Bowl on up for good time at club

Bowl on . . . Hoping to attract new members to the Balmacewen Bowling Club Inc are (from left) president Bill Thompson and life members Donella O'Dea and Russell Kerr. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

The “best-kept secret in Maori Hill” is looking for new members.

Balmacewen Bowling Club Inc, which is tucked down a driveway off Balmacewen Rd, is putting the call out to get new people playing bowls and spending time at the club.

Club president Bill Thompson said he wanted local residents to discover the club and the “great game of bowls”.

“There are plenty of people who live in Maori Hill who wouldn’t have a clue where we are.”

Mr Thompson said the club wanted to build its membership on the green and the “social scene”.

People are invited to the club on Friday nights during the summer season for an easy game of bowls, a barbecue and social hour.

At present, there are about 48 playing members, down from about 100 when life members Donella O’Dea and Russell Kerr were part of the club in the early 1990s.

“When I joined in 1990, I came on opening day and I didn’t get a game,” O’Dea said.

“The green was full. People very kindly then offered for me to have a go.”

Thompson said membership had slowly decreased since then.

The club was all about camaraderie, friendship and competition, he said.

“Nobody steps on the mat to try to bowl a bad bowl.”

O’Dea said a lot of golfers adapted “extremely well” to bowls, as they already had good hand-eye co-ordination.

Outside of club members, the facility was used by school pupils, women’s groups and a group of men in their 30s.

The facilities have also been hired for wedding receptions and social functions.

“We would like to see people coming down the drive on a Friday evening, pick up a set of bowls, which we’ve got plenty of, and have a roll-up,” Thompson said.