L>R Club President Mike Eddington and Treasurer Pat Hurndell
You’d be forgiven for not being able to pinpoint the town of Waverley in New Zealand.
It’s a small settlement clinging to State Highway 3 forty-five kilometres northwest of Whanganui, with a population on a good day of 800 or so.
But for those in the know, it’s a ‘mecca’.
It’s a mecca for followers of the thoroughbred industry. This is where Snow Lupton trained the racehorse ‘Kiwi’ which won the Melbourne Cup forty years ago in 1983. It still rates as one of the biggest Tuesdays ever in New Zealand’s sporting history.
It’s a mecca for recreational spelunkers. The sea caves which corrode the cliffs of nearby Waverley Beach 10km away are an amazing example of the conflict between land and sea. But make your visit at low tide to get the best experience.
And it’s also a mecca for lawn bowlers … the Waverley Bowling Club boasts a whopping 100 members. That’s a big membership for a big city club. Let alone for a club in a town which the banks and passenger trains abandoned years ago.
Do the math. A staggering one in 8 residents enjoy the bowling club! It would be difficult to find another bowling club in New Zealand with a greater claim to being a ‘community’ club than Waverley.
And Club President Mike Eddington, Treasurer Pam Hurndell, Secretary Merle and a strong club committee have a lot to do with that success.
“When you’re a small club fighting for your very existence,” says Mike, “You take any opportunity that comes your way to stay up and running.”
“Our members play on a day that suits them. We have doubled our womens’ playing membership because of the great work Stu and Denis have done running the match committee.”
“Just the other week, we ran an Easter Egg Tournament with our neighbouring club Patea … we had a chockfull green of 16 triples teams.” Great day and everyone received an Easter Egg.
“But our real stand-out tournament is our twilight league which runs for 14 weeks over the summer. We had 14 teams of four playing every week last season … it’s not the usual Bowls3FIVE, but our view is that if you’ve got a full green why would you change?”
Bowls isn’t the only pastime that’s benefitting from the success of the Waverley club.
“We’re now getting a lot of locals coming on Thursday evenings to play pool, darts and cards,” says Mike.
“Our catering queen, Colleen and her helpers, are doing…
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