Some articles published in old Malvern Bowling Club newsletters are great fun to read, as we reflect on how much things have changed. Long before the days of Cabrini-sponsored sandwiches, ladies were rostered to attend at the club to prepare tea and sandwiches for the gentlemen bowlers. Despite not playing, they had to come dressed in uniform and were rostered in strict fashion to assist at the club. The following entitled: “A Letter to Our Roster Secretary” might amuse some of you.
I’m sitting here in prison as I write this little verse,
The judge he gave me 18 months, it could have been much worse,
With bowlers on the jury, no one saw my point of view,
So I beg you ladies listen it could well be one of you.
It started on a Saturday when much to my displeasure,
I had to help with pennant teas and sacrifice my leisure,
I got there very punctually, dressed up in bowling gear,
Though the purpose of this odd attire has never been quite clear,
My attention was directed to a notice on the wall,
With instructions for procedure to be heeded by us all,
The orders were so detailed that, in my interpretation,
They sounded like the format for a major operation.
To butter bread sounds easy, but I found I was mistaken,
It’s not an exercise that can be lightly undertaken.
For different tastes and sandwiches there must be made provision,
Mixed, matched, stacked in containers with mathematical precision.
I helped to lay the tables and put chairs in groups of eight,
And in the process managed to drop half a dozen plates.
We had some nice new tablecloths all made of fancy lace,
And I tore a ragged hole in one while pulling it in place.
I cut my little finger on a somewhat rusted tin,
And the contents turned a deeper shade with blood and bits of skin,
So I put a little Band-Aid on the wound to keep it clean,
Which turned up sometime later in the tub of margarine.
I was told to time the hard-boiled eggs and crack them with a spoon,
But they turned out soft and squashy when I took them out too soon,
And as I made a rush to take the rubbish out the door,
I upped a tray of sandwiches which landed on the floor.
This didn’t make me popular as you can well assume,
For a while there was an atmosphere of silence in the room.
But this seemed insignificant in view of future strife,
When I cut right through the Laminex with that electric knife.
Because of power failure there was quite a long delay,
So we went and got some drinks and I upset mine on the way,
And when at last the water boiled and someone made the tea,
I got lumbered with a teapot which was half the size of me.
By now I was frustrated, hot and cross and in disgrace,
When a bowler stuck his foot out, I fell flat upon my face,
That really was the climax and I suddenly saw red,
I gripped that great big teapot, and I hit him on the head,
I didn’t mean to kill him but it seems his skull was frail,
And this is how I come to be composing this in jail,
I was lucky in the verdict which was “temporarily insane”,
So take me off the roster please ‘til I come out again.
Contributed by Margaret Duffield