VALE ARTHUR RAM.
The chain is broken. The very last member of the “ White Flag” team has passed away.
lan Golding has written about Arthur’s time at Doncaster Bowls Club.
“Arthur Ram who passed away on July 9, at the age of 96 years had been a wonderful servant to the Doncaster Bowling Club over the 53 years he spent as a member.
Having joined the Club in October 1970, Arthur quickly immersed himself in the organisation, joining the Men’s Committee in 1973. He remained on that committee for 17 years during which time he went the various steps required and became the President of the Men’s Section in 1981.
He then served on the Management Committee for a year, ran the House Committee ( maintenance) for three years and also worked on the Social Committee. He served on the Bar Roster for 23 years and assisted with Thursday Night meals for 4 years.
Apart from the known roles as mentioned, Arthur was very good with his hands and could put his talents to many projects. As a teacher he taught in the sheet metal area and one year gave his pupils a project to make the stainless steel drip trays used in our bar. They are still in use.
He built or was instrumental in building the three roofed shelters facing the front green and was involved in the building of the ornamental gates that adorned the front entrance. These were Arthur’s talents and he used them well.
Arthur played a key role along with other members, in assisting Jim Morgan a former member and builder, in the major extension which saw the clubrooms double in size in the mid seventies. A small plaque in the lounge area, dated 3rd September 1977, relates to this project.
His skills on the green were equally impressive, highlighted by his winning the Men’s Singles Championship in the 1992-93 year.
Shortly after joining the Club Arthur was in the team which won the B2 Divisional flag. In later years he was a reserve for the successful Division 1 team which won the 1984-85 Flag and played in the Flag winning team in the 1986-87 year. In the 2001-02 year he played in the rink which won the Men’s Classic 4s Tournament.
He won or was runner up in various Club individual events over his years on the green.
Arthur was a coach for 23 years, being Accredited in 1993, during which time he assisted many a new bowler in mastering the sport. ( He was Gerda’s coach.)
He was a great character who loved a chat and would spend hours regaling, usually newer members, with the history of the club including personal involvement and team successes.
Arthur was awarded Life Membership of The Club in 1988.
He will be fondly remembered by the many members who were part of his journey.”’
Who can do a euology better than a family member? Anthony Ram his son, spoke very movingly at his funeral. It was an insight into the times of his life, some of which were and others which were not associated with the Bowling Club.
“Arthur was born on 5th July 1927 and was just able to reach his 97th birthday. He grew up in Coburg attending Merlynston State School and Brunswick Tech. On leaving school he was apprenticed to the Victorian Railways where he worked at the Newport Railway workshops on the large steam locomotives.
Then came a lightbulb moment for our Dad. At a dance he met Jean Holmes. It was love at first sight and she was his “darling” for evermore. They married in May 1949.
Dad left the railways and joined the Education Department as a trade teacher. He moved his family to Bendigo for a promotion around 1956-7 where he taught at Kangaroo Flat Tech, the School of Mines and White Hill Tech. Whilst in Bendigo he built his own house with help from his Melbourne family to do the concreting. This house was a pretty special place.
In 1967 it was back to Melbourne with another promotion to teach at Melbourne Tech which of course is now the RMIT. The final move was to Richmond College of TAFE. During this period Mum and Dad purchased a home in Doncaster where they lived for over 50 years.
Arthur was a good sportsman whether it was soccer, football or cricket. He was given a tryout for the Victorian soccer team. He watched soccer on TV to the distraction of us all. He took up lawn bowls in Bendigo and after moving to Melbourne he became a top bowler and played in the victorious Doncaster Bowling Club’s A grade Pennant team. He passed on his skills to many bowlers. The only failure was the ex Victorian Sheffield Shield wicket keeper “Slug” Jordan, who he couldn’t teach “any bloody thing.”
Dad loved travelling and history. He and Mum toured England and the Continent. Mum enjoyed it but said that if she saw another bloody church she’d scream. Dad visited his children if they were stationed overseas. Mostly Mum stayed home. We sent Dad home on his last trip first class. I asked him how it was. He said, “Just OK,” When asked why he said, “ There was nobody to talk to.”
He took up watercolour painting some of which you will have seen at the entrance. He was also pretty good with computers.
I’d just like to mention a few reminiscences that will probably give you an insight into the man he was.
1: When I was very young Dad said, “ Son you have to have a footy team.” He did not persuade me to follow his team Footscray, but instead he showed me a page of a magazine with all the club emblems. He let me choose myself. Well there was one team that had a footy with wings and a tailplane emblem. That was that.
2: Dad was famous at Doncaster Bowling Club. Early on the club was full of wowsers. It was a dry club. Unheard of!! Dad stood for President, won and stacked the committee with his mates. The first order of business was to get a bar installed!! Thereafter a cold beer could always be enjoyed after a hot day bowling at the Doncaster Club. Dad was made a LIFE MEMBER.
3: Dad was a beloved big brother to Evelyn. He used to often carry her on his shoulders. Predictably one afternoon with Evelyn on board he tripped and Evelyn went A over T. Dad said, “ Oh my God I have killed my little sister.” Evelyn jumped up exclaiming, “Do it again Arthur.” They were extremely close their whole lives.
Dad and Mum were progressive parents. No “worker and housewife “ for our family. Dad read the bedtime stories, and because Mum went to work early Dad got us off to school. Julie always left the house in Dad’s plaits with fresh ribbons in her hair.
Dad loved his family with a wonderful generosity. He was an attentive Grandfather and a Great Grandfather to seven kids. All were loved equally. He was always supportive, encouraging, fair, sensible and a great provider. He was a bit of a flirt, a cheeky bugger but always committed to his darling. He dispensed good common sense wherever it was needed. The sort of bloke you didn’t want to let down.
In short he was a RIPPER BLOKE. Everyone who knew him loved him.”
In a last few years on Saturday before Pennant he would arrive in the kitchen supposedly for a cup of coffee and proceed to pull from his shirt pocket a well worn square of paper. This would be carefully unfolded…then he would regale to whoever was there of the story of how a Bull married a Ram. This was the Maiden name of his Mother and the Sir name of his Father. Being an ex teacher he knew how to hold an audience. Yes he was entertaining.
An era has ended, VALE TO THE LAST PLAYER OF THE PINNACLE YEARS.