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Bowls In Focus : November 2011
Bowls In Focus 41 Century up for VGA: Part 1 This year the Victorian Greenkeepers Association is celebrating its 100th year. I couldn’t imagine greenkeeping in 1911, but wanted to turn the clock back a little and spoke to a highly respected greenkeeper and life member of the VGA, Alan ‘Bundy’ Elliott. Thirty years ago in 1981, Bundy was the secretary/manager of the Gisborne Bowling Club, when he and the club’s greenkeeper Les Bailey decided to join the then named Victorian Greenkeepers Bowling Association, which was soon to be changed to the current name. In the same year Bundy attended his first Federation Carnival, an event held every three years when greenkeepers from around Australia meet up for what’s known as the ‘Federation Conference and Carnival’. The Carnival on that occasion was held in Melbourne and Bundy hasn’t missed once since. I was with Bundy for Federation Week in Queensland in 2008, then again in South Australia this year and fully understand how he earned his nickname. In 1987 Les Bailey retired from greenkeeping. With all that Les had passed on to Bundy, and with a course at Burnley, Bundy set forth on a new career. He was employed on a part time basis but still worked in the plumbing industry. Bundy received and was grateful for all the help he received from other greenkeepers. In the early days, Thursday arvo was a half day in which greenkeepers visited clubs for a BBQ followed by bowls, where as many as 40 would attend on these days to play against the hosts. The winning team from the ‘Greenies’ would accept glasses from the host club and likewise winners from the club visited received the most sought-after VGKA glasses. Other bowls days included the K&B Adams pairs, West Seeds singles, Scott Bonnar triples and Chem Turf fours, just to name a few. The singles were held at Richmond Union whilst the pairs back then were held at either Port Melbourne or Heathmont. As the years went on these days become less popular as more and more struggling clubs starting employing contractors. Social days were held and the attendance was good with club games being played. During this era the Victorian Greenkeepers Bowling Association had a Greenkeepers Bowling Club, which was highly successful rising to Division 1 in the RVBA pennant competition. A team of Len McKenzie, Tom Tucker, Keith Fleetwood and Ray Thorne won their group fours in the mid-eighties and progressed to the elimination series held at Myrtleford. The association continued through a rough period; however things sorted themselves out with membership drives, social days and Federation Weeks being well attended. The 2005 Federation Carnival in Bendigo was a huge success and voted one of the best on record. Victoria’s turn to host the Fed Week comes around again in 2017. In 2004 ‘Bundy’ Elliot stepped into the position of secretary of the Victorian Greenkeepers Association and was happy to work with presidents Doug Agnew, Andrew Kent and most recently Dyson Appleyard. Over 10 years ago Bundy moved to Myrtleford and is greenkeeping at the bowling club. He would make the three- hour drive down to Melbourne for all events and committee meetings, and was the backbone of the VGA. In 2011 Bundy told the association that he knew that it was in good hands and it was time to step down as secretary. He will be missed but wanted to stay on as a selector for our bowls days. Next edition we will look at the present day VGA, how the association operates, our centenary celebrations and plans for the future. - Warren Maynard VGA Secretary 914A Doncaster Road, East Doncaster Vic 3109 Phone: (03) 9848 7387 Fax: (03) 9848 6977 Mens Coloured Bowls Wear Pants RRP $50 NOW $35 On hand stock only! Winasetof GREENMASTER Bowls for Christmas When you purchase any Greenmaster Products instore or online from 21st November untill 5pm 23rd December 2011 DSG Bowls Shop wishes you a very happy festive season www.DoncasterSportingGear.com.au Victorian Greenkeepers Association Turf Talk • Legendary VGA stalwart Alan ‘Bundy’ Elliott.