Nineteen bowls clubs from the Tweed-Byron and Northern Rivers districts have submitted a special resolution to Zone One seeking to have all its executive and director positions declared vacant.
Nineteen bowls clubs from the Tweed-Byron and Northern Rivers districts have submitted a special resolution to Zone One seeking to have all its executive and director positions declared vacant. John Gass

Out with the old: Bowls clubs call for new zone officials

IN A major upheaval, 19 local bowls clubs have taken action calling for a new “democratic” election of their zone’s executives and directors.

The clubs – 12 from Tweed-Byron district, seven from Northern Rivers – have submitted a special resolution to Zone One seeking to have all its executive and director positions declared vacant and a new election held on the grounds “that the current executive is vastly different from that originally elected and that the only democratic way to be sure clubs are properly represented is to hold fresh elections for all positions”.

Claims of a “power grab” were made following the original election after four executive members resigned and the president and secretary were appointed under the terms of the zone constitution.

The clubs were circularised twice for the other positions. These were filled by the only two applicants.

Current zone secretary Ron Woodward, who also is a state councillor, in a letter to Bowls NSW asks for at least two state representatives to attend a special general meeting to discuss the resolution.

The date pending their availability is between January 29 and February 9.

Woodward says no Tweed-Byron or Northern Rivers members, with the exception of the two who had nominated, had submitted an interest in the vacancies.

He gives an assurance the zone’s constitutional rules and regulations had been followed in filling the casual vacancies.


DEPITE a rumour rife around the ditches, the Woodburn club has not closed – an official says it is trading and playing as normal.

But talks are taking place that could result in road workers’ accommodation being built on the greens.

If that eventuates, Woodburn will be another bowls club that has fallen by the wayside through lack of support.

The club was taken over a year or two back by Evans Head but has been a financial burden.

Another rumour scotched was that Evans Head had succumbed to the trap of closing down a green for a children’s playground as had been done elsewhere where support since has failed to justify the move.

The official said Evans Head did have children’s playground equipment on one of its greens but it was only a temporary measure over Christmas and certainly not permanent.


DOWN by 10 shots three parts of the way though the 21-up Summerland Series singles final, Victorian Sean Ingram almost brought it off.

He had a four-end run scoring 2, 3, 1, 2 to reduce the deficit to two shots, 19-17, after Queenslander Kevin Higson appeared to have the game sewn up.

Higson, who must have been wondering how to stop the late onslaught, then calmly picked up a two to secure the title and pocket the hefty first prize.

Close results were a feature of this year’s event, which I suppose is an argument in favour of the open draw, even if I – and more than a few spectators – didn’t like it.


FORMER chairman of Australian selectors Charlie Frost died in his hometown Newcastle on Sunday. Charlie was a long-time reader of this column – his mate Neville Pond sent it to him weekly.

Charlie kept in contact with me, to praise or knock whichever he thought was needed.

A straight shooter, he had strong views that I’ll miss.


GET in early ... secure your seat, Bowls NSW says. For 110 bucks a head (or a cut-price $1000 for a table of 10), you can go along to the Player Awards evening on February 24.

This event is important – it gives the bigwigs a chance to shake the mothballs out of their black ties and dinner suits.

It’s no bargain, though. The state doesn’t charge that much to let you play the game.


GONE are the days of on-green segregation. The Summerland Series is an example of what is happening in most clubs – dual gender play has become commonplace.

It hasn’t always been thus. Just a year ago in Tasmania 200 men bowlers were reported to be lost to pennants when women were allowed to play in the competition.

The men even formed a committee to lobby the state to reinstate the men-only rule.

Its first meeting was supported by the presidents of 10 of the 28 clubs.

One male bowler with 40 years’ playing experience said he’d leave his bowls in the bag on pennant days.

“All the camaraderie has gone,” he said. “Half the afternoon for us is so the men can talk to men and enjoy the game of bowls. It’s not happening now.”

Another male called it sexist and said it “stuck in his craw” that men were not being given a chance to play in men-only games.

I had a letter once from a bowler in the south who said a greenkeeper had told 10 women who wanted a roll-up they should be doing something useful for the club, like playing the pokies or having a beer. Thankfully, such attitudes have become as rare in the game as white bowls shoes.

I’ve said it many times before – the reason many men won’t play bowls against women is because they’re frightened of being beaten.

The performances in the Summerland Series were enough to convince people the girls are quite capable of handing out a hiding to the best of them.

Years ago I was to play in the Summerland Singles and a woman bowler offered to give me a practice roll-up. She beat me 31-6. While I appreciated her ability, the result didn’t do much for my confidence.


> Toohey’s Open Fours at South Lismore on January 23-24

> Major/Minor Pairs at Ballina on January 26

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