Bit’s ‘n Pieces 2

Bit’s ‘n Pieces 1, got soooo big that I’ve had to start a Bit’s ‘n Pieces 2!

Congratulations to Tony (Ynot) Watson (BNABA)

Tony Ynot

Tony (Ynot) Watson recently attended the State Disability Games in Mackay and featured in the Semi Final bronze medals playoffs.
Unfortunately Tony and his partner went down this time 17-9. Great effort just being there Tony … well done!!!

Heart warming story from our New Zealand “Brothers in Arms”

Well finally after nigh on two months we have had a  “fine” club Friday at the Tauranga South Bowling Club. None of us have been able to play due to rain. Today we got in 1 and half games before rain stopped play. Temp about 12 deg, mostly overcast and I took these pictures of Tom Piercy.  Tom will be 102 in December. This amazing guy comes out in weather which deters most.  He has been with our club for about 10 years. Recently  the heavy winter greens have given him trouble so he started learning the bowling arm, choosing the “hacksaw”. It’s still a work in progress, but what determination! For more  personal info go to Jean Bell’s article in Bay of Plenty Times, this also was in NZ Herald.

tom piercy.jpg

(The above pic. of Tom is courtesy of Jean’s article from Dec 2018.)

 (The pictures below are from today 16/08/19, courtesy of Meg & Pat Dillon, Tauranga, N.Z.)

In the first picture you will see Possum Burton giving him advice. Strangely Possum also appears in background of news article. As you can see  in the pictures, Tom’s not smiling, he’s all concentration.

From all of us Aussies Tom, enjoy your 102nd birthday and bowling with an Arm. X

Glen and Claire Baskett retire from Intellectual Disabled Bowls

Original story as published by Bowls Victoria

Baskett, Glen & Claire with the Intel Disability Squad. BV

(Glen & Claire Baskett are both Armed Bowlers & Coaches at the Edithvale Bowling Club in Victoria. Glen was also an International Umpire and you may have seen him on the telly at some stage. I have known Glen & Claire for a very long time, from the time when Glen was a member at Mordialloc, then when both went to Mentone, and during their many years at Edithvale. Both have dedicated there every move to further and nurture all, whether it be in bowls or elsewhere.)

Their story is beautifully told  by Bowls Vic. contributor, Kalon Huett (courtesy of BV.)

“For over 15 years, Claire and Glen Baskett have overseen the Bowls Victoria Intellectual Disability Squad as dedicated volunteers. Unfortunately, due to Glen’s current health issues, the pair have now made the difficult decision to retire − in fact the recent Victorian Country vs Victorian Metro Championships match was their last time guiding a team event.

And while all good things must come to an end, the Basketts leave a wonderful legacy in Victorian disability bowls coaching and development. Their commitment to the group, and to the game as a whole, has been truly remarkable and unparalleled. In 2016, Claire was a deserved finalist in the Volunteer of the Year category for the Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards.

A splendid journey

Glen was first introduced to bowls by his father-in-law, with his interest then piqued further when he realized his days playing cricket might be numbered. A while later, Claire was left with little choice but to take up the sport taking up most of her husband’s time. “Glen had become so involved in bowls that I wasn’t seeing much of him, so I thought I better join him,” Claire says. “Funnily enough I am now the more fanatical one!”

Having been heavily involved in coaching junior bowls with Bowls Victoria (formerly the Royal Victorian Bowling Association), Glen jumped at the chance to take an assistant coaching role in disability bowls. At first Claire remained in the background volunteering, but a few years later she became an official part of the team. Glen and Claire have been planning the annual bowling program of squad days ever since.

Each squad day they would arrive early for registrations, set up drills and coach the bowlers. When the idea for the Integrated Pairs was floating around but no progress was being made, Claire put up her hand alongside Gay and Stan Jebb and Glen to organise the tournament and catering, with Bowls Victoria taking care of all the advertising. Integrated Pairs was launched in 2013.

“We were hoping to get 8 teams for the first try and we had 16 teams apply,” Glen explains. “A lot of players that competed that first day have been at every Integrated Pairs to follow. This has been so successful that last year we had 48 teams.”

Major highlights

There have of course been many highlights for the Basketts throughout their involvement with the Victorian Intellectual Disability Squad.

“Bowls Victoria formed a committee to oversee all disability groups, which has led to outstanding results. Because of this committee’s work, bowlers with a disability are now being accepted more than ever,” Claire explains.

