Monthly Newsletter from Morrison Avenue Bowling Club

October 2017

Highlights – Read below for full details

Greens Report

Club Handbook

Garden Report

Bar Report

Christmas Functions – Fundraisers

Men’s Winter Bowls Report


MPRFC Junior Prize Giving


It was very encouraging to see so many members at our Opening Day held on Saturday 24 September.

Patron Noel Parker and Life Member John Ferguson.

Patron Noel Parker and Life Member John Ferguson.


After the opening roll up by Patron Noel Parker and Life Member John Ferguson our President Denis McMurtrie declared the 2017-18 season officially open. Denis also introduced members of the Committee and welcomed the new members. Afternoon tea followed and by the look of the fantastic spread, no one would go away felling hungry.


The No.1 green although looking in great condition was deemed to be too soft and play was not possible. Still, it was a chance for everyone to catch  up with friends, meet the new members and sort out championship teams and plans for the coming season.

The club welcomes the following new members:

Lanette Townsend, Trish Hubble, Keith & Julie Upston, Bill J McDonald,

Barry Anderson and four friends of Simon Wilson, Martin Cudd,

Yan Glavin, Stefan Haig and Nicholas Wilson.

The following members have changed to Social Membership:

Joyce Hughes, Peter Larson and Margaret Spicer.

Also a special welcome back for Derrol Fitzgibbon as Associate Member after a number of years away from the club.

Greens Report

It has been difficult to prepare bowling greens this spring with Christchurch having its wettest year to date since 1975. Still Eric Allison and Bill McMaster have produced an excellent No.1 green and it was available for play (with scrim) on September 30 and for the Open Triples Tournament on 5 October. Much hard work has gone into this with rolling, cutting and multiple applications of fertilisers and sprays.

The No.2 green is drying out and growth is being encouraged with the application of various fertilisers. It has been rolled for the first time and hopefully play will be possible before Christmas. There has been comment about a couple of dark patches on the green, these were bare patches that needed special treatment by forking round the area and the use of activated charcoal, hence to dark patch.

Once again we wish to ask all members to respect our greens and follow the instructions of the greens staff. At this time of the season the greens are soft so please try not to cause damage and watch that your delivery is not damaging the  playing surface. Damage done now can be with us for the rest of the season.

The greenkeeper needs a quantity of 2 litre ice cream containers (empty, we don’t want Bill having to eat all the ice cream) to be able to help calibrate the irrigation system. Please bring these along as soon as possible and leave in the greens shed or club rooms.

Club Handbook

The club’s handbook has a new look and all will agree that the new type is much easier to read. Special thanks again to Alan Hughes for his work in preparing and collating the information.

The book has been part funded by member Murray Wigley of Ray White Real Estate and we thank him sincerely for this. Check the back of the handbook for a special deal Murray has for Supergold Card Holders, 10% off the commission and if you deal with him he will personally donate an extra 10% to our club on settlement. This offer is available to your friends and family.

Also please support the other firms listed in the handbook, they have all helped in getting this out to members.

For details on our club tournaments – Open Triples, Open 8 Bowl Pairs and Mixed Triples see page 5 and skips are to give their team players names to the contact running the event. Don’t leave it up to the organiser to find players, this is the skips job.

The Business House Tournament (see page 10) which starts on Wednesday 17 January 2018 will have a new format with teams playing two 50 minute games per night. We need at least 4 more teams to have 2 full greens. Please spread the word to any companies or groups of friends who might like to enter a team. Entries to Bob Davison or Margaret Shields.

Garden Report

We had 31 members attend the working bee on 16 September, many thanks to all those who took the time to come and help.

All the garden areas have been tided but it is a continuing battle to control all the weeds. If you can help, even for a few minutes pulling out the odd weed it would be appreciated. Remember the old saying, “many hands make light work.”

Special thanks to Phil Spicer for arranging the donation of 4 rhododendrons from The Little Big Tree Company and Goom Landscaping. This adds colour to our northern boundary.

Bar Report

New prices were introduced in the bar at the start of the new season to compensate for price increases from suppliers. These were kept to a minimum and we are still very competitive in our area.

The Licensing authorities have indicated that they will be cracking down on sports clubs not following their licence conditions. We can only serve alcohol to authorised customers at our bar and the details of these restrictions are available from our bar staff.

