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Club Stuff

Do you have any interesting snippets about life at your Club that you would like to share? Some interesting facts and some of the history of Clubs in our Centre. 

 

Send your articles to Pauline Seaton for inclusion. centralotagobowls@gmail.com

Clyde Bowling Club

From Clyde FB December 2023

Meet our newest members of the club? Donald and Daisy. As yet, they're still undecided about seeking a casual, or full membership!!

THE bowls season is upon us. Time to ponder the Seven Ages of Bowls.

The Age of Ignorance

This is the time of the young man, immersed in rugby, cricket and the pursuit of women, for whom bowls is a mystery and believed to be something very old men take up to avoid gardening.

The Age of Denial

By now the cricket team has less need of those offspin deliveries you sent down with great success only a few seasons ago. Your Saturdays are often free and the bowling club have you in their sights. As summer approaches suggestions that you play bowls become more frequent. But how could you possibly be involved with these ancient men? You are told that without new players the 75-year-old bowling club may have to fold and you weaken, promising to think about it, “maybe next year, or the year after” .

The Age of Acceptance

Your cricket days are now a dim memory and time weighs heavily on Saturdays. Maybe the invitation to go down to the bowling club for “a bit of a roll-up and a beer” might be a good idea, after all. The club has a spare set of bowls for you and even a club shirt which might be handy if you decide to join up. During the roll-up you get the hang of this bowls business and there’s a fascination with aiming a bowl away to the side of the kitty and sometimes finding it settling at just the right spot. Bit like cricket, but underarm, of course. Maybe that’s why Australian cricketers become excellent lawn bowlers. Your success is noticed and soon you are getting a game every week. Sometimes two games if you can take Wednesday afternoon off.

Amazingly, you are also enjoying the company of these old blokes. Maybe it’s far too early to actually have them all put down which was once your considered opinion.

The Age of Enthusiasm

It’s a young man’s game, too. Two seasons into bowls and you wouldn’t miss a game.

When your oldest daughter’s wedding clashed with the finals of the club fours championship you briefly considered giving the wedding a miss.

You’ve bought your own bowls and a flash carrying bag with little compartments for Grippo, measuring tape, cleaning cloth and even a slot to house the rule book. You arrive early at working bees and insist on pushing the heavy roller.

You enter tournaments in places up to 100 miles away and there’s even talk of being in a team for the national tournament.

The Age of Achievement

Now comes the pinnacle of your bowls career.

You’ve won a couple of club championships and skipped the four which took out the sub-centre championship two years in a row.

You dream of being a Black Jack.

You’ve started wearing a blazer with the club monogram and there’s barely room left on the lapels for yet more winner’s badges.

Bowlers on nearby rinks pause in their play to watch your next shot. You’ve started coaching your club players and even passed the umpires’ exam and can be seen patrolling the green with tape and rule book in hand.

You’ve even bought one of those little metal measuring gauges and your decisions, always firm and always fair, are final. Your second daughter changed her wedding day when it clashed with your trip to the national bowls tournament.

The Age of Wisdom

You are older and certainly wiser. Young men come to you for advice and you spend more time coaching.

The club has elected you president and all that business experience and those people management skills you learned in the building trade are put to more useful purposes.

The Age of Gentle Decline

You turn up fairly late at working bees just in time to volunteer to open the bar. At a special dinner you have been made a Life Member. On the green you’ve had to slow down. You have wonky hips and depend more often on your walking frame and your bowls lifter and bionic arm. You are no longer chosen for the Saturday team but get a game some Wednesdays. Even this tires you and you decide to be available only in emergencies. Emergencies become sparse and soon you simply turn up as a spectator. Seated in the sun with afternoon tea in the offing you watch the young men, their conversations filled with the banter you know so well. How lithe and athletic they seem, with their pinpoint accuracy and modest acknowledgement of the smattering of applause as a last bowl wins the end and the game.

There is a tear in your eye now because that once was you. Perhaps you will stay on after the game for a drink and a few more memories.

The Age of Gentle Decline has its pleasures.

• Jim Sullivan is a Patearoa writer.

Wanaka  Bowling Club

 

Wanaka Bowling Club replaced the original 2008 artificial green in the winter of 2021. The delay until the winter was due to COVID restrictions.

 

Specialists from Australia came who were particularly tough guys and dressed like they were in Queensland, mostly shorts and tops every day, starting as early as 6.30am and working under lights until after 7pm.

 

When 60-70 members arrived at the stadium on Saturday 10th July 2021 to play in the ongoing inter-suburb series "The Neil Studholme Trophy", they found a carpark with utes, front-end loaders and piles of gravel and the old mat stacked in rolls. There were also very large boxes of technical equipment containing things like a theodolite used to level the surface to a maximum tolerance of 3mm.

 

The process took over two weeks, much longer than normal. 

 

There was a wonderful working relationship between the installers and the senior club members. A call for extra help one Saturday saw 25 club members help roll back the underlay while the installers levelled the area around the green.

 

Part of the contract stated that the club would dispose of the old mat. Due to being abnormally heavy due to the wet state weighing roughly 80 tonnes it would have cost $6000 to $8000 in tip fees to dispose of. This was saved  by giving it to various nurseries and landscapers through the community facebook page.

 

Contributed by Wanaka Bowling Club 27 August 2023

 Waipiata Bowling Club  

We often take life a little too seriously. I recently found the attached photos of Dickson Andrews, Life Member and past Greenkeeper of Waipiata Bowling Club.

There were a lot of small stones on the Green and Dickson decided to vacuum them up with the Club Vacuum Cleaner. At the time Dickson was 88 years old and was the Waipiata Green Keeper. I did ask his wife Liz if he helped out with the vacuuming at home. As you can imagine the answer was a resounding NO.

Dickson is now 96 years old and although he has retired as Greenkeeper can still be seen in the paddock beside the Club investigating the irrigation system and ensuring everything is running smoothly.

I might add that I believe Dickson planted the pine trees in the background. Most of these trees have since been cut down but Dickson, in his wisdom, planted another tree break which is now flourishing and continuing to supply shelter for the campers in the Domain. 

Contributed from CO Centre 19 August 2023

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