Australia's first lawn bowls club was the Melbourne Bowling Club, formed in 1864 in Windsor. Members paid a fee that supported expenses including the upkeep of the green. The sport rapidly became organised, and in 1873 the first Grand Bowling Tournament was played between six Melbourne clubs. This tournament became an annual event and after the formation of the Victorian Bowling Association became the V.B.A. President's Trophy.
In the same year the West Melbourne Bowling Club awarded its first championship medal to William Aitken (NU 34516).
The first inter-colonial match was played in 1880, with a team chosen from members of the various Melbourne clubs playing against Sydney bowlers.
The City of Melbourne Bowling Club is itself now located in West Melbourne, in Flagstaff Gardens, reserved for recreational purposes in 1873.
With more than 85,000 registered players statewide in the early 21st century, Victoria has been known as Australia's lawn bowls capital.
Melbourne Bowling Club website http://alphalink.com.au/~melbowl/Links/bowlingLinks.php?process=19
Only Melbourne website http://www.onlymelbourne.com.au/trivia_archive.php