Roger Morrison and Stuart have written to tell MBC members of the exciting, exhilarating and exuberant week of bowling. I’d just add how important support is; Wayne felt on Sunday MBC member’s enthusiasm and encouragement added 10 shots to our decisive victory. And, importantly our support was respectful and appropriate, displaying true sportsmanship.
We farewelled Garry Devlin last Thursday. Many, many members came to say goodbye to one of our most loved bowling mates. It was such a lovely evening, Stuart thanked and praised Garry on our behalf, and then Phin brought the house down with his presentation of 3 packets of pencils to ‘pencil power’ Garry. Phin also added to our club folklore with his ‘nice one Gary’, a reference to cricket which was somewhat lost on me. But I think we should continue to remember Garry with this call.
Andy Barraclough thanked Garry for his musical moments while John and Wayne thanked him for his cheerful and consistent help with functions and the BBQ.
Garry’s reply was, I thought, just wonderful, heartfelt and so eloquent. He spoke of his introduction to MBC, yet again Michael Classon was a factor as was Garry’s friendship with Ed Payne. Garry enjoyed immediate success as a bowler, and he thanked Rodger Kimpton for his generous and knowledgeable help. This season he’s been part of the dream team of Geoff, Gerald and David Pethard adding greatly to the success of Div. 3. More success was Garry’s this year as he and Ed won the Men’s pairs defeating John Murdoch and Stuart. So farewell Garry, safe trip and a happy retirement in Adelaide. We of course hope to see you on your visits to Melbourne.
As promised I have spoken to MBC members Eiko and Shinei Sakai about their involvement with our club and the wider community.
Coming to Australia to enjoy their retirement they, after several years, meet Alice Young’s mother Pansy in an English language class. Pansy was a delightful and most interesting woman who had joined her daughter and son-in-law, Chester, in Melbourne. Chester was a member of MBC and Alice was a regular at social events. So Eiko and
Shinei joined MBC, originally bowling socially and attending Wednesday nights. They were, as so many have been, made most welcome, particularly by Helen and Michael Classon. The Classons regarded them as part of their family, and Eiko and Shinei joined them at Christmas and many other Classon family celebrations. We attended Eiko’s 60th birthday at the Classons in much happier times for that wonderful family.
Initially Shinei was the more successful bowler, winning the Novice Championship, but Eiko, who had felt somewhat jealous, soon became the excellent bowler she is to this day. She has been Ladies champion on 2 occasions and the Ladies pairs champion twice, initially with Olive Harding then Helen Classon. They also made a fine team defeating Andy Barraclough and David Pethard to become the Mixed pairs champions.
Latterly Shinei has found bowling difficult because of problems with his eyesight, but he remains a keen supporter of MBC.
Shinei continues to support U3A, Melbourne, where he tutors in Japanese language and culture. His class always had a waiting list and he was recently rewarded with a 10-year certificate.
Eiko supports the Japanese Women’s Choir, Yukari Echo. The Classon family, Garry and Ed have had the pleasure of hearing the choir preform.
She is an extraordinarily talented crafts woman and homemaker. Her sushi was a highlight of many of our functions, most recently at Garry’s farewell. And of course, Eiko frequently visited Helen during her illness bringing something delicious to tempt Helen’s appetite.
Eiko and Shinei are returning to Japan where they will live close to Eiko’s sisters. We will miss them but wish them health and happiness.
Training will be keenly attended tonight, and I hope to see you at MBC on Saturday. Also Friday night drinks continue,