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Benalla Bowls uses Honda gardening equipment

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The Benalla Bowls Club is lucky enough to have survived one of the longest droughts in recent memory; however its good fortune was brought to a grinding halt when the 110 year old clubhouse went up in flames late last year.

The deliberately lit fire saw the original and iconic weatherboard club house left in ruin in just a matter of minutes.

According to Club Manager, Julie Dosser, many of the club's long time members felt the brunt of the reckless vandalism, especially following the painstaking restoration that took place only a few years prior.

"The building is iconic to a lot of members, and they really felt the fire. Many members have been around for a long time and are closely involved with the club, so to see it go up in flames was very sad," she said.

To add to the tragedy, the old club house, which was turned into the green-keeper's headquarters following the expansion of the Club several years ago, housed all the gardening, turf and bowls equipment, leaving the Club out of action the following month.

Slowly putting the pieces back together, Benalla Bowls is beginning to see the end of a harrowing six months, with the purchase of all new Honda gardening equipment to help get the grounds back to their former pristine condition.

Previously operating electric gardening equipment, Head Greenkeeper, Brent O'Rourke, was pleased that one positive could emerge out of such misfortune, excited to finally be using Honda.

"This was an opportunity for us to go to petrol equipment, so we took advantage of it," he said.

"We chose Honda because the name has always been very reliable - they are always easy to start and never break down. We didn't even get quotes for any other brand," he added.

While many neighbouring clubs have been forced to shut their doors due to some of the driest conditions in Australian history, Benalla's town water supply from the Ryan's Creek Catchment has enabled the Benalla Bowls Club to continue operating its four outdoor greens.

Maintaining the greens and surrounding gardens is now much easier with an equipment list that includes the Honda Buffalo Bull HRU197 lawnmower, the ULT425 and UMK425 Brushcutters, and a Honda powered Atom Edger.

Honda's advanced four-stroke engines eliminate the need to mix oil and fuel and produce significantly less noise and exhaust emissions than their two-stroke counterparts.

Also banking on Honda reliability in his specialised bowls equipment, Brent purchased two rollers and three bowling-green cylinder mowers, all powered by Honda GX160 5.5 horsepower engines, which provide maximum fuel efficiency through their over head valve design.

Brent said the new Honda equipment is making his job much easier, with all the ground staff complaint free.

"The reliability is excellent, fuel efficiency is very good, they are easy to maintain and best of all, they are comfortable and very easy to use; the guys never have any trouble, which is good for me because they never complain," he said.

Also featuring indoor bowls, a billiard table, regular live entertainment and dining facilities, it's no surprise that the club boasts 300 full bowling members, 150 social members and an impressive 3000 community members, all offering their support to help the club bounce back.

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