Since the beginning, Broadbeach Bowls Club boss Barry Gilbert and his wife Colleen have striven to ensure the club remains a showpiece venue for their sport by maintaining a high standard of excellence both inside and out.
After hosting April’s hugely-successful Commonwealth Games, Gilbert knew he needed to replace the ageing green sun shades before the club played host to the prestigious Blue Diamond Pairs and the Australian Open which were both less than two months away.
“What we had planned had never been done before,” Gilbert said.
In the back of his mind, Gilbert knew what he wanted. He was the ideas man while his wife had colours firmly in mind.
“I was keen for a beachy/wave look to fit in with the coastline which is so close to the club and very much part of what we have always sought to achieve,” he said.
We knew we needed to have some of the shades designed to be retractable to allow the sun on the green and be placed in a way that they would not block viewing from the Clubhouse. All good ideas but where to look to find someone not only capable of turning that into a reality but within such a short time frame?
“We knew all along that after the Commonwealth Games we were going to have to replace and upgrade,” Gilbert said.
“It was something we had planned to do ourselves but we approached the Gold Coast City Council who agreed to come on board as part of the agreement we had with GOLDOC to return the club to the same state it was before the Games.
“The council, understandably, wanted three quotes. They all came back pretty much the same but one stood out.”
Enter Dave Furneaux from Gold Coast-based Shadex Industries.
No Johnny-cum-lately in the shade business, this was still a challenge despite being able to point to a long list of clubs – at the last count around 1500 – who had benefited from the Shadex expertise over these past 30 years as they supplied and, in many cases, installed sun protection at bowling clubs across Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada.
The result was a stunning transformation in an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ approach which left all parties happy.
“It is unbelievable how quickly the job was done,” Gilbert said. Furneaux was under no misapprehension as he quoted for the $120,000 challenge.
“We were invited to quote on March, 26 but we could not properly access the site until May 4,” Furneaux said.
“We were very aware of what was coming up at Broadbeach and how tight the time frame would be.
“It was the biggest job we have ever undertaken in perimeter shading and a real challenge.”
Barry and Colleen knew what they wanted.
They wanted the new Riviera design and Colleen adamant on what colour she wanted, even though their design and colour was not in our range. Not only did they have to be pretty to look at, they also had to be functional and long-lasting.
The shades are Australian Design Engineered and Certified, the fabric has a high UV rating of 94%, are flameproof and the entire project comes with a Shadex Industry-leading seven-year shade warranty.
“We wanted to ensure as high a rating as possible given the sunny conditions on the Gold Coast,” Furneaux said.
Furneaux, English-born but living in Australia ‘for most of my life’ apart from a time in Christchurch, New Zealand, has never played bowls but has owned Shadex Industries since 2001, using his engineering background to good effect and improving the shade design and longevity.
“I am an extremely pedantic guy, but Clint (Dave’s right-hand man of 16 years) is even worse than me.
He is a perfectionist and certainly the right man for the installation job – as all clubs he has worked at will testify!”
They needed to be just that plus some in meeting such a deadline.
“We were just four hours past the desired deadline in finishing this project, that’s after four weeks of working 12-hour days, six days a week, starting from scratch and working with what was to be brand new and unique design,” Furneaux said.
Unlike other designs, the whole lot of these shades here can be taken away with nothing left protruding out of the ground – a safety and aesthetic feature of the design – to be easily re-installed.
“All the posts, baseplates, ground plates, bolts and welds are stainless steel.
The frames are each primed and undercoated prior to powder-coating in gloss bright white.
All fabrics are made from heavy grade 325gsm material for superior sun protection and longevity,” said Furneaux.
To produce something both functional and easy to look at, a total of 102 canopies using 124 posts were installed by Shadex, who worked closely with Tim of Edge Consulting Engineers, Rick from Aspect Awnings and Russell at Coastal Powder Coating to produce the shade canopies on time.
And, as a gift from Shadex to the club in of respect for the Gilberts’ achievements, the rampant bull logo of the Broadbeach Bulls has been laser cut into the gusset of each of the centrepiece Riviera shades.
The last word came from Barry Gilbert who also paid tribute to the role played by Council.
“Everyone says the club looks fantastic,” he said.
“I have had people who live in high rises across the road saying just how good it all looks and just how well it sets off the club.
“It is something we are all very happy with, while Dave Furneaux and his Shadex team have a showpiece they can be very proud of indeed.”