Club members were shocked when they heard that their pavilion had burnt down on November 22, 1981.
The clubroom was “well alight” when Lorn Park Bowling Club staff noticed flames and smoke billowing from the building at one o’clock on Sunday morning.
Maitland and Telarah fire brigades attended the blaze which took twenty minutes to control and about forty minutes to extinguish.
Considerable personal and Club losses were suffered with the fire. Among the losses were three Club members’ cricket gear which had been left in the pavilion for a match the next day; cricket photos dating back to the 1920’s; a new third grade kit valued at about $1500; Club furnishings including two lounges, chairs and two refrigerators; and some of Maitland Rugby Club’s gear which was stored on the premises. There was also water damage to ground equipment, including rollers and mowers.
The devastating impact of the fire on the Club was described by the Secretary, Will Callinan, in the Annual Report: “Everything seemed to be going strongly – finance was okay, juniors flourishing, cricket games proceeding well and a BBQ organised for the 28th of November. After a happy and enjoyable night the next morning turned to disaster. Our shed was gone, a fire had wiped out the dressing room, precious pictures and a lot of cricket gear, both individual and club.lt was a terrible sight at 6.30 a.m. on a Sunday morning but life had to go on, Cricket continued and unfortunately so did our spending of finances, due to losses, without receiving compensation of any kind from insurance.”
The fire placed considerable financial strain upon the Club as it had to fall back on savings to replace the lost cricket equipment. It also dealt a blow to the Social Club which was left without the pavilion as a home base for its fund raising activities.
However, the Club managed to survive the crisis and to recover. In 1986-87 the Club was able to move back into a new pavilion which had arisen from the ashes. The Rugby Club also received a State government Sport and Recreation grant which helped to finance the building of a new dressing shed to the side of the pavilion, allowing the pavilion to become a Club room for the Cricket and Rugby Clubs to enjoy.