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(Member since 1978 and regular WP player)

In 1978, when I first played bowls in Stellenbosch, the Club had only one green and its clubhouse was much smaller. From what I can recall, member numbers were lower than at present and the game was definitely more formal – the dress code being an obvious example. Eventually, the Club’s greens were expanded by a second green and the clubhouse was also enlarged.
There are a few differences between the game of the early 1980s and the bowls of today. One being the almost total absence of players under 30 years. There were no under-21 tournaments or squads. Towards the end of this period, some tentative steps were taken to create an under-45 squad in the Province. Then, large numbers of older people played and the game had no need to find members in other age groups. A second difference was the colour of the bowls – just black and brown, and mostly Henselites – in contrast to yellow, pink, a mottled finish, etc. that are used today; brand names being Drake’s Pride, Taylor and Henselite.
“Tabs-in” was on Wednesdays and Saturdays and always in white, while practising players often wore whites also on other days. Club tournaments were played only on a Saturday. The two- or three-day “classic” games that have become so popular in many clubs today were seldom on the calendar. The Hottentots-Holland tournament (now the 9s tournament), played over two successive weekends, was an annual competition that included Vlottenburg and all clubs currently in the Hottentots-Holland basin.

The surface of the Club’s single green was reasonable, but definitely not up to its current excellent standard. Rinks were demarcated by a line of fishing tackle drawn between them, so an umpire was never needed to determine whether a bowl was in or out of a rink. Sometimes, when the jack had moved off-centre, this line obstructed a bowl delivered wide into the adjacent rink. So, the scrapping of these lines was an improvement. The practice of marking the centre of a rink where the jack is to be placed at the start of a head is another aspect that speeded up the game. However, the fact that the game of bowls requires players to stand as spectators for quite a while is a negative aspect of the game that discourages prospective bowlers.
And so, while bowls has changed marginally and some of the codes have eased over the past 30 years, none of these changes have resulted in the

game losing its distinctiveness. But, in my opinion, the changes have added value. This means that we should continue to investigate further changes to the game that will make it more accessible and attractive to people who have not yet played. But, in closing and having made this comment, perhaps the greatest difference between the Club in the 1980s and that of today is that the current Stellenbosch bowlers make a greater effort to promote and market the game, and also to welcome new players into the Club. This provides energy and momentum and makes the Stellenbosch-Van der Stel Bowling Club a great place in which to enjoy the game. And, may it remain this way for the next 70 years. We are indeed privileged to play the game on the beautiful bowling greens of this great Club!

(Presidente van 2001-2003)

ot ongeveer 2003 het die mans- en damespelers onafhanklik gefunksioneer. Die twee groepe het elk hul eie president en uitvoerende komitee gehad en het hul finansies apart bestuur (natuurlik was die damesafdeling beter georganiseer!). Die spelers het op sosiale dae ook apart gespeel, maar een dag per week het hulle saamgespeel.

Vir spel was die dames se kleredrag streng voorskriftelik: wit rokke of rompe tot onder die knie, en selfs ‘n onderrok moes deel uitmaak van hul sportdrag! Slegs bare beige sykouse was toelaatbaar, met bruin of wit skoene. Geen juweliersware, behalwe “studs,” is toegelaat nie – dus geen hangende oorbelle nie. Die wit hoed met die Klub se band was verpligtend. ’n Speler moes selfs die hoed tot by haar motor dra wanneer sy die klubhuis verlaat! Tydens spel is geen geselsery op die perke toegelaat nie.

Die dames het nie teebeurte waargeneem nie, aangesien ‘n voltydse “huishulp” aan diens was. Sy was ook verantwoordelik vir die netheid van die klubhuis en het hulp verleen met “All Days.”
Die perke was swaar, want die prioriteit was ’n groen oppervlakte in teenstelling met die meer wetenskaplike benadering vandag, waar klubs se kundige perkemeesters ’n vinnige oppervlakte verseker.