What were you doing 36 years ago? I guarantee in 1984 you were not playing bowls, but  that’s the year Doncaster and Victoria Ballarat Bowling Clubs began their yearly exchange visits.

It was Doncaster’s turn to host this year , and it was decided to change the  format somewhat . Instead  of bowling first and then dining at about 5pm, we would play in the morning, have a sit down luncheon,  play another set, then come back inside for a drink,  afternoon tea and  prize giving , before farewelling our guests.

But it all went to water literally.  The rain fell, no it was not nearly enough to help put out the terrible bush fires , but it was too much for walking  on  the greens…… the organisers suggested a very early lunch and then two games of bowls.

Ash Rowe and Ballarat’s Alan Dennis  announced the integrated teams and their rink numbers before lunch, which  was such a good idea as it gave players from the two clubs  a chance to get to know each other whilst eating the meal.

Everyone trooped out as soon as the rain eased.

They played nine ends , then another nine ends against a different  team before returning inside for a warming drink and nibbles. People talked and chatted, yes they had made new friends.

The winning teams were applauded and prizes of T shirts and mugs, pens and caps were accepted. All too soon it was time for our visitors  to climb aboard the bus and head home to Ballarat .

I felt it was a most successful day because people mingled earlier and they seemed reluctant to leave.

Well done Ash Rowe, who has been the liaison  person for Doncaster over the last two or three years,  Nicole Carriero, who helped Ash  with choosing the teams,  the extra three ladies who helped to prepare the food on the morning before the visitors arrived, and  most of all the terrific small team of Kathy Rehe, Barb Benson, and Elaine Kleinert who worked hard with me in the kitchen over two days. Thankyou ….Lyn Goodman.

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