were viewing RSA opposition to the sale with a good deal of cynicism, he said.

"It's unfortunate we have had to hire lawyers, but at the end of the day the RSA initiated this position and we are just defending our position," Mr Nalder said.

While Mr Bailey would not comment further, the advertisement which was to have been published under his name had warned that bowlers or their agents would not be permitted on to the Rust Ave site to deal with the buildings and any attempt to do so would be regarded as trespassing.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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