Back in Time. April 13 – 20 onwards!

Lots of Years Ago.
June 2002.
Allen Snowden made a life member of St. Albans-Merivale.
Allen joined the club in 1981 and became an executive member in 01984. He became treasurer in 1988, a position he held that position until 2010. The dedication and enthusiasm Allen displayed in that task was second to none; there being no doubt that the club was in extremely capable hands with Allen at the financial helm. That has been acknowledged by the club by awarding Allen a life membership.
It would be true to say that Allen’s job got difficult each year. Like so many sporting clubs we have a strong reliance on finance from various pub charities and foundations. With more clubs and organizations chasing an ever diminishing dollar it is becoming very difficult to get the dollars for the general running costs.
For clubs to have an improved financial foundation it is essential to have a good membership base. An ever popular conundrum is how can we, as a club, attract new members?
Allen, like some others, felt that eventually amalgamation may be a solution. He felt that members needed to be aware of amalgamation and be prepared to respond to any action suggested in our district.
Thank you Allen for all your hard work, the Saint Albans-Merivale Bowling Club is indebted to you for all your efforts.

June 2002.
Alison Bigg was elected the first women president of St. Albans-Merivale.

At the 2002 AGM Alison saw her vision for the club; “In the next 5 – 10 years I would like to see a debt free club with an increased membership but still retaining our friendly homely atmosphere. My hope is that present and future executives will have the foresight and enthusiasm of their forebears, the original founders of this club.
Alison also became a life member in 2015.



Eleven Years Ago
18 – 4 – 09

The traditional end of season Memorial Fours were played on a cool day and the Brian Ware skipped team won. Other team members were Margaret McLennan, Tracey Hart and Phil O’Malley.
It was the Brian Ware Show at the end of season later in the evening when he won all four men’s titles.
Fours: R. Ware, B. Ware, W. Whiting, M. Young.
Triples:  R. Ware  B. Ware  M. Young
Pairs:  R. Ware  B. Ware 
Singles:  B. Ware
This was a magnificent performance, the fourth time Brian had achieved that.

April 2009.
The Triple Gs are formed; i.e. Green’s Goldcard group.

This group started meeting each Wednesday at the club and using the free bus would take off to places unknown and terrorize the pubs and pokies.
Occasionally gambling and drinking would be interrupted and unwell club members would be visited.
Guests were accepted upon application.



June 2009.
Vince Roper, from Bowls Canterbury, handing over the Silver Star Award to outgoing president Mick Tarling at the A.G.M. in June, 2009. Under Mick’s stewardship the St. Albans-Merivale Bowling Club met extremely stringent criteria and became the first club to receive the award. The club got there by getting things done and making things happen. The club was very close to being awarded a Gold Star Award.

Ten Years Ago.
17 – 4 – 10

The final day of the 2009 – 10 season saw the Memorial Triples being played. A good turnout of 42 players, 14 teams, meant a green full of enthusiastic players.
Following the afternoon tea the prize giving took place with the winners collecting various trophies.



First:   D. Orange, B. Rhodes and R.  Chelley
Second:   B. Auld, P. O’Connor and R. Hunter


Nine Years Ago.
2 – 5 – 11
The St. Albans-Merivale Bowling Club was delighted to welcome Merivale Curves to its premises over the winter months.
It was a win win situation for both parties, Curves had an available space and St. Albans-Merivale Bowling Club gained some revenue.

It did mean that indoor bowls didn’t take place but several club members made use of the  Papanui Bowling Club’s facilities to continue their winter sessions.

15 – 5 – 11
The Canterbury rugby referees joined us for drinks on Saturday evenings commencing May 21 at 5.00. Also they had meetings every two weeks for instructional purposes. Their “home” in AMI Stadium was unavailable.
The St. Albans-Merivale Bowling Club was delighted to welcome them.

