Sports Clubs in Kew in the final decades of the 19th century and in the early 20th century were often umbrella organisations with facilities for a number of sports. Typically in Kew, this included teams in lawn bowls, tennis and croquet. The Kew Bowling Club was formed in 1880 while the privately owned Auburn Heights Recreation Club was opened in 1904. By 1998, the two Clubs decided to amalgamate at the Auburn Heights site in Barkers Road, forming the Kew Heights Sports Club. The combined club was itself taken over by the Melbourne Cricket Club in 2012 becoming MCC Kew Sports Club. In 2017 MCC Kew closed and its landholding was subsequently sold to Carey Baptist Grammar School. Both the Kew and Auburn Heights Clubs assembled important collections. These historically significant and large collections were donated to the Society in 2020. The collections include manuscripts, pictures, trophies, plans, honour boards etc. References Barnard FGA 1910, 'Sports and Pastimes' in Jubilee History of Kew Victoria: Its origin & progress 1803-1910. Nixon NV 1980, The History of the Kew Bowling Club 1880-1980. Reeve S 2012, City of Boroondara: Thematic Environmental History, p.216.
The combined collections of the four sporting clubs making up the collection number hundreds of items that are historically significant locally. They are also significant to the sporting history of the greater Melbourne area and to the sports of lawn bowls and tennis in Australia in the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection illuminates two of the Victorian historic themes - 'Building community life' through forming community organisations and 'Shaping cultural and creative life' by participating in sport and recreation.
Framed and glazed colour illustration of the Kew Bowling Club crest. The Club celebrated its Centenary in 1980. [The item is part of the large historic Kew Bowling Club collection (1880-1988) gifted to the Kew Historical Society in 2020].