PUBLICAN Dan Bowden has been a sounding board for the Ipswich Turf Club committee for over 30 years.
The humble Bowden reminds us of John F Canty’s reign as chairman for 50 years, including flying the Ipswich flag during the war days when the track was used by the US Army.
Bowden joined the committee in 1991 and was chairman from 1995-2001 before handing over the reins to current chairman Wayne Patch.
Many would know Bowden from his post as the owner of the famous Marburg Pub and his dedication to the historical refurbishment of the establishment.
His racing recall is just as impressive and his knowledge of the Bundamba track is like no other, even rivalling club general manager Brett Kitching who equally knows every square inch of the property and its stories.
The club has evolved considerably throughout the 30 years Bowden has been involved. He recalls one of the key milestones for change was the transfer of land from Government to freehold land at the turn of the millennium. This paved the way for the club to make changes to ensure the facility was around for the community.
“We’ve always been diversified in our offering of more than just a racetrack,” Bowden said.
“If we look back at our roots, Boxing Day was always about ‘all things fun’ incorporating athletic races with the horse racing.
“It is still the aim of the committee today – to ensure we offer more than just racing and the infrastructure development is paving the way to secure the future.”
From a racing perspective, Bowden recalls how the club was integral in the establishment of the Queensland Thoroughbred Incentive Scheme (QTIS).
“The prototype was tested in Ipswich and to sit back and see the quality of Queensland bred horses gives me a smile,” he said.
Bowden reflects on his time on the committee and the people that helped shape the steadiness of the club and its 160 history.
“I must commend the committee in recruiting Denise Hanly, our first female board member,” he said.
“Denise has a strong community standing and I look forward to working with her and the rest of the committee this year.”