Boule Dogs, one of Canberra’s oldest petanque clubs, have been playing in the beautiful old English Gardens in Yarralumla for about 10 years. Located behind the Oaks Brasserie and Yarralumla Gallery, right next door to the Yarralumla Nursery, a small group of veteran players meets every Sunday at a regular time which falls somewhere between 10.30 and 11.00am.
The club started on the lawns (what little there was of them) in Green Square at the Kingston shops back in 1995, with coffee and good Italian breakfasts at Cafe Lella always on tap. We moved to Red Hill for a while when Janet Jeffs was running Juniperberry. Playing on the slopes in front of the shopping centre always posed some interesting challenges, particularly with the gaping drains in the gutter at road level. the club thrived in those days, with plenty of good wine and fantastic food.
Our ever-active membership played at interstate tournaments, including the legendary open at Chateau Tahbilk, Victoria’s oldest winery, haunted by some of the clubs oldest winos bon vivants, and the scene of many a debauched dinner in one of the excellent local restaurants. Visits to Ken Helm’s winery, playing at the NGA…we knew how to party!
Since we moved to the English Gardens, we’ve continued to enjoy an excellent playing experience, and Brent and Elayne at the Oaks Brasserie continue to offer excellent service and coffee. The grounds are undergoing an extensive renewal, and we will have our first dedicated terrain in a few months.
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While the club kept itself at strength for several years, the usual forces have been at play – new families, interstate postings, aging bodies and unforgiving injuries, divorce, internal rivalries, murder…well, perhaps not quite that extreme.
So we find our numbers dwindling, and we’re putting out a call to anyone who’d like to come and have a look, to see if you’re interesting in putting us on your social calendar. Spring is upon us, and the gardens are looking beautiful. We even spied a lesser spotted Rudd walking the dog with his lovely wife last weekend.
We have boules to spare, or bring your own. We’re not excessively competitive and we’ll tell you everything you need to know. Call 0412 159 447 for more information.