There were several attempts to establish an Archery Club in Geelong in the early 1860s.

In October 1861, John Gatliff, describing himself as Honorary Secretary of the Belmont Archery Club, advertised in the Geelong Chronicle:

Ladies and gentlemen desirous of becoming members of the Belmont Archery Club will greatly oblige by forwarding their names as early as possible to the undersigned.”

Archery was one of the sports available to patrons of the Belmont Hotel and Tea Gardens, which was, presumably, the nucleus of the new club. Shortly after the call for new members, a meeting was held to establish the club but was adjourned due to a small attendance. Another meeting was to be held the following week.

It would appear that Mr Gatliff, a Geelong accountant, had over-estimated the level of interest in archery. By establishing a club and then advertising for members, had Gatliff gone about things the wrong way? Nothing more is heard of the Belmont Archery Club.

Early in 1863, Gatliff again sought to establish an archery club in Geelong. The Geelong Chronicle carried the following news:

ARCHERY – There is some talk about making another attempt to get up an Archery Club, and we trust that the effort will meet with more success than former trials have received. Any gentlemen who would like to join the ranks should send in his name to Mr Gatliff, who is well known as an archer of repute, and has expressed his willingness to do all in his power to forward the interests of the Club.

Archery party at Rippon Lea

Alas, nothing appears to have come from this further attempt to form an archery club. However elsewhere there was more luck, with a club playing at Ripponlea.

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