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Club News

On Wednesday 8 October 2014 the first edition of the weekly (durring the summer season) "The Bee Express" went out to members and friends of the club.
The latest up to date news from the club may be viewed/down loaded from "The Bee Express" webpage.

Any views expressed here are those of the individual contributors and are not those of the club.

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Bowls: Success starts in operating theatre

Friday Feb 7, 2014

Since his operation, Peter Nathan has stopped his 50-sticks-a-day habit.

Since his operation, Peter Nathan has stopped his 50-sticks-a-day habit.
It's not a course most might recommend for achieving sporting success, but Birkenhead bowler Peter Nathan reckons his triple bypass heart operation two months ago was a big factor in his winning his first North Harbour centre title last weekend.
Nathan, only a ninth year bowler, won the Harbour singles championship final, defying initial medical advice and some reservations from his Birkenhead club, which required him to get a medical clearance before allowing him to enter a competition.
That was given after he had assured his doctor and his surgeon that he had never felt healthier.
The only stipulation the surgeon made was that Nathan avoid lifting weights.
"Honestly, in the last few weeks I've never felt fitter," he says.
Since his operation he has stopped his 50-a-day cigarette habit and - aided by daily morning walks with bowling mates Graham Dorreen and Tim Preston - has reduced his weight from around 120kg to about 105kg.
In time he hopes to reach 95kg, which is close to his weight when he was playing No 8 for the Ponsonby rugby club.
He first noticed worrying symptoms after reaching the last 16 in the New Zealand Open pairs in November with club-mate Mark Rumble.
But medical opinion is that his heart deterioration started years ago and may have included an attack, which as a night shift worker he probably put down to tiredness.
The 52-year-old spent his junior (five years and under) bowling seasons with Glenfield, before joining one of the Harbour powerhouse clubs, Birkenhead.
His win last weekend was his first senior centre title, though he has won two at junior level and been a centre representative.
His greatest satisfaction, next to overcoming his health setback, was that his win came against tough opposition - two centre gold-star holders in Brent Turner and Bart Robertson and two accomplished Takapuna bowlers, Trevor Forward and Norm Scott-Morrison against who he has had 21-20 cliff-hangers.
"It was the toughest possible draw," he said, adding that the tension in the last two might not have been the best possible therapy for his recovery and provided his toughest test yet of his resolve to never smoke again.

NZ Herald


51-Year Member Opens Season

Reproduced from North Shore Times (27.09.2013)

No mention that Sandy Cleghorn had to deliver the first bowl twice as the first one was so short he was made to deliver it again.............

Lawn Bowls Rules Rewritten

Reproduced from North Shore Times (24.09.2013) by Felicity Reid

Tony Grantham and his team mates can be forgiven if they forget some of the rules during the Australian Premier League.
When super subs and power plays enter the lawn bowls lingo some of the game’s most experienced exponents might be baffled. But for those playing in the inaugural APL competition they at least have the benefit of their coach being close by for a team talk should strategy slip.
Grantham, a member of Birkenhead Bowling Club, joins fellow Black Jacks Ali Forsyth and world no.1 women’s lawn bowler Jo Edwards in a New Zealand team which will compete in the APL against Australian state sides.
The televised pairs competition to be held on the partially covered greens at Pine Rivers club in Brisbane in November is a completely new direction for the sport and finally sees a concept first touted by Bowls Australia in 2011 come to fruition.
The event involves teams of three players, two five-end sets and substitutions.
Teams can call upon an ‘‘impact player’’ to play one shot in any end, lending the game to an array of tactical and strategic opportunities for specialty bowlers and coaches can nominate one end per set where their shots are worth double points.
‘‘It’s new to everyone. We are not going to remember every rule,’’ Grantham says of the fast-paced format.
‘‘It’s going to be hard but it suits our style of play.’’
The APL is also another opportunity for Grantham to play against close rival and good friend Australian international Mark Casey.
Grantham dedicated his silver medal in the singles at this year’s world cup event to Casey whose father died during the tournament.
With the local club bowling season opening the APL is just one event in what will be a full on season for Grantham who is aiming towards next year’s Commonwealth Games.