3 – 7 – 11 AGM
It was a significant meeting that occurred and it showed that the St. Albans-Merivale Bowling Club was prepared to plan for the future and recognize that the criteria that made a club successful for yesterday was no longer applicable for tomorrow. Hence the meeting gave the new executive the authority to negotiate with Curves so that they could become a permanent resident at the St. Albans-Merivale Bowling Club. This will give the club a good independent financial basis for the future; a time when the traditional charity grants and finance sources may well be impossible to obtain.
26 – 7 – 11


It is not often that indoor bowls are not held  but that happened on Monday, July 25. And no, play was inside but it was too hard to get there!!!
I wonder how many reverted back to their childhood and made snowpersons and threw snowballs????????


16 – 8 – 11
The greens took their second pounding from the weather as almost all of Christchurch, for the second time, ground to a halt. If people were wise they would have bunkered down for a day or two or three!!!!




Eight Years Ago.
2 – 5 – 12
Bowls Canterbury presented proposals to interested persons from all clubs at three meetings during the week. It was important that members of club match committees attended.
That there needs to be a preparedness to accept change is critical for our sport of bowls to survive. Clubs must offer game formats that are appealing for their customers.
The outcome that Bowls New Zealand is seeking is that all clubs are to aim for participation growth and members playing more often.
There were three meetings held during the week where club members all had the opportunity to have their say.
It is a time of change changes may well occur, the opportunity was there to have a say and make suggestions. There was no point complaining about outcomes if you failed to put an opinion forward.

15 – 5 – 12
Mt. Pleasant Bowling Club (Inc) has advised that their club has officially merged with Redcliffs Bowling Club and will now be known as Redcliffs Mount Pleasant Bowling Club.

18 – 6 – 12
 President Allan Reid and webmaster Murray Scott pictured with Bill, aka the William Webb Trophy, at the Christchurch Football Club on the day of the Ireland v All Blacks test. Also pictured is the World Cup jersey worn by Richie McCaw.





Seven Years Ago.
20 – 4 – 13

The penultimate club Saturday saw the revival of the state of origin after a break of  three seasons. Sadly the weather had other ideas as much needed rain fell for the whole day.



23 – 6 – 13

Highlight of the AGM was the appointment of Mick Tarling as a life member of the St.  Albans-Merivale Bowling Club.A deserved appointment.
 MuzzaWeb understands it was one of the few occasions Mick has been lost for words.




Six Years Ago.
23 – 4 – 14
A club member called in at an Oamaru service station on the return journey from a Central Otago bowling tournament. Obviously things must have gone well there as the mind was on the glories of the past. A small lapse  in concentration and a tank of diesel filled up where the 91 should have been. Fortunately there was a workshop attached so the fuel doctor performed the appropriate surgery and replaced the diesel with 91 which allowed the bowler to drive away many more dollars lighter in the pocket than intended!!!!

What happened to the “what goes on tour stays on tour?”
13 – 5 – 14

All Club members were invited to attend any of the 4 playing programme roadshows. Adrian Robins Bowls Canterbury CEO presented the new 2014-2015 playing programme.
Bowls Canterbury CEO Adrian Robins addressed members in a series of meetings bowlers had the opportunity to discuss the programme and provide feedback.



1 – 6 – 14
The club raised about $1700 in a garage sale held on Sunday morning. This will double when SBS does a $ for $ sponsorship deal. Thank you to all the club helpers and especially to Mike Barnett and Chris Hammett for their organizing of it.



3 – 6 – 14
St. Albans-Merivale was chosen as Bowls Canterbury’s club of the year.





27 – 6 – 14


Changes afoot at the St. Albans-Merivale clubrooms with the Curves’ area being altered and the kitchen going to the other end.
Discovered in the wall was a part of a 1976 advertising section of The Chch. Star. Prices were somewhat different then!!!!!
Weetbix   51c
Wilkinson Sword razor blades   $1.35
White Magic   29c
Hair spray   $1.4
Soap powder   67c




29 – 6 – 14
The 111th AGM was held in the clubrooms with 40 members present.
Not only did we get Bowls Canterbury’s club of the year but we also gained a “Gold Award” from Bowls New Zealand.

