Two NZ bowls clubs merge - a sign of the times

09 Aug, 2017 03:55 PM
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Two bowling clubs that have been prominent in Hawera for many decades are merging into one.

The Nolantown Bowling Club and the Hawera Bowling Club will now be called Tower Bowls Hawera, and be based in the Hawera Bowling clubrooms.

The name comes from the view that players have when they're on the green - the Hawera Water Tower.

Paul Werder, who is the president of the Nolantown club, and soon-to-be vice-president of the Tower club, said it was disappointing, but was an unanimous decision.

"Deep down it is sad to see it go, but it's just a sign of the times," Werder said.

When Werder joined in 1991 the club, which was established in 1953, had between 60 and 70 members. Today, it has 26.

"Hawera approached us to see if we wanted to go up there three years ago. They wanted to merge and we voted to hold fire and see how we went," he said.

"When that happened we had about 34 members."

Merging committee member Keith Ranford explained the merger as a double-edged sword.

"It's sad, but at the same time it's exciting," Ranford said.

Another merging committee member Scott Roberts agreed.

"Instead of having two weak clubs, we'll have one strong one," Roberts said.

Max Sayer, the president of the Hawera Bowling Club, and soon-to-be president of Tower Bowls Hawera, said the Hawera Club was looking forward to it.

"We were expecting it, there have been no problems whatsoever," Sayer said.

"Two of our life members turned around and said it should have been named Tower Bowls years ago."

The Hawera club has around 100 members and has been going since 1895.Sayer said they had an older membership with only six or seven male members under 70.

Werder said Nolantown was the opposite and they've only got two or three members over 70.

Sayer said the merger would mean "it's going to be bowls seven days a week, virtually."

Roberts agreed and said there was going to be so much more happening with the clubs combined, including classic competitions.

"The Nolantown 5000, which is the big annual tournament here, it's not the end of it," he said. "It's going to carry on as the Tower Bowls Hawera Nolantown 5000."

On August 12 Nolantown Bowling Club will hold its last shindig.

- Courtesy of Stuff

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