With this in mind it is important that if members are buying alcoholic beverages that they must have their membership card with them at all times.

Congratulations to Bruce McKendry who recently sat and passed his Bar Managers Licence.

Christmas Functions – Fundraisers

From the middle of November to the week before Christmas we will have 7 groups coming for luncheons, evening Christmas parties and playing bowls. These are fundraising events for the club but it does require a lot of labour to run them. Please offer you help either with catering, bar duties or helping with the visitors playing bowls. Contact Margaret Shields for details.

Remember that the club rooms are available for hire at favourable rates to members for family get togethers, birthdays and other functions. We can provide catering and bar facilities if required, please contact Margaret Shields for details.

Men’s Winter Bowls Report – Denis McMurtrie, President.  

“The competition was set up by Ray Blyth to make winter bowls more interesting, competitive and fun. Everyone was welcome and other members were not precluded. This worked very well and we have had an excellent winter competition with high participation rates. Not only has there been competition but also great camaraderie and social interaction.

Thanks to Barry for the catering and the wee surprises like whitebait fritters at afternoon tea. A club member giving that little extra to the club. A big thank you to Ray our Cub Captain for setting up the competition. Again a club member giving that little extra to the club.

Finally thanks to you the club members for supporting what has been a very congenial competition epitomising our club values. I feel the competition has signalled lots of positive vibes and it gives me a great feeling about the coming new season.”

Denis McMurtrie


Results Winter League Second Series

1st –   Alf Skinner                13 wins/ 16 games – 84 points.

2nd –  Bill McDonald            10 wins/15 games –   70 points.

3rd –   Neil Robertson          10 wins/13 games –  66 points

4th –   Bill Hainstock            9 wins / 12 games –  58 points.

5th    Don Glasson             6 wins /16 games –   55 points.

6th –  Len Isitt                     6 wins / 13 games – 52 points.   

As well as the indoor bowls in our clubrooms a number of our members play at Riccarton Racecourse on the Tiger Turf over the winter.  Our members featured in a number of the winning teams and we congratulate them.

Pairs Championship1st Brian Birch, Skip Russell Reeckie (Halswell)                         .

                               2nd Neale Price, Skip Peter Keller (Fendalton)

Neale also finished runner up in the Triples Championship a great achievement for a first year bowler. Both bowlers deserved their success and we are sure they will to continue to perform well in the coming season at Morrison Avenue.


Both Len Isitt and Bev Terry are looking forward to commencing fortnightly group coaching sessions on Thursday morning starting on the 19 October at 11.00am. Len has also offered to be available to coach individuals and teams as requested. His idea is to help teams from lead to skip in not only their individual play but team tactics and how best to approach different situations players will encounter in matches.

All of us can improve our game, so please take the opportunity of the coaching talent available in the club. This is particularly so for our new members and all should attend the coaching on a Thursday when possible. Contact Len or Bev if you have any questions or wish to make a time for an individual coaching session.

MPRFC Junior Prize Giving

The winter season finished for the MPRFC in mid September and a review meeting was held in early October. Both clubs were very satisfied with the way the prize giving nights went and there was nothing negative to report. Both agreed to continue the relationship and a new agreement will be signed for next season. MPRFC will be installing at no cost to our club, a floodlight which will illuminate the playground to boost the security for the children playing there during prize giving.

This has been a massive task and we wish to thank all those who gave up their Saturday evenings to help. It was a big fun raiser for our club, well done everyone.


With our Greenkeepers producing excellent quality greens this early in the season there has been quite a deal of talk about how best we can protect them while they are so soft. The use of bowling arms has been suggested and for many they will enable them to continue playing longer, enjoy their bowls more and hopefully protect our greens. However, these are not for everyone and it’s only through experimenting with one that people can find out if it is for them. Don’t be shy to give it a go as we can see from several of our members how successful they can be. Leave it up to our coaches to decide and help members choose if they should use an arm.

We all want to help other players improve their game, however comments made and coaching tips  given can send a mixed message to fellow players and we should leave any coaching to our offical coaches. Everyone means well in giving advice but please leave it to the experts.

Newsletter compiled by Ray Blyth 11/10/17