A longstanding lawn bowling advocate was recently honoured for her commitment and dedication to the game by being presented with a life membership to the Kaitaia Church Road Bowling Club.
The presentation was made to Faye Irwin Erceg - much to her surprise - at the club's annual prizegiving last month to recognise her 24 years of membership, 22 of which has comprised of active committee service including as president (on two occasions), filling the secretary's shoes and also acting in the role of club publicity officer for the past 21 years where her frequent and regular reports on domestic and regional results have entertained Age readers during that past two decades-plus.
In awarding the life membership, the Church Rd club vice president Anne Inglis also presented Faye with a cyclamen plant.
While a tad speechless, Fay said she was eventually able to gather herself and suitably replied with her best wishes for the club and her continued interest and offer of help.
"First time I have been absolutely gobsmacked," she said of the award a few days later. However, once she had gathered herself, Faye quickly put her publicity officer hat back on to talk about the occasion.
She said the prizegiving, held prior to the club's annual general meeting in June, celebrated the achievements of the 2015/16 summer season and another highlight of the day saw the Jan Werner Award for service to the club presented to Anne Inglis, "a worthy recipient".
The subsequent AGM showed the Church Road club was in good stead, Faye said.
The balance sheet was healthy and the full executive appointed featured a mixture of experience and enthusiasm, representing a fresh approach to the coming season.
"The club is fortunate to be debt-free and has an asset register which reflects the hard work by the many members over many years," she said.
There were several new faces amongst the newly appointed club officers, who were patroness Margaret Marshall, president John Richardson, vice president Anne Inglis, secretary Anita Richardson, treasurer Shirley Crabtree, committee - Paul Burren, Hisae Nagawa, Shirley Young and Faye Irwin Erceg.
Faye also reflected on both the past season and upcoming events.
"With bowls an all year round sport since the advent of artificial surfaces, the only controlling factor is weather on the day, so the match convenor does not need a crystal ball. Bowlers are used to the vagaries of rain and wind, so tend to approach the tournament with a 'see what happens' attitude. To date, only one tournament on the Kaitaia Church Road winter card has had to be cancelled."
Elsewhere, and with the recommencement of the school term, classes from Kaitaia Primary School have recommenced their weekly visits each Thursday afternoon to learn the sport.
The letters of appreciation were great, one noting, "We need you, please don't quit," and another, "Can't wait for our next visit!"
As well, the club will continue to run its Have a Go days on the first Sunday of each month for beginners who would like a roll up on a Sunday afternoon with bowls and tuition supplied.
Meanwhile, on Saturday (August 6) the club will be running its annual open any combination pairs 2x4x2 with a 9.30am start. For more information on any of the above, contact John Richardson 408-0042 or the clubhouse 408-0975 (Thursday mornings being the best time ).