Five Years Ago.
20 – 4 – 15

It  is good to celebrate success at the St. Albans-Merivale Bowling Club. This happens at our closing day when championship titles are acknowledged.
Pictured here is the ladies’ fours winning team.
Special congratulations to Bernadette O’Malley who gained her 25th title of her career, a great achievement.

MuzzaWeb’s understanding is no other woman has made this milestone before.



24 – 4 – 15
Tracey Hughes from SBS was at the club tonight to present $1000 to the St. Albans-Merivale Bowling Club.

Our bank account is a Star Banking Package which is for community groups. There are 10 monthly $1000 cash draws. And we won!!!
Seen here with Tracey are finance manager Alan MacDonald and vice president Barry Milner.




Three Years Ago.
22 – 4 – 17


Winners of the Watson Shield.




25 – 6 – 17
It was the 114th AGM of the St. Albans-Merivale Bowling Club.

What a bitter sweet day. By only the barest of margins the members approved the motion to amalgamate with Elmwood. It was a sad day because a club  with such a proud history will cease to exist but a good one as so many members realised that amalgamation was the only logical course of action.
Once the dust settles MuzzaWeb is certain that the move will be looked at positively and we will look forward to belonging to a new club that has many plans for the future.

Two Years Ago.
4 – 5 – 18


Champion of champion pairs winners Lois Grey ans Lynne Brown.



17 – 5 – 18
The first AGM of the Elmwood Park Bowling Club was held.

Pam Phair was elected president and a new committee was elected.
Most interesting was a suggested proposal from Barry Milner that Donald place could be the venue for the new proposed indoor venture. More developments to come!!!!!

Erin taking the mnutes.



29 – 4 – 18
Finals’ Report by Neil Johnstone.

A number of Elmwood Park bowlers competed in these events in very wet and unpleasant conditions last Saturday.David Grice bowled superbly in his semi-final of the 1st/2nd year men’s singles to win comfortably. He played his final by arrangement on Monday and lost 21-17 in a very close encounter, again in very wet conditions, where both bowlers performed extremely well.
Well done, David.
Lois Grey and Lynne Brown after a slow start in the semi-final of the women’s pairs got on top of their opponents and won comfortably in a game marked in particular by superb lead bowls by Lynne in difficult conditions.
Their final against Woolston Park is scheduled for 11.00 a.m. this Sunday at Woolston Park. Best of luck Lois and Lynne.
Lois Grey, Mary Ann Johnstone and Lynne Brown (substituting for Joyce McKinnel) lost their semi-final in the women’s triples in a very close encounter by one shot in a game which came down to a measure on the last end. Once again, the weather and sodden green conditions made for a very difficult day at the office!
Matt Bassett representing Allenton, but a valuable member of our club, lost both his semi-finals in the U8 singles and men’s open singles, also finding the conditions very difficult.
It was great to see Pete Smith doing the commentary for live stream tv coverage of the event. Also Dave Vujcich operating his Bowls Canterbury shop with success.
A special mention of appreciation to the Woolston Park and Bowls Canterbury people who did an incredible job in constantly sweeping water off the green to allow games to proceed.

One Year ago.
Finals Weekend.  April 13 – 14, 2019, @ Woolston Park.

     4 Titles!!     

This was another sea of blue and gold.

Another successful finals day. Well done to all participants. Four titles and three runners up is a great achievement.

Congratulations to our men’s Watson Shield team which won this premier men’s event 3-1 over a strong Rangiora team. After a slow start, Gary Lawson, in the singles, played superb bowls to win his game 25 – 18; Steve Ditfort and Liam Eathorne lost in a tight pairs game, 15 – 20;  the triples team of Paul McKinnel, Dave Vujcich (again filling in for Don Baker) and Neil Johnstone got out of the blocks with a significant lead which they held on to wining 26 – 18; and the fours team of Rod Greaney, John Mears, Mat Bassett and Ian Rule were always narrowly in control of their game, playing great bowls to win 20 – 13.
Thanks also to Jonathan Flint and Bruce Humphreys for significant performances during the year in this team.    Since the Watson Shield has been the premier men’s event, Elmwood Park has won it 3 years out of 4, a magnificent effort.


