Your executive Board invites and urges you to attend these events. This is the one time all year when the membership can get together to discuss the state of the club, its future – and then celebrate the holidays. The meeting starts at 10:30 AM with the party (potluck lunch) to follow at noon. I do hope that as many of you as possible will attend the meeting, for reasons outlined below. If you can’t do that but can come for the party, that is fine. Please do come! That is also discussed below.
MEMBERSHIP MEETING: On the agenda are the state of club – finances, building rentals, the physical plant (green and buildings), 2013 tournament reports, election of 2014 officers, revival of the intra-club Ladder competition, and a proposed dues increase. As mentioned here last month, The Pacific InterMountain Division (PIMD) and Bowls USA are increasing dues. Our proposed increase would cover that cost to the club ($20 per member). On the other hand, it is proposed that student members who are over 18 pay one-half the full rate. Currently the one-half rate applies only up to age 18. Parenthetically, we are growing – 16 more members this year than last year. We need to continue this growth to be self-sustaining.
CHRISTMAS PARTY: The potluck format has proven very successful so we are going to do it again. Jim Corr has volunteered to co-ordinate the menu. Please let Jim know what you will bring. We hope that quite naturally there will be a variety of food items so we are not making any particular requests. It is, however, important for you to let Jim know so that (however unlikely) we do not wind up with 20 chocolate cakes and 20 potato casseroles, for example!
It is with sadness we report that long time former member John Patrick died peacefully on November 14. John joined the Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club in 1988 and maintained his membership until recently. During his years with the BLBC John served the club in various roles, including greens keeper and board member. John also served in various functions for the PIMD (including umpire duties) and for the national bowling organizations.
John took his greens keeping duties seriously and worked hard at them. John could be counted on to squeeze a couple of years more use out of any piece of aging mechanical equipment. John admired good work whenever he saw it and, for example, could appreciate a well-constructed piece of metal or a beautiful shot in bowls; and he never hesitated in remarking on his appreciation to the creator of the good work.
For many years John was a very good bowler and enjoyed bowling around the world, from England to Windhoek, Namibia. When he returned he would tell anecdotes about his trips, frequently adding his editorial comments!
When John could bowl no longer, he remained a frequent presence at the club. Though not bowling, he remained a bowler by being present and watching the game take place on greens he had tended for years. John was passionate about lawn bowling and his care for the game came out in many ways that benefited the BLBC. We extend our sympathies to John’s wife, Masako, and the Patrick family.
The club is increasingly being contacted by outside organizations to use our facilities for their events. In order to avoid confusion, the Executive Board has appointed Ann Gardiner, on a short term basis, to co-ordinate this kind of usage. She will keep a calendar in the clubhouse and also inform Dave Rockhold who keeps the website current. If you are contacted by non-members regarding rental of the clubhouse, please notify Ann.
This year’s tournament honoring the memory of Ed Arnold of Palo Alto LBC was a full house with the maximum 16 teams. Player’s from Berkeley, Rossmoor, San Francisco, San Jose, Sunnyvale and Palo Alto came to participate. Each team played 3-games of 12-ends each. Players rotated positions of Lead, Vice and Skip every 4-Ends. In the end, there was a tie between Dave Hale, Penny Bayless, and Frank Maty (in the tight plead shirts, and Mary Scott, Jerry Knott, and Linda Flores. There were prizes for the top 8 finishers. Three teams of Berkeley bowlers were “in the money”: Jim Corr, Ann Gardiner, and Shawn Roney; John Hooper, Cathy Dinnean, and Wilfred Wong; and Nikki Schrager, Dave Rockhold, and Mo Sher (SFLBC).
Closing Day in San Francisco was cold and foggy all morning and for part of the afternoon. Even when the sun finally did come out, it was still chilly. We played two 12-end games with a break for lunch. Due to the large number of bowlers (over 100), all three greens were put into play. The tournament twist: Teams only competed with teams playing on the same green, so there were more prizes awarded than usual: Three first places, three second places and three “ties or closest ties” in both the morning and the afternoon games.
BLBC was represented by vets Nikki Schrager, Ann Gardiner, Desmond Simpson, Phil Grattan, John Hooper and Erwin Vista and by novices Sarah Allday, Cris Benton, Dave McMullen, Rob Hoey and Wilfred Wong. (That’s more than double the number of bowlers from Berkeley who entered last year’s Closing Day!) Some of our vets and novices were on teams that won both games, but, sadly, that didn’t guarantee winning any money. The point spread differential determined the winning teams. Here’s how we fared:
The vets: Ann won a first place. Nikki, Ann, Phil, and Erwin each won a tie.
