The amalgamation of Bolwarra and Northern Districts to form Northern Suburbs Cricket Club took place at a meeting on 22nd May, 1987 at Lorn Park Bowling Club.
Prior to the meeting negotiations had taken place between representatives of both Clubs at the end of the 1986-87 season to pave the way for the proposed merger.
With the decline in their playing strength both Clubs had become concerned about their future and many felt that an amalgamation of the two Clubs which were closely related in their district identification would be of mutual benefit. However, at first there were some reservations relating to previous loyalties, the name change and financial matters that had to be overcome.
As it turned out, the amalgamation certainly boosted the playing strength and numbers of the new Club. However, on the “down-side” it did create the initial problem for the first two seasons of having to cope with administering seven senior teams – a very difficult proposition particularly considering the financial costs involved and the problems associated with selections and finding late replacements.
One “carry-over effect” of the amalgamation was that the new Club had three turf wickets as its home grounds – Lorn Park, Bolwarra Oval and Black Hill wicket (at Maitland Park). While this brought the benefit of more players having the opportunity to play on turf instead of concrete, it also brought with it the problem of finding three curators and providing each with equipment in working order.
Despite the “teething problems” the amalgamation proved successful in the long run and generated a spirit of optimism in the new Club. It also provided the Association with the opportunity to promote Thornton from Club to District cricket without creating a bye or relegating another Club.
The Club’s first executive reflected the merger with the President, Trevor Holden, and the Treasurer, Rick Lantry, both coming from the former Bolwarra Club while the Secretary, Todd Bowd, came from Northern Districts.
Trevor Holden, the foundation President of the new Club, had played his early cricket with Northern Districts before transferring to Black Hill in 1968-69. There he soon established himself as one of the Club’s and District’s leading cricketers. He captained the first grade team from 1971-78, leading it to a first grade major premiership in 1975-76 for the first time in the Club’s history.
He also represented Maitland in the John Bull Shield and Hunter Valley in ‘Country Zone Trials. He was President of the Club from 1975-81 and was mainly responsible for initiating the name change for the Club from Black Hill to Bolwarra.
He was also involved in the administration of the Association, serving at various stages as Assistant Secretary, Secretary, Vice-President and later on as President.
Todd Bowd, the foundation Secretary, had served as Secretary of Northern Districts for the two seasons prior to amalgamation. He was described by the Club President, Mick Hopkins, as “a tireless worker for the Club” and as “a real Secretary with a fox-terrier approach” .He started playing first grade with the Club in 1982-83 at the age of 15 and soon developed into an opening batsman with a lot of potential.In 1983-84 he scored 344 runs and the following season posted his first century in a high scoring match against City United. In 1986-87 he was one of the District’s leading batsmen with 430 runs and also scored 210 runs as a member of Maitland’s winning John Bull Shield team.
In his first season with Northern Suburbs he topped the District batting aggregate with 630 runs, including 123 against Thornton at Lorn Park, and was again in a winning John Bull Shield team.
He then left the Club to play a few seasons with Newcastle University. After a short retirement he returned to play with Northern Suburbs in 1996-97. After scoring a century in second grade, he was promoted to firsts, but unfortunately broke his arm and was out of action for the rest of the season.