Awakino to host celebrations
If you’re cruising along State Highway 3, and happen to blink just north of the Taranaki border, odds are you might miss Awakino.
Come the weekend of February 17 to 18, bowling buffs from across the region, and some from further afield, will converge on the sleepy seaside settlement to mark the Awakino Bowling Club’s 90-year anniversary.
Past and present members, along with guest bowling teams will join in the celebrations. People who attend can expect to be given the red carpet treatment, country folk style.
‘‘We are just real fun, you’d think about the last six or seven years we were having a big party down there, we’re all happy go lucky,’’ said the events coorganiser, and club secretary, Gail O’Keefe.
Day one of the jubilee agenda includes a morning tea, a social game of bowls, a smorgasbord luncheon, then later in the afternoon guests will chow down to sheep on a spit and a barbecue.
Sunday’s running programme will see groups rotate between time on the green competing in the mixed team social tournament, with time in the clubrooms snacking and socialising.
‘‘We are all about having fun out here,’’ said O’Keefe.
The club was founded by the late Tony Bartlett, and in 1930 it was thriving with 90 members. O’Keefe said the weekend was a chance to celebrate the club’s rich history, reminisce with old friends and spin a few yarns.
‘‘We found some information about when they had their 60th and discovered they celebrated it about five or six years late,’’ she said with a grin.
O’Keefe hails from Mokau and joined the club 30 years back because her home village never had a bowling club of its own. She said the majority of the bowlers in the Awakino Bowling Club were also from the neighbouring village.
‘‘Thirty years ago we used to have two men’s teams and a lady’s team playing in shield bowls.’’
Despite membership numbers dropping since then, the tiny club maintained a strong community pulse.
‘‘We still keep it going because there’s nothing else, the golf club comes and goes and comes and goes that much.’’
Former members have been sent registration packs for the event, but if you have been missed contact Gail O’Keefe on 06 752 9014.
Awakino Bowling Club member, Gail O’Keefe preparing for club’s birthday party.