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The History of the Mannering Park Social Club

It was early in the 1970's that local identity Edna West had an intriguing thought. She felt that there may be other ladies, like herself, who felt a little lonely and isolated living in Mannering Park. It would be nice to meet up with friends on a regular basis; for a chat and to do their various Handicrafts, all in the name of "friendship". This lovely lady walked the streets, putting hand-written leaflets into every letter box, inviting others to join her for a get-together.

As a result the first "meeting" was held at Edna's home in Catherine Street. She was very pleased to see a good "roll-up" of interested women. These get-togethers were then held every Wednesday afternoon.

Over the years the membership grew and with Edna and her good friend Nell Wignell at the helm, it was necessary to now hold their meeting days in the local Progress Hall in Cheryl Street. The formation of an executive and committee was also needed to organize their weekly activities, which now included Bus Trips, Games Days, many hours of Handicraft,  Street Stalls, and B.B.Q's at Nell's.

Five years after the formation of the Club Carpet Bowls was introduced. This was to be played on the third Wednesday of each month and the day would begin at the new time of 10am. The grand amount of 40c was charged to cover Club funds and prizes for the Bowls. It is interesting to note that the cost of hiring a Bus to the Wattagans at that time would cost $50 - with members paying $1.25 each!! (Things are a lot dearer now!)

On Wednesday 14th December, 1977 the Mannering Park Social Club held their first meeting in the wonderful new Community Hall (built by the locals of the town).  The Annual Subscription Fee was $1 and the weekly fee was 30c.!! (In 1979 the membership stood at 88).

Because of their weight, setting up the Bowls Mats proved to be quite a labouring job for the ladies, so, in 1985 - exercises were conducted before each game!! (thankfully it is not needed nowadays) and members were reminded to not wander off during games.

During the following years there have been regular Bus Trips, countless donations to Charities, Street Stalls, Sausage Sizzles, Parties, fun and games and lasting friendships formed. Along the way, husbands were accepted in the group - paving the way for a Club that welcomed either sex (we didn't tell them that their strong arms were the incentive - for the lifting of the Bowls Mats!!).

Sadly, those two hard-working ladies who instigated our Club have passed on - but their memory will always be amongst those friends who are still here.                                                                                       

Overseeing this whole adventure has been the wonderful group of members who have carried this Club through those early years. Although many of the original members have "retired to a higher meeting place" it was their vision and dedication that held it together and made it what it is to-day, a Club to be proud of - one that unites people in friendship and freely welcomes others to join our social activities each Wednesday in the local Community Hall at play Carpet Bowls / Darts or just enjoy a friendly chat. 


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