Rathmines Memorial Bowling ClubPrint Page
The Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club was originally named as the Rathmines Bowling Club dedicated to those who served at the Rathmines Base during World War Two. A memorial wall dedicated to all members who served at the Rathmines Catalina Base was added to the club on the 19th September 1984 and the name was changed to the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club.
The RAAF Base at Rathmines became the largest RAAF flying boat base in the southern hemisphere. Lake Macquarie was an ideal site as it is Australia’s largest saltwater lake and is four times the size of Sydney Harbour with 175km of shoreline.
The Rathmines RAAF seaplane base played a pivotal role in the defence of Australia in World War II and its flying boats were involved with the mining of Manilla Harbour and played an important part in the Battle of the Coral Sea. The base reached its peak strength of almost 3,000 RAAF personnel in 1944-45.
Following World War Two, Rathmines was used as a ground training base, and the Officers' Training School was formed there along with training facilities for senior non-commissioned officers, physical training instructors and national servicemen. In 1962, the Base was sold to the Lake Macquarie Council.
|Address:||Stilling Street, Rathmines, 2283|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -33.039808|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club
Home of the Catalinas
(Catalina Flying Boat)
World War 11 Seaplane Base 1939-1961
THE OFFICERS' MESS
This building was erected in 1940 by the Department of Public Works subcontracting to local builder Jack Chapman and was designated the Officers' Mess. The building served as the Mess from 1940 until 1961 and at the height of the base's activity approximately 200 officers were using the facilities. In 1961, as a result of the RAAF base ceasing operations, the entire airbase including the Officers' Mess was purchased by the Lake Macquarie City Council. Despite various plans for re-development the base remained unchanged until in 1971 the Council was approached by a number of local citizens who leased the building and adjoining surrounds and the Mess became the Rathmines Country Club. This venture was only partially successful, and to ensure its future the activities of the club were expanded in 1974 with a bowling green being constructed by the members and the club being renamed the Rathmines Bowling Club. In dedication to those men and women who served at the Rathmines RAAF base during World War Two, a memorial wall was constructed in the club in 1984 featuring a leadlight insert depicting a Catalina amphibious aircraft. From that day the club has been known as the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club. Six decades on from 1941 some aspects of the Officers' Mess have altered slightly to coincide with its current usage as a bowling club, however the structure is maintained as closely as possible to the original construction.
THIS WALL IS DEDICATED
TO THE MEMORY OF ALL WHO SERVED
SEAPLANE AND FLYING BOAT UNITS
DURING THE PERIOD OF WORLD WAR 11
1939 TO 1945
19TH SEPT. 1984