Bev Morel and Sherrie Cottle went down to Allenton, 19 – 21, in the women’s pairs final.

Our Over 60’s Fours team of John Mears, Dave Vujcich (substituting for Don Baker who was ill), Bruce Humphreys and Lois Grey won the title in a nerve-wracking finish. After being 17 – 0 up halfway through the game (16 ends) against a strong Halswell side, the game completely turned around and the last end commenced with our team being only 2 up.   John Mears bowled the last bowl of the game with his team 3 down on the head, but produced a superb draw shot to get second shot and win the game.

Congratulations to Stephen Ditfort and Ian Rule who defeated convincingly Leeston 18 – 7 in the men’s pairs final.




Bev Morel, Sherrie Cottle,  Chris Kibblewhite and  Fiona Frew lost 14 – 15 against Woodend in the women’s fours final.


Tania Woodham went down 13 – 21 to Jenny Anderson of Woodend in the women’s U8 final. A meritorious effort as Tania played with an arm in a sling.



Rodney Greaney, representing Allenton, lost the men’s triples final, 10 – 21, but won the men’s singles final 21 – 14 against Belfast’s Mark Young.
Rodney played for Elmwood Park in interclub this year, his bowls have been exceptional all season.




Inaugural Champions.    Congratulations!!!          

Winners of the  first Centre Mixed Fours title, a comfortable win over Noel Alexander’s Rangiora team 22 – 10.

John Mears, David Vujcich, Theresa Woodham and Lois Grey.
This was Dave Vujcich’s first Centre title.

What a season is had been for the Elmwood Park Bowling Club, both pre and post Christmas with unprecedented success. It should be noted that the Club has won all of the specifically mixed events showcasing the strength of both men and women in the Club. Further the Club has won two of the four Premier events, the men’s Watson Shield post Christmas and the Women’s Pennant Fours prior to Christmas.


17 – 4 – 19

At a recent tournament at Fendalton Elmwood Park kept up its winning ways by taking the top three places. An outstanding result for Elmwood Park at the Fendalton Mixed Pairs Tournament.
1st: Neil & Mary Ann Jonhston      2nd: Pam & Ron Phair      3rd: David Vujcich & Erin Hyde



11 – 6  – 19
Elmwood Park Bowling Club was named as the seventh team to compete in this year’s expanded Bowls3Five televised league and the Canterbury representatives boast a stellar line-up.

The Elmwood Saints, as they will be known, will be led by recalled Blackjack Gary Lawson, who has decided to step out from the commentary box.
The 13-time national champion has assembled a strong Saints team, featuring two former New Zealand reps.
Glasgow Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and five-time national champion Mandy Boyd has joined her partner Lance Pascoe at Elmwood Park, having been a stalwart of the Burnside Bowling Club in recent years.
Fellow former Blackjack Jan Shirley and 2018 national pairs champion Bev Morel have also been named in the Saints team, along with Steve Ditfort, who has won 12 Canterbury titles.
The Elmwood Saints will join Bowls3Five national interclub champions Hinuera, the defending champion Point Chevalier Pirates, the Gore Rams, Stoke Thunder, Royal Oak Rockets and Stokes Valley Vipers in the second edition of the league, which will be broadcast live on SKY Sport three nights a week for eight weeks from late October.

This Year.
14 – 4 – 20
Good News!

From Tuesday 14th April urgent maintenance of turf in bowling greens will be permitted under Alert Level 4 restrictions.

Maintenance providers should adhere to the following guidance. In doing so, operators and owners will need to form a judgment as to:
1. How best to apply this guidance to their particular circumstance. |
2. Which of their maintenance activities are genuinely urgent.Operators will be expected to minimise maintenance during Alert Level 4

11 – 5 – 20 & 13 – 5 – 20
Both the Monday and Wednesday afternoon sessions of indoor bowls to be held at the Papanui Club were informed by the club that due to covid 19 there would be no bowls to be held.

