Dr. John Aveline's personal views on what matters to him and to the Sport. The views expressed in this blog are designed to inform and are personal to Dr. Aveline. The opinions expressed may not necessarily reflect official policy or views held by the Vancouver & District Bowls Association.
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It's a sad day in the Sport of Bowls in Metro Vancouver. For the first time in decades a club has been forced to close its doors permanently. Other local clubs have gone this way: Ioco, Cedar Cottage, Bowen Island, Marpole, Mount Pleasant (home of the great Sandy Houston), Kitsilano, and it's always a sad occasion. It seems like all the years of hard work & dedication, excellence & camaraderie are wiped out in a single vote and a wave of a pen. But we shouldn't feel that kind of loss. All that Van South accomplished over their storied history is still there - the championships, the superlative bowlers and their reputation as THE club to beat (Who will take on this mantle now? Or is it too big a job for one club to shoulder?)
We should stop and remember Van South for what it gave to the Sport of Bowls. Anyone who was anyone found their journey in bowls go through Van South, either as a member, joining the 'Legion of Doom', or as a competitor, who knew that competing and winning here was the ultimate test. Even in their last year, they were incredibly tough. My own Kerrisdale Top 10 squad went to Van South in the first round, with 6 provincial medalists, 3 national champions and 3 internationals and plans to go deep in the event, but we couldn't beat Van South.
Graham Jarvis, Alice Duncalf, Dave Duncalf, Dorothy Macey, Bob Scott, Jimmy Morrison, Selina Jarvis, Jim Murphy, Sheila Buttar, Steve Santana . . . the list of stars is huge (I've barely scratched the surface). If there were a Bowls BC Hall of Fame, Van South would have its own wing! This was a club that made everyone around them better, by forcing them to raise their game. But even for a club where "Bowls Mattered" more than just about anywhere else, it was still about the people: Jessie Martin growing tomatoes in the club gardens to be served at the Gold & Silver Medallion BBQ, Dave Duncalf playing Santa at the club Christmas party.
The best way we can keep Van South's legacy alive is to go out and play in events, especially championships. Enter a V&D championship. Play in Monday Pennant League. Have a go and channel some of that Van South spirit that believed that playing well was what really mattered, regardless of the score.