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NEWSLETTER 2014/2015

It is that time of year again, the winter season is drawing to a close and so it is time to put the newsletter together once more.

Unfortunately, it is necessary to begin with the very sad news that Jean Lancaster lost her fight against cancer and passed away in January this year. When she was able to visit Spain in the spring of 2014 it was thought that she was recovering, but alas, that was not to be. She will long be remembered for kindness and helpfulness by all those who knew her. Marshall Davenport also passed away this spring; he and his wife Marjorie had not been able to winter in Spain for some time, but previously, they always used to come in January and spend two or three months bowling at the club. All club members send best wishes to both Brian and Marjorie.

On a happier note it was good to see Alan Brown able to make a short visit and play bowls after suffering a stroke while back in England for the summer. Also not able to renew their memberships this season have been Michael and Eileen Bone. Michael has had a very aggressive form of neuralgia which started in May 2014 and from which he is only now, almost a year later, showing signs of recovery. Eileen has had operations for a detached retina and may yet need another. They are both feeling that they might be able to start bowling again now that the weather is starting to improve.

As the weather was so hot during last summer the club was not open as often as usual and it was also not possible to put on a full programme of social events. Once it became cooler the activities became more frequent. To start the bowling an "end of summer" barbecue was held during September and at Hallowe'en, 31st October, a meal was enjoyed by members and friends at El Brujo, a particularly apt venue as, of course, el brujo means the wizard. It was not long before everybody was busy with the Christmas schedule, which began with the annual dinner / dance at the Restaurante Valparaiso in the middle of December. It is always held early so that those members who return to the UK to spend the festive season with family can also enjoy the dinner. The Christmas Draw followed a few days later taking the form of a Sunday morning's bowling, and a "bring a plate" buffet lunch. Yet again there were some very good prizes to be won, thanks to Carol Wright doing the shopping.

The last of the Xmas events was Three Kings' Day which had to be held a day early to accommodate a major competition due to begin on 6th January. About thirty bowlers took to the green for a morning of "fun" bowling which was followed by a quiz and a buffet lunch. The winners of the bowling were Tony Land, Maureen Robertshaw and Arthur Garner. Two teams were tied on the same points for second place, so all six received prizes; they were Barbara Land, Carol Wright with Geoffrey Hall and Chris and Di Rycroft with Stuart Parkin.

A group of some 30 members went to the Sandpiper on the evening of St. Valentine's Day where they enjoyed an excellent meal in good company.

St. Patrick's Day was celebrated on a very cold, miserable 17th March when the order of the day was to wear whatever kept you warm, so the green outfits being worn by most bowlers disappeared underneath sweaters and jackets. The only good thing was that the rain kept off until everything was over and all the participants were ready to go home. The prizes went to the winners Trevor Watkins, Val Smith and Edwin Hewitt and to the runners-up namely Val Allard, Robert Wright and Alan Bloom. Frank Richardson won the prize for the best costume.

What should have been a fun bowling afternoon on Thursday 12th February to celebrate Valentine's Day and raise some money for Cudeca, did not happen until 3rd March, as, on the selected day, it rained, and on the following Tuesday it rained again and after that there seemed to be so many other events on the calendar. When finally it did take place it was an enjoyable afternoon organised by Hadyn Parker and Janice Ivil with a raffle and all prizes given by them. The winners were, for the ladies, Val Thornton and for the men, Geoff Hutton. The sum of 135.50€ was raised for Cudeca.

A visit to the theatre in Fuengirola was made during March to see Oklahoma and as that was preceded by a meal at Restaurante Europa it was a very enjoyable evening out to bring the social events of the winter season to a close.

Once again Carol Wright must be thanked for her involvement in the organisation of all these events; this has not been an easy task without a proper social committee to back her. The help of Carol Jacobs and Gladys Bloe in the kitchen and Bob Jacobs at the bar has been invaluable on these occasions.

The "Ball and Chain" held at the beginning of December was the first of the two Mijas competitions, and as usual it drew a good number of entries. The first two days of this event had to be written off because of rain and an unplayable green, but it got going on the third day and somehow Carol, Competition Secretary, managed to catch up on all the early matches so that the final could take place on the right day. There were some excellent matches during the early games, but on the last day all the spectators were enthralled by a nail-bitingly close final, finishing 17/16, which Carol described as one of the best Pairs finals she had ever seen on the coast and what was better still was that the winners were Mijas members Val and Tony Thornton.

Towards the end of January the Mijas Masters was played. There were two very wet days at the beginning of the competition when play was impossible, but after that the weather improved and Carol was once again able to finish the competition without needing any extra time. Unfortunately, there was no Mijas interest on that occasion.