Reen claims Birkenhead's first title of the Season

BNH website

BNH Mixed Pairs
It was a joint Birkenhead/Browns Bay win at the Mixed 2-4-2 Pairs final held on Sunday 16th at Manly.   The team of Neil Fisher (Browns Bay) and Reen Stratford (Birkenhead) took out the Centre Mixed 2-4-2 Pairs for 2013 winning 13-5 over Colin Rogan (Browns Bay) and Judith Seager (Browns Bay).   Congratulations to the winners


Birkenhead Women & Men make 5-1 BNH Rep Squad

Congratulations to the Birkenhead players who have made Bowls North Harbour 5 years and under Rep Squads for 2013/14……

Bowls North Harbour Women's 5 years and under Rep Squad
Mavis Smith & Ruth Hitchcock

Bowls North Harbour Men's 5 years and under Rep Squad for
Jimmy (Jandals) Heath & Daymon Pierson

OUR Club..... the best

Over the past few months the Monday Maintenance team have been working hard to upgrade and beautify the grounds and buildings at the club.  To that end the Bypass entrance was terraced and planted in native Hebe and red flax which looked great.  Last week some despicable thief/receiver stole all but two of the Hebe and the red flax leaving the area very empty looking.

What happened next was truly inspiring and something not seen at this club for many years, a member of the club who became aware of the thefts called me to one side and thrust a wad of notes into my hand.  He said that he was "pissed of" with the scumbag who stole the shrubs, he had been watching the work done by the Monday boys and was impressed with what they had achieved, he told me that I was to go out and buy more shrubs for the terrace, there was $150.00 in the wad.

I could not do that as the criminal would be watching and they would go as well and I gave the money back with thanks. The area will be replanted in something a little less attractive to the criminal element.

My reason for writing this is that I have seen for the first time a loyalty and generosity by a member which is truly outstanding.
By saying that I am in no way putting down the time that that Monday guys put in, John, Malcolm, Peter and Phil it is tremendous and greatly appreciated by the club.  This generous gesture came out of the blue, the member said that this was the best club he had ever been involved in and if he could do a little bit to help, he would do so at every occasion.

A truly good club member...something we could take note it is OUR club...the best.

Parker and Porter Winners in Rotorua

Over the weekend 31 August to 1st September 2013, ten members of the club and one from Glenfield went down to Rotorua leaving on the Friday, and came back on Monday. This is an annual foray started by Pat O'Leary and Roy Parker which has been going for eight years.

Seven stayed at the Police Holiday home which sleeps 7 , which was perfect.

Teams were: Mal Wallace, Kevin Croasdale, and Mike Hitchcock.
                      Jack Huriwai, Ra TeAmo, and John Porter.
                      Roy Parker, Terry Moverley and Garry Cooley.
                      Garry Helmling, Eckey Stewart plus a local.(Stewart played one day only)

The host club was the Rotorua Bowling Club situated in the Government Gardens, and what a superb location that is, almost as good as ours.

Bus loads of tourists would wander past and watch the games with interest wondering what the game was all about.  John Porter spent most of his time trying to explain to the Asian tourists what the game was about, Jack had trouble locating him most of the time hidden away amongst the hordes of Chinese and Japanese tourists. Most of the guys will be on Asian cameras and shown "at home"

Anyway we played three games on the Saturday of one hour forty minutes. On Sunday it was two games of the same time. Sixteen teams took part with teams from Taupo, Tokoroa and locals.

Our teams had limited success except Roy's team that went unbeaten having five wins and 31 ends, not good enough, second was five wins and 34 ends and first, five wins and 37 ends. All the team played well at times.

Great success was achieved off the green with John winning raffle after raffle, winning steaks, wine, cash and other stuff.  Ra won a lovely set of watches and a large bottle of brandy.

