At the time of writing it is Thanksgiving weekend and it seems like the blink of an eye since Victoria Day when we really got under way. But it is an appropriate time to look back on the season and to be thankful for what it brought.
After a wet spring and early summer it was wonderful to be able to extend the season because of the fine weather that the last few weeks have brought and it was only on Saturday September 30th we finally closed. The shutters have now gone up on the club house and bowling has finished for 2017. However, work has already started to prepare the greens for next season with the primary task being to top dress the greens, an essential task ready for the winter. Greens work will continue for a few weeks as the grass still needs cutting and, inevitably, there will be lots of leaf clearing. I have to express my personal thanks and those of the club to Ralph Stoffers who is giving up the greens after six years. He has made a huge contribution to the club and will be sorely missed. We are grateful that Mike Hendren has agreed to supervise greens work next year but he will need the help of a group of dedicated volunteers if we are to keep the greens as could as they have been for the last few years.
We celebrated 110 years of bowling in Victoria Park this year and to note the occasion a new more modern logo was introduced; new banner signage went up on the club house; a pictorial display of the club’s history was mounted in the club house and CHEX TV did a feature on the club. The highlight of the celebrations was a wonderful anniversary tournament followed by a celebratory dinner. And there was a very nice tribute to the club from the Cobourg Concert Band during one of their Tuesday evening concerts – club members being what the Band describes as their most captive audience.
But of course the main question to ask when reviewing any kind of sporting season is “was it successful?” In terms of membership the answer is “Yes” with basically the same number of members. In terms of enjoyment, physical activity and social interaction the answer is also “Yes”. At the end of the day sport is supposed to be fun. Anybody attending the popular Tuesday night club jitneys will hear lots of laughter, noise and good natured banter as well as seeing some good bowling and that is surely the sign of a successful sports club. Another entertaining (and noisy and sometimes confusing) evening is the Monday night league and thanks go to Donna Ball for organising this again. Not only is it fun but it tests specific bowling skills and I’d encourage more to try it out next year.
But what about bowling success? The answer to that is most certainly “Yes”. One of the club’s longest standing and successful bowlers is Martin Foxhall who was a member of the Ontario fours gold medal winning team. And that team followed up with a silver medal at the Canadian championships in Victoria BC. Bowling siblings Ben and Baylee van Steijn had further successes this year as Ben, in his final year as a junior won gold at the Ontario junior championships. Sixteen year old sister Baylee won bronze at the Ontario championships and followed that with silver in the Canadian junior championships; she is also a member of the Canadian development squad.
Club members were also successful in winning District playdowns in men’s fours, ladies’ fours and ladies’ seniors and thus qualified for Ontario championships but unfortunately could not follow that up with medals at Provincial level despite some excellent performances. At club level there were trophy wins in open tournaments in Cobourg and at other club’s open tournaments, most notably by Bob Bates and Pat Bylok in mixed pairs tournaments and by Ralph Stoffers and Carl Ferguson in men’s pairs.
If you’ve been following the standings on the jitney results you will see that the top jitney player was Bev Sydenham beating Vince Tamburello by one point – well done Bev.
Those were the achievements that grabbed the headlines but what was equally encouraging and a sign of success was to see new bowlers quickly learn and improve and most importantly, enjoy the sport. Also to see second and third year bowlers moving up a level into more serious tournament play and thereby increase their skill and experience levels.
Your Executive Committee is already planning for 2018. The provisional tournament schedule has been entered on the on-line calendar on the web site and the relevant pages will be updated once the schedule is finally agreed. Looking forward to the 2018 season which starts in May, it already looks to be another very busy season as, in addition to the usual round of tournaments, the club has bid to host the Ontario mixed pairs championships. With the lessons learned from hosting the Ontario junior championships in 2016 and with the enthusiastic support of members the club is confident of hosting a really successful championship – given the opportunity.
For the benefit of those who were not at the Fall general meeting I have shown below the members of The Executive Committee as voted for at the meeting.
President – Carol Dewey
Past President – Nan Hendren
Vice President – Bill Arthur
Treasurer – Donna Ball
Correspondence Secretary - Sharyl Ann Milligan
Minute Secretary – Louisa Arthur
There will be challenges ahead (primarily funding for a new garage and maintaining the club house) and the Executive Committee will do their best to meet those challenges under Carol’s leadership. But we do need members to help with various jobs. Please let an EC member know if you can help in any way with any of the jobs that need to be carried out to keep the club running efficiently.
Finally, short may bowling started this week. If you haven’t tried it why not come along to the Cobourg Community Centre. We meet at 1.30 on Tuesday and Thursdays. A new innovation for short mat bowlers has been the formation of the Canadian Short Mat Bowling Association and Canadian championships are being held in Etobicoke in November. We have entered two triples teams (Ralph Hewitt, Mike Place and Dave Jones; and Bill Arthur, Louisa Arthur and Nancy Fargo). Martin Foxhall has also entered all the events. The winners get the opportunity to play in the World Championships in Sweden next year.
Have a great winter whatever you’re doing and roll on May 2018. To remind you of the season just gone here is a pictorial highlights reel