Every sporting club in the world needs loyal members and supporters but perhaps more importantly those clubs also need volunteers who give up their time to make their club a better place for all. Here at Hilton Park Bowling Club, we have our fair share of loyal members and helpers who are willing to assist the club in all sorts of ways. But we also have one volunteer worker whose efforts over a period of years put him head and shoulders ahead of the rest. His name is Richard “Barney” Young and we will tell you more about Barney later in this newsletter.
When we reviewed the first month of the pennant bowls season in the last issue of Hawk Eye, we made the point that the season had not started particularly well and that there was room for improvement. At that time, the club’s seven teams (three on Saturdays, three on Thursdays and Tuesday Ladies) had won only 10 and lost 18 of the 28 games played.
Well, we are now proud to report that there has been significant improvement over the last four weeks prior to the Christmas break. Some sides have done very well since then and some are still not winning too often but the overall tally from a total of 53 games is 23 wins and 30 losses. So that second month of the season has brought 13 wins and 12 losses from 25 games. Let’s keep up the good work in 2019.
Thursday men:- The Division Two side has recorded three wins in a row to take their overall record to five wins from seven games and fifth spot on the ladder. There was a narrow 4-2 win over Manning when Gary Dodd’s rink had a 10-shot win which was enough to see the team home by 60 shots to 54. It got easier after that with 6-0 wins over Leeming and Melville — that last win by a massive 84 shots to 34 across the three rinks.
The Division Four side improved their record with a 51/2-1/2 win over Manning and a 6-0 win over Spearwood before slipping to a 4/-1/ loss down at windy Safety Bay. Barry Douglas’ rink were the only winners — coming back from 15¬10 down with six shots on one end to squeeze home 21-18. Despite that setback, the side is still sitting in top spot on the ladder.
Things are not so good in Division Five where a 6-0 forfeit win over Spearwood was followed by successive 5-1 losses to Fremantle and Mosman Park. Officially, Hilton’s 1-6 record sees them in seventh spot — but only the non-existent Spearwood side are below them.
Saturday men: - Hilton’s First Division side went into the second month of the season with a 1-3 win-loss record but then hit great form with a 6-2 home win over Leeming (103 shots to 82) and a 7-1 away win over Melville (70 shots to 59). However, a 6-2 home loss to Gosnells and followed by an 8-0 belting at the hands of league leaders Cockburn on their new undercover green. The final shot tally of 120 to 58 was a real blow-out and left Hilton in 8th spot at the Christmas break with only Melville and Mt Pleasant below us.
After a 0-4 start to the season, the Division Three side broke their duck with a 6-2 win at Mosman Park before losing 6-2 to Manning, 6-2 to Rossmoyne and 7-1 to Warnbro. That leaves the side in last place with one win from eight games.
The Division Five side maintained their winning form with results of 51/2-1/2 over Fremantle, 5-1 over Mosman Park and 6-0 away to Melville. But just before the break they lost by the narrowest of margins (one shot) in a 4-2 loss to Safety Bay. Tommy James’ rink and Graham McKenzie’s rink won by a total of 16 shots only for Mike De Luis’ rink to go down by 17 shots. Despite that setback, the side still sits top of the ladder.
Tuesday Ladies: - Sitting at 1-3 with three successive losses after the first month, Hilton’s Tuesday ladies got back to winning form with a 5-1 win at home to local rivals Spearwood. The winning shot margin of 74-52 was impressive. But, unfortunately, the side could not keep up the good form - then losing 5-1 away to Cockburn followed by another 5-1 defeat to East Fremantle. This time it was very close with the shots going 62-59 to the opposition. The ladies ended the year with another 5-1 loss, this time at Melville.
Richard “Barney” Young walked into Hilton Park Bowling Club in the year 2000 looking for something to do as he had retired early. Some 18 years later, he is still on the lookout for something to do.
“I was 49 and lived in the area so it was Hilton Park for me,” he said. “The first time I came in the place I met Bobby Miller who was sitting at the bar and he made me feel very welcome.
I got some bowling coaching from Barbara Stewart and her daughter Cindy and I never looked back. I still remember my first game of pennants at the Perth Tatts club with Tommy James as my skip.” Richard was born in East Fremantle but the family was soon on the move to Bruce Rock when his father got a job on a wheat farm. However, Richard and his twin brother got asthma from the wheat dust so they were soon back in Fremantle again.
He attended White Gum Valley Primary School and John Curtin High School and then joined the Australian Army in 1970. His six year stint serving his country included a grim 13 months in Vietnam. The nickname “Barney” (from Barney Rubble of The Flintstones fame) has stuck with him since his Army days.
The story goes that an army sergeant in Victoria on seeing Richard for the first time said something like: “Well, f... me. Here comes Barney Rubble!” Richard then worked for 10 years as a professional prawn fisherman in the Gulf of Carpentaria and then another 10 years as a construction worker in Perth. He finished up working for Patricks on the container wharf at Fremantle before taking early retirement. At Hilton, Richard has been greens chairman for 15 years and has done four years as club president.
“I have always been happy doing work around the club,” said Richard. “Some of the projects have been my ideas but I have also helped out with a lot of other things as well. I get great satisfaction out of it.”
So what has Richard worked on? He built the casual drinks gazebo between greens B and C, he assisted Vic Philpott to build the outside toilets, he dug the trenches for the lighting towers, and he worked for months with the late Bobby Miller bringing C green up to the high standard it is now.
The list goes on. He has painted the inside of the clubhouse, worked with the men’s shed to get the car park re-surfaced, organized the grants for the disabled toilets, worked on the demolition of the old balcony and the construction of the new one, made up wooden tables for the outside balcony, and laid the concrete crossover for an overflow car park. In other words, if something has happened at Hilton over the last 20 years, you can bet Barney has been involved in it.
“It keeps me active and healthy,” is his best explanation. His award of life membership a few years ago was certainty merited.
After the three week break for Christmas and New Year, the various pennants competitions resume in January. The ladies are first to step up on Tuesday January 8 while the midweek men’s competition kicks off on Thursday January 10 and the Saturday men hit the greens on Saturday (obviously) January 12. Happy bowling in the New Year.