Well, hopefully that is the winter rains and cold behind us. Spring is here and summer is not far away. That means only one thing - the bowling season starts soon.
This newsletter, which we hope to bring out on a monthly basis during the summer, is designed to keep our members and friends up-to-date with everything that is happening at Hilton Park Bowling Club.
The pennant bowls season begins in just a few weeks and, after Hilton's successes of last season, the club hopes to be able to increase the number of teams. The Saturday season begins on October 27 and 44 players will be required for teams in 1st, 3rd and 5th divisions. The midweek season opens on Thursday, November 1, and 36 players are needed each week for sides in 2nd, 4th and 5th divisions.
Season 2018/19 formally begins with an Open Day on Sunday, September 30. The day kicks off at 1pm with Closest to the Spider followed by a drawn bowls competition. The dress code is club colours.
An invitation has been sent to our local Fremantle MP Simone McGurk to attend the event and perform the opening ceremony.
Let's hope the weather is fine and there is a good turn-out to kickoff the season.
New men's captain Gary Saint has arranged for a spectacular opening to the season and a pennant warm-up event with a drawn fours competition on the afternoon of Saturday, October 13, and Sunday, October 14. At the moment, 40 players have put their names down to play and when the 10 teams are drawn the players can sort out for themselves who plays lead, skip etc.
That event will fill one of the club's rinks but the other main rink will also be open for anyone who wants to come down for a preseason roll-up.
On both sides of that weekend - Saturday, October 6 and Saturday, October 20 - Gary will be arranging other warm-up events so that everyone has plenty of opportunities to bowl before the pennants begin.
At the bowling club's annual general meeting a few weeks ago, a number of changes were made to the committee - the most obvious being Richard Young stepping down as president after a few years in the job. “Barney” did a terrific job leading the club over those years and we wish to thank him for all the time and work he put in to make the club a better place. However, he is still serving on the new committee.
“Barney’ was replaced as president by Ron Turner whose term of office has started in an unusual manner as in recent months he has been travelling around parts of Australia with his wife Val. They have now returned and Ron is quickly getting to work in his new position.
The full committee line-up is:-
President - Ron Turner; Vice-president - Peter Stone; Secretary - Dorraine Stone; Treasurer - Craig Standley; Men's Captain - Gary Saint; Ladies' Captain - Val Turner; Greens - Barney Young; Bar - Brian Smith; Social - Fred Kuhnl; House - Keith Read
Sadly, the number of women playing bowls at Hilton Park has deteriorated in the last few years and this year the ladies will be playing pennants only on Tuesday morning in 3rd division.
Ladies' captain Val Turner says that the club has 15 members available to fight for the 12 spots in the team. She remains confident the team will go OK and also hopes the numbers can slowly increase once again
Looking further ahead, the committee has grand plans to convert the under-utilised A green to a synthetic green. The advantages of this would be many.
It would give our pennant bowlers the chance to practise on carpet in advance of a pennant fixture at an opposition ground with a synthetic surface. Also, it could be used by corporate bowlers on Wednesdays and by regular bowlers in the off-season to give the main grass greens more of a break.
Did we forget to mention the cost? Something like a cool $250,000. Functions and donations would not get anywhere near that figure and the club committee is now working out the best way to seek funds from bodies such as Fremantle Council and the government's Sports and Recreation Department.
For anyone who has not been down at the club over the last few months, there are a number of changes which have taken place.
The major change is a new rear balcony which will be great for watching bowls in the summer and also great for relaxing with a beer in the evenings as the sun goes down.
The balcony cost in the region of $20,000 which was raised from several club functions as well as from individual donations. The person driving the change was former club president, Richard Young, and at this stage the balcony has been dubbed “Barney's Balcony’.
A host of people contributed to what is a major improvement in the Hilton set-up and the many jobs which were done ranged from moving the air conditioning units off to laying the concrete and fixing the bar stools and tables. So the club offers a big thanks to all who chipped in.
The balcony is not yet fully complete and very soon the club hopes to be able to install blinds to keep out the sun when it gets too hot. The cost of this is likely to be around $3500.
There are a number of other changes around the club. These include a new entry (completed by Barney again and his mates), new tables and chairs in the main bar area, and the construction of disabled toilets with funds provided by the Labor Party though local MP Simone McGurk