On Sunday night the guys at the house had a superb barbecue as there were plenty of steaks after Johns wins and plenty of wine after Johns wins, although to be totally honest John and Mal drunk it all.
A thoroughly enjoyable weekend which was blessed with terrific weather, all go for next year.

Photos left to right

  • A bit of socialising in the Rotorua Bowling Club.
  • Rotorua Bowling situated in the Government Gardens (The historic Rotorua Bath House in the background).
  • John Porter (Master Chef).............

How Observant Are You

If you have looked around outside the club laterley are you would have noticed that the Macrocarpa trees that lined the footpath between the bowling club and the kindergarten have all been removed. Over the past six months Roy has been negotiating with the Birkenhead Kindergarten, the Auckland Kindergarten Association and the Auckland City Council to get an agreement to have them removed. An agreement was made and the trees removed. If you are observant you will have noticed what a difference it makes.
Six truckloads of mulch from the trees was dumped behind the soil shed.

Roy has then worked on the terrace at the back of the club facing the bypass.  All the wandering jew, deadly nightshade, gorse, bottles, cans and everything else was removed. Trees have been trimmed and some removed.
The bank has been sprayed twice with Amitrol and Roundup to destroy what was left.  He has then mulched the whole terrace, as per the photos attached.
I think you will agree that the terrace looks a million dollars and a good image to traffic traveling through the bypass.  Hopefully people will realize that there is a bowling club behind the fence and may just be interested enough to take a further look.

If you are observant you will have noticed no doubt that the Monday morning maintenance team have replaced the fencing between the two greens, painted the rails, replaced the scoreboard holders, replaced seats and are in the process of painting all seats, pots etc.

The Monday maintenance team was originally called a working bee.  This has been dropped as it is ongoing for volunteers to turn up at 9.00 and do small maintenance jobs under the guidance of Malcolm Hall and Roy. To date we have a number of regulars who's time is greatly appreciated by the club , the regulars, John Lindrich, Peter Jones, Phil Gibb and Ces McBride along with Malcolm and Roy have so far got through a mountain of work, but there is a heap more to be done to get our club up to scratch.  We have the best club in Auckland and soon we will be the best in every respect

We could do with a few more regular  volunteers , so instead of sitting around home on a Monday  morning, make a commitment to help out at YOUR club.  If you would like to help out, pop down to the club on Monday morning, we have a cup of tea at about 10.30 with a  chocolate biscuit or home baked muffins and a chat. The maintenance crew attend in all weathers.


Update: sadly some low life nicked all the new plants over a series of nights in mid September......

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World Cup Silver for Tony

Reproduced from Bowls New Zealand (17.04.2013)

New Zealand walked away from the World Cup in Warilla, Australia with a gold and silver medal haul today. Tony Grantham this afternoon followed Jo Edwards’ performances on the green claiming silver in a nail biting match.

It came down to a tie break in the men’s final this afternoon as Tony Grantham and Australia’s Jeremy Henry tussled for the supreme title.

Henry took an early lead with a dominating performance in the first set winning 10-5 but Grantham wasn’t going to give up his title hopes that easily. Making a comeback in the second set Grantham won 5-8 to force a tie break.

“I got back on my natural draw game, that’s my strength, and just got a bit of a lead on him. Then I kept ahead of him on one’s so he couldn’t get close to me at that stage.”

Forced into a tie break Henry managed to gain the lead on the first end and then secure it in the following two to take the game 10-5 5-8 5-0.

Grantham had earlier made a promise to Australian bowler Mark Casey, who withdrew from the competition after his father’s passing. In a heart-felt tribute Grantham said “this was for him, I tried to do it for him” and happy in his performance it can be said that Grantham stayed true to his tribute. 

“Jeremy is an amazing bowler and to take him into a tie breaker is unbelievable. I had my chances and he played a little better than I did.”