“The opportunities for bowlers with a disability have increased and the introduction of tournament prize money was terrific. The Victorian Multi-Disabilities Championships has given all bowlers with a disability something to work hard towards. The competition between players is fierce, but the comradeship on display could teach every bowler something about how to play sport in the right spirit,” she adds.

“The introduction of Vic Metro v Vic Country gives bowlers with an intellectual disability the opportunity to play for Victoria. It is a delightful concept and the players love to yell support for their team across the green. Of course to play for Victoria against another state would be a dream come true.”

For the love of the game

There’s no doubting Claire and Glen’s love for the game of bowls, but they’ve both been particularly passionate about coaching and development for people with disabilities. “We had some personal experience with a very good friend of ours having a disabled daughter, and we saw how much joy could be gained through bowling. We also have a nephew who is deaf and has always enjoyed the game,” Claire says.

“It’s such a joy to coach bowlers with an intellectual disability and see the growth and confidence as they achieve their goals − be it big or little. We both get so much enjoyment out of seeing people develop their character and skills on the bowling green. And we love that the squad includes parents coming along to support the players. It’s also an opportunity for them to talk about everyday life as carers with other carers.”

While the extensive travel involved in their roles has recently become too great a burden for the couple, the good news is that Claire and Glen will continue to coach at Edithvale Bowling Club.

(Thanks Kalon Huett (Author) and Bronwyn Slatter (Bowls Vic.))

More about Frank Baguley. Armed Bowler, Edithvale, deceased 20 Jul ’19

Frank Baguley’s farewell was held at the Sandown Racecourse on 30th Jul ’19. The venue was chosen to accommodate the 800-1,000 mourners and was a awash with flowers and fruit bearing plants in honour of his lifetime passion.  You can read more about Frank’s life and times below. 

( Photos courtesy of Gail Hamilton – click on the photos to enlarge)

About Frank Baguley – Edithvale Bowls Club – Story by Pamela Bryant

To re-visit Gardening Australia’s tribute to Frank Baguley Click here.

Not many bowlers have their own bowling green in their backyard … some have, like former radio presenter Mark Thompson’s Nanna (Lorna Joseph) and the odd coach or two … but I’m not aware of anyone who has their own undercover (heated and cooled to suit) synthetic green to boast of, apart from Isabel and Frank Baguley.

Yes, the Baguley’s have one and it’s a ripper!

Before I explain the why and the how, however, I’d like to let you in on a bit of the Baguley history, as their lives together on this well-known property on the corner of Clayton and Heatherton Rds, Clayton South have been quite interesting and historically pertinent to Kingston. See Melways 79, B 11.

Frank first grew poppies and violets in his mum’s front yard at the age of 8. Mum (Violet a third generation Aussie), had 10 acres but it was not under cultivation.  Violet shared the acreage with her English husband Blythe, not a well man with Bright’s disease, their 4 sons and 2 daughters.

Son Frank was working by age 13 and sold or gave away flowers from his “learning crops”.  He soon realized that he could make money from this venture, and at age 17 in 1939, set about planting 2 acres of Boronia. It was “dry farming” at this stage, but Frank had plans to get the water on and set about gathering pipes and netting (the netting to keep the rabbits and foxes out!).

Unfortunately, around about harvest time in August, war broke out, and as “it comes in three’s” both his parents had died by December.  Frank took over the property and, in the process, paid out his siblings. This had always been the plan, but it had come while Frank was still a minor. The war commandeered all tools and implements so Frank set about tidying up this matter first. He signed up with the C.M.F in Oakleigh and in six months, got his call up to Wangaratta. He served overseas in New Guinea at Buna and Gona and while back on leave got a call to re-train as a medical orderly and stretcher bearer with the 1st Australian Beach Group Medical Section. He returned to the beaches of Labuan for more overseas active service. While away he paid his brother to continue the Boronia business.

Frank married Isabel in 1946. She’d first met him when she was just 3 years old. When they married, she was working at the “Gartside Factory”, remembered for their petite pois peas and asparagus tips, and at age 20 had acquired her own 2 acres and a house. Husband Frank moved in, rent was free! Then came Evelyn, Lorraine, Leslie and Susan. In the mean time the 10 acres, and a few more acquired along the way, were cleared, fenced, netted and piped to build a large, “quality” flower business.

