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BOWLS SECTION CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

 

This year the bowls section of the Club celebrated 100 years of playing bowls at Aberaeron. To mark the centenary celebrations several interesting matches were arranged over the season. The first of these took place in early May against a mixed team from the other Ceredigion Bowling Clubs, which was followed by a mixed team from the Llanidloes Club.

 

June saw the arrival of the famous Barbarians team with its quality bowlers to play against the Aberaeron men. Two matches played in early August were against Ceredigion County Bowling Association and the Welsh Bowling Association, Welsh President Gethin Bennet’s select WBA side, containing many top bowlers. Mid August brought old rivals, the Pembrokeshire Civil Service team, to the Club against a mixed side.
A week later it was the turn on the Aberaeron Ladies to be hosts to the Welsh President, Carol Booth’s Welsh Women’s Bowling Association select side. To fulfil this six rink match every available Aberaeron bowler was called upon. Played during the best afternoon of the summer this match was sheer enjoyment and fun throughout. Bowls as it should be played with, coincidentally, with 3 rinks winning on either side. The result epitomised the friendly nature throughout.

 

In the matches already played there had been a fair mix of narrow wins and narrow defeats. Emphasis in the games had been to renew old acquaintances who had been visitors over the years to Aberaeron green and, of course, to make new ones. Results were very much of secondary importance.

 

It is time now to pay tribute to the hard work of the Club members in preparing excellent lunches at the conclusion of the games. Most of these fell to the lady members but also the men reciprocated & cooked & served the meal after the ladies match. The after dinner speeches by Club captains Roger Jones & Milwen Lewis gave a brief history of the major changes at improvements at the Club over the past 100 years. A massive contribution by each generation to produce the Club as it is today, together with the foresight of the first members to purchase a prime piece of land in a superb setting. Progressing from playing the first bowls matches on the existing tennis courts to today’s beautiful green and, of course, the building of the present lovely Clubhouse by the present generation of bowlers.

 

A hundred years of worthwhile endeavour, not forgetting too, the generosity of Mr Dan Evans, Y Fro, who gifted to the Club an additional tract of land which has since been utilised.

 

The Club is indebted to and expresses its thanks to the many people who have sponsored the Club over the years, none more so than the sponsorship given by the town’s tradespeople this year to help with the expenses incurred during this centenary year. Their support has helped to make the year a successful & memorable one.

 

The Club’s management under the Chairmanship & guidance of Linda Hughes and the Secretary, Arwel Williams, have had the task of organising and delegating appropriately to various sub-committees. Thanks to the many who have contributed to this venture.

 

The last game to be played at the end of August was against the Aeron Coast Campers. This fixture is set apart from the other friendlies because it is played annually for the Pat Buckley Memorial Atrophy. The campers, after several years of trying, have succeeded in winning over the last two years and this year were going for a hat trick of wins. The Club obviously wanted to thwart them and a nail biter of a match resulted in the friendliest possible manner. Suffice to say that after picking up some single shots on the last ends, the Club was victorious by a mere 2 shots overall and recaptured the trophy. A fantastic game and fantastic excitement. The after match speeches by Roger Jones (Club captain), Haydn Griffiths (Senior Coaster) and Mr Leighton Phillips (owner Aeron Coast) were as entertaining as the match itself. Roger welcomed old adversaries, stressing the friendship that had existed over the years. He showed much pleasure in receiving the trophy from the Aeron Coast captain. Haydn’s speech was pure nostalgia. He learnt the game at Aberaeron and had been a member of the Club for 25 years. During this time he had taken part in all aspects of the Club. He played in the Club’s internal league, entered & won club competitions, entered county competitions and played for the Club many times in the County league. He mentioned other Aeron Coasters who had done the same, names well remembered by the senior members present. He concluded by saying Aberaeron was his first & foremost Club and it will always be so.

 

Mr. Phillips said the first connection with the Club was that he purchased the Aeron Coast site from Dan Evans, the same man who had gifted land to the Club. So many campers have used the Club’s facilities over the years but also the town itself has endeared itself to them and how they enjoyed the many events that take place in the town. A lovely town, he remarked, and a unique town. He then presented Club Chairman Linda Hughes, with a cheque for £500. Linda thanked him & his wife for their very generous gift and presented Mr Phillips with a memento from the Club. So ended a fabulous day, enjoyed so much by all present