by Al Williams
Kevin Manchester says he is happy to receive life membership of the Timaru Indoor Bowls Association.
“It was quite an honour, really,” he said.
“Indoor bowls offers comradeship. You meet a lot of people and I have had a lot of fun over the years.
“I have got a lot more out of the game than I have put into it.”
The honour was bestowed on Manchester before the start of the interclub competition on Wednesday last week.
Association spokeswoman Gillian Inkersell Manchester started playing bowls when he was first married 50 years ago and he had always stayed loyal to the Pareora-Southburn Indoor Bowls Club.
Inkersell said: “When Kevin joined it was just Southburn and they regularly played matches against Pareora. At a later stage both clubs combined and still the Southburn-Pareora club managed to keep afloat with small numbers.
“Over the years Kevin became part of the Timaru Indoor Bowls Association management and he went on to do a term as president, then remained on management for many years.”
At one stage he took on selecting and was the convener, Inkersell said.
“For the Timaru association, he won his first championship in the triples in 1977, then the open fours in 2011. His only championship for the centre was in pairs, in 1995.
“Though he may not have a string of championships to his name, he always made the opposition pull out all the stops and is still a force to be reckoned with,” Inkersell said.
“Prior to the Timaru association having their own building at Redruth, Kevin was always available for help wherever we played.
“From carting mates to Craighead, Timaru Boys’ High School or Mountainview, then with the purchase of Redruth, Kevin was always there for fundraising.”
Since the Timaru association had moved to its Ashbury clubrooms, Manchester had organised car rallies and stored logs for firewood at his farm and so they could be split to sell, she said.
“He has been a very efficient barman at both Redruth, and now Ashbury.
“For the past 20 years he has organised trips to Greymouth every Queen’s Birthday Weekend and has had no trouble getting about 28 players to go each year.”
Manchester is currently president of the Southburn-Pareora club.