The performances of Grantham and Edwards (who won gold in the women’s event) shows the dominance of New Zealand on the international bowls stage and leaves high hopes for the World Bowls Championships series which will start in New Zealand later this year. 

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The $500 bowl

The final of Birkenhead's 2 day $6,500 Women's Open Pairs (16 & 17 March) looked a one sided affair at first with sisters Estelle Hickey and Linda Ralph jumping out to a substantial early lead in a shorted 12 end final. The rain then rolled in and so did Fay Yates and Jenny Jones as they crawled their way back into the game. The final end had all on the edge of their seats. Ralph leading by 3 shots but 3 down on the head drew to cut it back to 2. Jones had the final bowl, she stood on the mat took aim and fired....... Smack! Ralph’s bowl was removed from the head and Jones held four shots and the win………………
.................and yes the women played through some unpleasant wet conditions on the Sunday at Birkenhead to get the tournament through to the five finals, if very late in the day..... thanks ladies for making this tournament so successful and the Slipp Inn for their continued support.

Birkenhead Women’s Open Pairs 2013
Winners ($1,500) Fay Yates, Jenny Jones (s)
Runners-up ($1,000) Estelle Hickey and Lind Ralph (s)

Photos left to right

  • Players, Officials.............
  • and it was wet, wet, wet............ for the finals.
  • Cup winners Jenny Jones & Fay Yates with Matt Burton (Slipp Inn)

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The Returning of Cleghorn - An Unforgettable Journey

On Thursday the 7 Feb, Roy, Sandy and Terry travelled to Greymouth to take part in the 99th holding of the prestigious West Coast Men's Fours. On the first day Friday the 8th they were joined by Brian Aiken, Sandy's brother in law who led, Terry played two, Sandy three and Roy skipped.

The first day was at Hokitiki and what a beautiful green it was. Great bowls were played and the three good wins were achieved. The second day was at Karoro a club in Greymouth. Another lovely green running at about 18 seconds with a crosswind. Another two wins were achieved one going to an extra end against a team from Southbridge which is about 50 km south of Christchurch. As a result the team qualified in the top 16 with five wins.

The finals day was at Cobden which is just over the Grey River in Greymouth, reasonable green although not as good as the previous two.
The first game was against the Southbridge team that we had beaten the day before. On this occasion they prevailed 11-10.
This loss put the team into the plate being the eight first round losers. The team won there next two games against strong local opposition to get into the final against a Bowls Hornby team from Christchurch. On the last end Hornby led 12-11 and holding 2 shots, Sandy with his last bowl flicked the jack back and we held two and the win. The Hornby skip with his first bowl drew the shot.  Roy drove and took the shot bowl out clean.  The Hornby skip could not draw again and the team won the plate 13-12.
A wonderful three days and with next year being there 100 year centennial, a tournament well worth going to.

Photos left to right
  • The Team: Terry Henshaw, Brian Aiken, Sandy Cleghorn, Roy Parker
  • Sandy doing what he does best....... talking. Telling whoever cares to listen how good a bowler he is..........
  • Cobden Bowling Club, Greymouth, West Coast
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Lawn Bowls a Hotbed of Drug Use

Provided by Neil Kearney

Lawn bowls is a hotbed of drug use, with sports scientists using all sorts of concoctions to keep players alive for their next game. There is also evidence of widespread corruption, with meat raffle prizes offered to bribe players to keep quiet about the sport's sordid goings on.
Arthur Crimshaw, head of Australian Bowling, denies any wrong doing saying it is perfectly natural for players to want to be kept alive. But he refused to answer many questions at a press conference, mainly because his hearing aid was turned down too low.
Some players have been found to be wearing electronic devices to artificially stimulate their heart, giving them an advantage over other players who don't use the device and are ... well, dead.
Others are taking stimulants to keep them awake during the game. These drugs have also been passed to spectators so they don't fall asleep when games are televised. The government has announced a probe into the sport. Crimshaw said his players were used to probes, just as long as they've been sterilized and are not too cold.

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