Local History

In the Beginning

The name “Nambour” is derived from the Aboriginal word "naamba", referring to the red-flowering tea-tree (Callistemon Viminalis). The town was originally called Petrie's Creek.

The first settler at Petrie's Creek was Mathew Carroll who in January 1870 selected 100 acres which included the present showgrounds. The family lived in a bark hut where the Nambour Bowls Club is located before moving to a house on what became known as Carroll's Hill and later as Showground Hill. In 1884 Carroll opened the area's first business, the Tullababa Hotel, on Showground Hill and a Post Office Receiving Office in the following year.

In March 1870, William Samwell selected 1625 acres in the area of Crescent Drive and called his cattle run "Nambour". The town of Nambour takes its name from his large selection. In the same year, a third selection of 80 acres on the south bank of Petrie’s Creek was taken up by Henry Hootan before ownership passed to Thomas Howard in 1877.

In 1878 William Perren selected 338 acres of land along Petrie’s Creek. Daniel Currie took up land on Lamington Terrace in the vicinity of the present Catholic Church in 1881 with the remainder of the Petrie Creek valley being selected by the early 1880s. In 1886, the Sylvannia (Rosemount) School was opened and children from around Petrie Creek attended this school.

The Maroochy Divisional Board was established in 1890 with its headquarters at Nambour and the railway connection from Brisbane was completed. When the railway was officially opened in January 1891, the settlement of Petrie's Creek was renamed Nambour and the town began to prosper. Blocks were subdivided and new settlers commenced clearing the land to grow fruit, sugarcane and farm produce.

After the railway opened, Mathew Carroll built a new hotel where the Commercial Hotel now stands. The hotel name was later changed from Carroll's Petrie Creek Hotel to Currie's Nambour Hotel. The Currie family, who also gave their name to the main street, were Commission Agents, owned the first general store in town, a butcher shop and later the hotel.

In the 10 year period from 1890, the St Joseph's Catholic Church, Methodist Church, Nambour State School, St John's Anglican Church, Salvation Army Centre, Moreton Mill, Police Station and Court House were established.

The Moreton Central Sugar Mill Company was formed in Nambour in 1894. The mill was built in 1895-96 and commenced operations in 1897. It drew an increasing number of mill and cane workers to Nambour, thereby establishing the town as a centre of industry and business and bringing about the introduction of services such as a doctor, chemist and solicitor.

Club Badge

The influence of sugar cane and the humble pineapple on the development of Nambour and the local district is graphically reflected in the Club Badge which can be traced back to 1968 when the former name Nambour Bowling Club was changed to Nambour Bowls Club.

Sadly, with the passing of the Moreton Sugar Mill after more than 100 years and the decline of farming generally, the local landscape has changed quite dramatically in recent years. Less than 10 local pineapple farms remain today compared with more than 200 during peak production. Similarly a handful of sugar cane farms are proactively involved in sugar cane production today with some transporting cane to Maryborough and others reliant on supplying cane material for the production of “cow candy”.

"Sweet Reflections"

Despite the changing landscape, the Club remains proud of its heritage and that of the town in which is located. The images portrayed in the Club Badge are therefore not only important reminders of the past but also of the contributions of members in the establishment, development and maintenance of the Club over the past 80 years. Furthermore, the Club’s vibrant colours (Jade and Gold) together with the splash of sugar cane on club uniforms reinforce the importance of those golden years and the prospects of a bright future ahead. The boomerang could easily represent the bowling greens which have always been of the highest quality and provided reason enough for bowlers to “keep coming back” to Nambour Bowls Club.