Back in Time. April 6 – 13

These are incidents that have occurred over the years at the St. Albans-Merivale Bowling Club. There will hopefully be some positive memories from these but also the hope that amalgamation with Elmwood will be a successful venture. Research will be carried out for entries from the Elmwood Bowling Club.

Lots of Years Ago.
10 – 4 – 68. 
Wahine storm severely damaged the second storey of the old St. Albans’ pavilion. It was in dire need of major repairs. Once more the pavilion reverted to a single storey.

Eleven  Years Ago.
10 – 4 – 10

The penultimate club Saturday saw the revival of the state of origin after a break of at least five seasons. A lot of fun and great to see members enter into the spirit of the occasion.

First:   Otago.   Barry Auld, Allan Reid and Roy Chelley.
Second=:   Canterbury.    Brian Walsh, Luke McClintock and Mort Smith.
Second=:   Otago.      Murray Scott, Russell Hunter and Esmae Moore.


10/11 – 4 – 10
Well done to Brian Ware, Michael Young and Mick Tarling who made the final of the champion of championship triples. The final was lost 18 – 23  to Maurice Simes of Canterbury but only after a titanic struggle. After 14 ends St. Albans-Merivale were down 13 – 14 but a disastrous 15th end when a 6 was dropped virtually ruined any chance of a win as it meant that the Symes’ team only had to protect their lead which they successfully did.
The club is proud of you.

12 – 4 – 10
The Packman Trophy was won for the fourth consecutive time by Edgeware today in brilliant weather and on a good green. It was a comfortable win 31 – 64 with no St. Albans-Merivale team registering a win. The closest to do so was the team skipped by Michael Young who gained shot with a great draw shot with his final bowl to take the lead. Unfortunately the wily old campaigner George Uitslag was equal to the task; his final bowl, a drive, took the shot bowl out and St. Albans-Merivale went from 1 up to 4 down.

M. Young      11 – 15
M. Tarling     6 – 9
R. Hunter       7 – 2
J. Pickering    7 – 15


Ten Years Ago.
5 – 4 – 11

The annual Packman Trophy game against Edgeware was not held because of the heavy rain that fell virtually all morning.
There is a possibility that the fixture may be played on Saturday, April 9.  

9 – 4 – 11
The Packman Trophy was played at St. Albans-Merivale Bowling Club as conditions at Edgeware, caused by the earthquake, meant their club was unplayable.
It was postponed from Tuesday and the two clubs agreed to hold it on the Saturday. Good news, the trophy was regained by St. Albans-Merivale, 60 – 44, following a four year drought.
Green   12 – 9
Barnes   21 – 5
Kirkbride  19 – 7
Pickering  8 – 23




10 – 4 – 11
It was the final day of the season today, the closing was a week earlier than usual, a day that had the final club tournament of the year, the Memorial Fours, followed by the prizegiving.
The Memorial Fours were won by Doreen Orange, Barry Milner, Fran Priest  and Allen Snowden.
It was a relaxing format, three games of six ends with a bbq lunch after the second game. A certain amount of tardiness was noted after the lunch with many bowler not in too much of a hurry to start.

The Memorial Fours is a trophy with prize money attached to it. Five former members, Messrs Brown, Renton, Harris, Baldwin and Martin bequeathed a sum of money to the club. The interest from this bequest is the prize money.

10 – 4 – 11
The St. Albans-Merivale Bowling Club learned with sadness that its longest serving member, Esmae Moore, had resigned. Esmae had shifted to Mosgeil, a victim of the Christchurch earthquakes.

Esme joined the club 1969-70, a member for 42 years. It was at a time when you had to put your name on a waiting list and wives of men members were given first option when a place became available. She was still working when she joined and the women had a very good membership. She became a member of the match committee and for a long time was match convenor.  Even when she stood down she was put back a couple of years later. She also served a term as ladies’ president.
She said things were very different in those days clothing was quite strict.
“The uniform in the early days was very long frocks and always hats, of course.  Stockings (lisle) had to be worn at all times.  No jewellery was allowed apart from rings on fingers, and you could wear as many as you liked!  The dress code was very strict and lengths of dresses were often measured to make sure they were right.”
[Taken from “About Us” on the Bowls Canterbury website.]
It was a real pleasure that Esmae was able to be presenton closing day and present the winners of the club championships with their awards. The St. Albans-Merivale Bowling Club has been all the better for having Esmae as a member and wished her all the best for her future life in Mosgeil. As Irene Godfrey said, “There will always be a set of bowls for Esmae to play with any time she is here.”



Six Years ago.
11 – 4 – 15
On a cool afternoon 6 teams played for the Betty Steel Trophy.

It  was disappointing that only 20 members turned up to play, three more than what turned up for the last week’s under and over 70s tournament. Is it a case of the season being just a little long; the club rugby season had the third round today?
First: K. Geiger J. Hampton J. Smith





12 – 4 – 15
The club held a “Have a Go Day” with a special invitation to all the people who had been involved in the Twilight Bowls series held throughout the season. It was to enjoy an afternoon on the green and take the opportunity to play full games of bowls with official tournament rules in a fun and social environment. Sadly not enough turned up for this to happen but those who did enjoyed a fun time.

Thanks to Mick Tarling who put the day together and the several helpers who gave up their time. On a positive note two indicated they would like to join the club.

They never did!!!!!


Four Years Ago.
11 – 4  – 17

Elmwood Watson Shield winners.




Two Years Ago.
14 – 4 – 19

Finals Weekend.  April 13 – 14 @ 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.


This Year.
7 – 4 – 20
Bowls New Zealand applies for permission to allow greenkeepers access to club greens for winter maintenance.

9 – 4 – 20
Good News!
Golf courses and bowling greens will be able to have essential maintenance done during lockdown after concerns that leaving them lie could lead to sub-par conditions.
Turf maintenance had not been considered an essential service, meaning golf courses and other sports turfs, including bowling greens, have been abandoned during lockdowon.

Golfing and bowling organizations voiced concerns that this could lead to irrevocable damage to courses, with many smaller clubs not having the resources necessary to restore courses to par.
Sports and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson said the Government had allowed urgent maintenance to go ahead but only after new guidelines were issued. This would happen after Easter.

We have made it half way through the lockdown.