The novices: Cris won a first place. Sarah, Cris, Dave and Wilfred each won a tie. Well done novices!
While yours truly got all distracted by the impending arrival of my grandson, the 2013 class of novice bowlers had their eye on the title of Novice Singles Champion. It was a beautiful day for the Novice Tournament when five entrants – Chris Benton, Rob Hoey, Westin Kurlancheek, Dave McMullen, and Wilfred Wong showed up for the annual event.
Tournament director Gary Knox arranged for a single round robin tournament wherein each bowler would play every other bowler in the field. When it was all over, Cris Benton had prevailed with four wins and +29 points.
Many thanks to Erwin Vista and John Hooper for serving as markers.
Our dear friend, Dr. Irving Gershenberg, passed away quietly at home on September 24. Irving was an avid bowler, past President, and current member of the club’s Memorial and Endowment Fund. A celebration of Irving’s bountiful life is being planned. We, at BLBC, share the family’s loss.
Today was a special day at Berkeley LBC! Twenty-seven employees of a prestigious local firm were guests at the bowling club today as part of a team building exercise. They brought a splendid lunch and a desire to have fun.
The real purpose of this news item, though, is to applaud the efforts of one BLBC member who has taken the lead in events such as this one. Ann Gardiner is one amazing person. In the last four days, she has been the primary force for two hosting events at the club and participated in a major club-on-club tournament. This was a larger-than-ordinary task that could not have been pulled off without the right mix of leadership and hard work.
After the guests finished their lunch, the five “coaches” present had to introduce a lot of guests to lawn bowling quickly. But how does one do that? No problem for Ann. She had each person pre-select a bowl of the appropriate size to identify their set of bowls and set up the intro. Then, to my surprise, she had them form two parallel lines on the green facing her. She gave a simplified set of instructions and explanations about the nature of lawn bowling and the mechanics of delivering both the jack and the bowl. Immediately, one person at a time delivered a practice bowl to a waiting coach who then rolled it back. The neophyte bowler picked up the returned bowl and reported to an assigned rink where coaches were ready to direct a game of triples.
The amazingly efficient double line format streamlined the training and underlined just how important people like Ann Gardiner are to this (or any) organization. The next time you see Ann…say thank you.
Now it’s obvious that Ann didn’t do the whole event herself. Lots of other folks chipped in; Susan J., Jim C., Erwin V., John H., Millard L., and Dave R. all help set up, coach, and/or take down.
Now that’s That’s teamwork. Let’s hope our guests did some team building too.”
Temperatures in the high 80′s were predicted for Palo Alto on this sunny September morn. So, rise with the sun we thought. Get there early and get the feel of the green. Well, some of us did any way. We pulled into the parking lot by the Gamble House and parked at 8:30 – a bit too early.
Gradually, the clubhouse came to life and we all enjoyed the bagels with lox and tomatoes. Fresh fruit, coffee and OJ; yum! Thank you, Bonnie, for all the hard work.
A few practice bowls gave everyone a feel for the green. It was fast so we Berkeley bowlers would have to turn down the power a little to get full control of our shots. And then, the bell tolled. Front and center, bowlers. First, the Pledge of Allegiance, then it’s time to draw a chip and report to your rink to face the challenge.
In my case, a familiar face stood ready with his team. Eleven other skips faced a similar situation. They and their teams were ready. It was on, this 56th annual match for possession of the Meat Axe. At the end of the first round of six matches, Palo Alto had won four matches to our two. Lunch!
Anxious to proceed, I started rolling a few practice bowls and the afternoon match began. But, alas, it wasn’t to be. Palo Alto repeated the morning’s performance and the day ended with them winning eight of the twelve games. So, we needed to pass the Meat Axe back to the other side once again.
Congratulations, Palo Alto; well played. See you next year on our turf. What fun!
And we take home the consolation prize.
Long time BLBC member Bill Flounders and his new wife, Claudia Smukler, celebrated their post wedding brunch at the BLBC on Monday, July 1st.
About 40 guests attended and enjoyed modest breakfast items from Ann’s Catering. To make the event a bit spashier, Bill hired a mobile Espresso cart to set up on the patio. Special thanks to Dave Rockhold, Ann Gardiner and Jim Corr for coming out to coach. With their assistance, four rinks were active all morning and more than 20 out-of-towners were introduced to Lawn Bowling.
Thanks to all from newlyweds, Bill & Claudia. And to Bill and Claudia from all of us at BLBC, congratulations!