‘We’ll weather it’: Club devastated after thousands stolen
Hardworking volunteers have been dealt a devastating blow after spending their own time and effort revamping Bowen Bowls Club and bringing it into a strong financial position.
President Gus Munro was gutted to discover the club had been broken into on Saturday night and thousands of dollars had been taken from the safe.
Mr Munro said he went into the club on Sunday morning as they were due to hold an AGM and committee meeting, but at first he only saw the bar till had been jimmied open.
As there was no cash kept in the till, it didn't seem like the situation was too serious.
However, it wasn't until after the meetings were finished that he discovered the club's safe had been cleared out and thousands of dollars were gone.
Mr Munro's heart immediately sank and while it wasn't the club's only funds, it was still a heartbreaking blow.
The money was made up of membership cash, floats and funds raised through sausage sizzles to help pay for green fees and fuel when players travelled to compete.
Mr Munro said the club was on the "bones of its arse" about 18 months ago but volunteers had worked hard to drive membership up and get it into a good financial position.
Then COVID-19 hit and the club was forced to close for three months.
Now just a short time after reopening, the club must get through another big setback.
The club was also broken into about two and a half months ago but on that occasion those responsible didn't get into the safe room.
"We'll weather it," Mr Munro said.
"Only because we've been doing a sh--load of hard work."
During the coronavirus lockdown the club bar was revamped and volunteers helped lay new flooring.
"We've done heaps of work voluntarily and it was all paid for," Mr Munro said.
"It's set us back a bit but we'll get over it.
"I come from a farm and it's no different from having a drought."
Mr Munro said players would now have to cover their own green fees and fuel when travelling to compete, something the club was previously proud to cover.
But he plans to get stuck back in and build the funds back up to where they were.
"This won't stop us," he said.
"It won't be the end of the club."
Police are urging anyone who has information that could help with the investigation to phone Bowen Police on 4720 4555 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.