14 – 5 – 20
Level 2 is here.
Although we are not playing bowls at present, if we were here are some of the conditions we would be playing under.
All Bowls ‘on green’ activity is limited to singles, pairs and triples, on wide rinks.
No more than six (6) people on a wide (5.0 metre minimum) rink.
No more than 4 people at each end. 1 metre social distancing practiced.
Maintain very high hygiene standards. Wash hands before and after play.
No shaking of hands before or after play.
Clubs must reconfigure their greens to have rinks at least 5.0 metres wide.
This will mean that many greens can only accommodate six (6) rinks.
All players are to ensure that the same player on each team places mats or places/rolls jacks.
Bowls equipment (outside of mats and jacks) cannot be shared between players (e.g. bowls, cloths, measures etc.).
All coaches / umpires / markers should practice physical distancing of 1.0m and not come into contact with bowler’s equipment, unless necessary

22 – 5 – 20 
Level 2 has arrived and club members took the opportunity to have a Friday afternoon drink.

Social distancing at Donald Place.






Members enjoying a catch up at Heaton Street.




25 – 5 – 20
About the future of the Elmwood Park Bowling Club. A decision was made to seek and engage a consultant to help us in our club’s future planning. A lot of things have changed in recent years and particularly in the last 2 months, and we are keen to get a professional opinion to help us make the right future decisions.

9 – 6 – 20

Level 1 is here. Almost back to normal.

Thank you to the club and centre officials who have supported and communicated important COVID-19 messages.
Thank you to our greenkeepers and club personnel who maintained our greens and facilities during lockdown.
Thank you to our members who placed our nation’s health ahead of playing bowls.
We’ve done it together with our team of five million, and we’re now in Alert Level One.
Please continue to keep safe and healthy, support a contacting tracking system and enjoy your bowls!
Thank you New Zealand.

10 – 6 – 20
It has been decided that now we have moved down to level 1 we will be running the winter bowls on a Monday.  This will start on Monday, June 15th, at 1.00.  

The Wednesday bowls is still cancelled for the rest of the season.
10 – 6 – 20   20 players turned up for the first day.

20- 6 – 20        Dunedin, here we come!!
The covid delayed final of the Canterbury Bowls3Five competition was held at Riccarton Racecourse Bowling Club on a very cold and miserable morning.

Elmwood Park played Canterbury 2017 and won 2 – 1.
Gary Lawson   Mandy Boyd   Liam Eathorne     3 – 3     8 – 0
Kelvin Scott   Stephen Ditfort   Jan Shirley     6 – 1     8 – 2
Lance Pascoe   Nathan Glasson   Bev Morel     0 – 8     13 – 6     0 – 1
Elmwood Park will travel down to Dunedin to play on the 27th June 2020. The winner of the June 27th event will travel to the Bowls3Five Grand Interclub Final in Naenae Bowling Club on 1st – 2nd August 2020.

4 – 5 – 20
Every year, Bowls New Zealand runs a number of coach development clinics, where foundation and development coaches can learn how to pass lawn bowls skills on to budding bowlers.  They’re normally a day of theory and practice, in the clubhouse and on the green, where a teacher teaches teachers.
If you’d said a year ago … even 6 months ago … that the next coach development course could be held ‘virtually’ … remotely through the computer screen … you’d probably have said that Bowls New Zealand was dreaming.
But the COVID lockdown changed everything.
So to keep the ball rolling (or at least the jacks and lawn bowls rolling), Coach Development Lead, Graeme Rees,  bravely mooted the concept of trying Bowls New Zealand’s first on-line coaching course.
“I think they’re here to stay, despite the reduction to Level 1 lockdown,” says Rees. “Whether they supersede actual face-to-face courses is a different question – after all, we still need to do the practical part of the courses out on the green.”

27- 6 – 20        Wellington, here we come!!
A great result from Dunedin. Two wins.
v Meadowbank.   G. Lawson 5 – 3   5 – 3     L. Pascoe 11 – 0   5 – 3     K. Scott 2 – 3   7 – 2   0 – 1
v Te Rangi.   G. Lawson 7 – 2   7 – 1     L. Pascoe 3 – 3   6 – 2     K. Scott 4 – 5   4 – 5