Work finally begins fixing Telarah’s greensVIDEO

WORK BEGINS: Telarah Bowling Club president John Payne. Picture by PERRY DUFFINWork has begun to repair damage to Telarah Bowling Club’s greens, which were damaged almost four months ago in the super storm.

A torrent of water toppled a retaining wall above the green and scattered debris across the pristine turf.

“There’s been heaps of interest in when it would be fixed,” club president of 11 years John Payne said.

“I don’t know how long that wall had been there but at a guess it was 50 years and it withstood everything up until April.”

The club was spared any damage inside. Only weeks earlier it had undergone a $700,000 renovation that included a new games room and dining room.

The bowlers bore the brunt of thedamage, however, and some games hadto be moved to facilities elsewhere in the city.

An insurance assessor from Brisbane recently approved the greens claim worth about $100,000.

The club will put in a further $120,000 to install a synthetic green in place of the turf to cut down on costs.

Mr Payne said it was hard to justify the ongoing expense of grass rinks when bowls participation has slipped from 150,000 members statewide 18 years ago to50,000.

“It will save us $80,000 a year but it unfortunately means we’ve had to retrench our green keeper,” Mr Payne said.

The club expects the new green will take only six weeks to install in time for a tournament in October.

A Newcastle-based assessor has since taken over the paperwork on the retaining wall claim, after a substantial delay, and the club hopes that an engineer will soon sign off on the work.

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