In other competitions along the coast Mijas members have had quite a few successes. In the Lauro Open held during October 2014, the Ladies' Singles was an all Mijas final when Barbara Land was the winner against Geraldine Robinson. In November Kevin Bloe and Paul Griffith finished as the winners of the Mixed Pairs. During the Malaga Cup Barbara was part of a finalist Rinks team and in the Andalucian Championships, held in Almeria, she was part of a winning Ladies' Pairs. In the Summer Championships Robert Wright and Bill Gregory reached the semi-finals of the Pairs.

In January 2015 Barbara Land was voted the best lady bowler in Andalucia by the Andalucian Federation.

Some of the early rounds of the In-House competitions were played before the allocated week, but there was still a lot to fit into that week. There were plenty of good matches, some near misses, lots of "if only" games but the winners were found in the end. The finals had to be played over three days because of duplication of finalists and the fact that two of them were booked to fly back to the UK over that weekend. On Friday the Men's Singles final was played, in which Bill Gregory beat Hal Briscoe. On Saturday the Drawn Triples final saw Tony Thornton, Bill Gregory and Wilf Newman triumph over Hal Briscoe, Clive Thomas and Val Thornton. That was a very windy day and Tony's team dealt with it better than Hal's.

Sunday was the day when the Drawn Pairs took place and Stuart Parkin and Tony Land

beat Geoff Hutton and Ann Fenton. On that occasion Stuart was "walking on water" and could not go wrong. Then came the Ladies' singles which saw Barbara Land beat Val Thornton. Val got off to a good start, but Barbara seemed to move up a gear to catch up and then move slightly ahead. It was quite a close game from that point as Val never gave up. So the two who would go on to play in the Champion of Champions were to be Barbara Land and Bill Gregory. The Handicap Singles were not completed until the beginning of April when, in a very good, close final between Tony Thornton and Paul Griffith, Tony was the winner. The Champion of Champions was held at Miraflores this year, where Barbara and Bill certainly represented Mijas very competently. Barbara finished in second place and Bill in third. Well done to both of them!

Both League Teams, the Tigers and the Lions, have done very well this winter as they both finished the season in mid – table. The League Cup team played their way to the final in which they met the Benalmadena team, also at Miraflores. It took two sessions to complete the final as there was wet weather at the first attempt when the teams were bowling through lying water. The second attempt, when the match was resumed, produced the winning team which unfortunately was not Mijas, but they were still smiling and are to be congratulated on having got to the final. All team members must be thanked for giving of their time and effort to play for the club.

Since the last newsletter we have welcomed seven new members who are Arthur Garner, Bill Gregory, Paul and Sally Griffith, Hadyn Parker, John Randall and Bob Scott. They are all bowling regularly and taking part in club events, as are Roy and Sheila Garland and Edwin Hewitt who, you may remember, joined the club right at the end of the 2014 season. We hope that they will all enjoy many years of bowling and friendship at Mijas.

Too late to be included in the Social events came Eggwin's Easter Sunday Special when the bowlers present were divided into two teams, north versus south (of original or present living places in UK). The northerners won overall with the team of Peter and Val Allard with Bob Scott taking the first prizes of large Easter eggs; the second prizes went to Ron and Pam Cole, representing the south, who won small eggs.

At the recent AGM Ann Fenton was thanked for her hard and time-consuming work as Captain, Secretary and Committee Member and it is hoped that she will enjoy her "retirement". She will, of course, continue in her capacity as Club Coach. The new Captain is Carol Wright who is looking forward to the coming year in her new position; Stuart Parkin takes over as Vice–Captain and Competition Secretary. They are both hoping for the support of all the members to help them along. Rob Robinson was elected onto the committee again after a rest of three or four years, Wilf Newman is joining the committee for the very first time, and Christine Wilson, having served her term of four years, is back on again.

There has been a slight increase in the number of visiting parties since this time last year. The visitors certainly always enjoy coming to Mijas and now that the economic situation is showing signs of improvement it is hoped that they will keep coming back. There are already a good few parties booked in for October, getting nearer to what it used to be like before the recession. It is certainly a source of income upon which the club relies.

Juan continues to work so well for the club. He has added mopping the clubhouse floor to his schedule – a job all members hated doing during their duty weeks. On two occasions since January his help has been invaluable; the first was during the Mijas Masters when a water pipe under the kitchen sink split and the clubhouse was rapidly flooding and the second was in March when the club was broken into and Juan was there to help when the police were called. At present he is measuring up ready to start on some of the alterations which have been agreed since the break-in. He also continues to keep the green in perfect condition and to look after the garden so admirably.

Stop press news is that in the Winter Championships Geraldine Robinson and Carol Wright got to the semi-finals of the Ladies' Pairs which they unfortunately lost to the eventual winners.

All that remains now is to hope that all members enjoy a summer with good bowling and, most importantly, excellent health so that everyone is able to return to Mijas again in the autumn ready to start the new season.