Crucial to this were the “carnations”, their price had increased every year from 1946 to 1990, and so did Frank’s reputation as an extremely knowledgeable flower grower and seller. His expertise was sought far and wide. Chrysanthemums enjoyed a huge turn over, in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day; twelve pickers a day toiled from daylight ’til 10pm, with Isobel providing refreshments and meals at 3, 6 and 10 pm.  At 3 AM next morning it was up and off to market again.

Frank and his son Leslie were both awarded 40-year certificates of appreciation, for services to the markets, from the Melbourne Markets.  His Order of Australia Medal was awarded in 1990, for services to horticulture and flower growers Australia wide. He was secretary of the Vic. Flower Growers Assoc. for 12 years, and is a life member of the Vic. Farmers Federation.

A visit to the 1980’s World Bowls in Frankston and the sight of 2 extremely world-renowned bowlers putting down wrong Bias’s (wonder who they were?) turned his thoughts to bowls. Hitherto nothing could get him away from his flowers, but if these blokes make mistakes well, no one’s going to laugh at him.

Vern Le Page, a well-known market gardener took Isabel and Frank under his wing at Edithvale. Vern was a persistent man and never let up until they were thoroughly hooked.

Soon Frank noticed that after play everyone would vamoose…. thus, began the donations of flowers, via a fanning of the cards of non-prize winners, after the game. This was in 1982 and continues today, 1-4 times a week, and virtually every week of the year!  Everyone stays in hope of winning the Gerbera’s (current crop). The ladies in the kitchen often received flowers on Saturday Pennant, or Sunday Tournament Days.

Unfortunately, Frank’s property has been declared “green belt area” and dreams of a quiet retirement, via sub-division or “on” selling, have vanished in the smoke of that decision. At 84, Frank and Isabel are forced to work as they always have, 365 days a year. Yes, you can buy flowers there on Christmas day! His daughter Evelyn and daughter in law Verna, now run the retail flower shop in partnership, but he’s still around the traps, working on his gerberas, tomatoes, strawberries and gardenias.  

Chrysanthemum sales lulled in the 1980’s when Dutch imports of Iris and Tulips were flown in. Carnations also lost their appeal and upward trend in 1990. Just before the Carnies lost their appeal, son-in-law, Ian suggested “Ya might as well turn the Carnie shed into a bowling green!”  

Frank liked that idea, and they all set about “bob catting” the “Carnies” away. Oh, they had fun doing that! Modgrass Sport Services, of Narre Warren moved in and over the next six months Frank saw his fantasy take shape. The concrete ditches and edges, were a problem for awhile, but upon Frank and Isabel’s return from a well deserved overseas holiday, the contractor sourced new ones from Wangaratta. With Heating, Cooling, Lighting and Tea-making, kitchen facilities added, Frank had his own scorecards produced and the Baguley Bowls Venue was up and running.

Bowls at Frank and Isabel’s was every Wednesday. In winter it might be during the day, in summer, it was from 7 to at least 10.30pm. They hosted visitors from Edithvale, Clayton, Burden Park, Highett, Keysborough, Mordialloc and several other clubs, from time to time. Players of all age’s “covert” a personal invitation, and that’s the “only” way in.

Frank has been a great benefactor to Edithvale Bowling Club. It was hoped he would have become their green-keeper at one stage. Many times, he tried to spread himself but it wasn’t really a healthy option, for someone running to market at 3am and running a full-time business with after hour consultancies (free to most).  Something had to give and Frank “loyal as ever” chose to support his club at every twist and turn in other ways.  When shades were first mooted, they were there with the money. They provided that club with all its shade cloths, including fixture etc.

Whenever there’s been a need Frank and Isabel have catered in some way.

Frank has only ever won a Men’s Triples at the Club but Isabel made it to the final eight of the 1990 VLBA State Pairs with Millie Yewen.  There is no-one at Edithvale that wouldn’t give them a hug and a kiss and really mean it.  They are home grown, hard working and deserving of a well-earned rest.  Frank and Isabel together with 2 of Frank’s siblings and their spouses all celebrate a 60th wedding (diamond) anniversary in May 2006. Now was that a party or what?

Post Script: Isabel passed away some years ago and hundreds turned out to celebrate her life and mourn her passing at the Police Academy Chapel. Frank is a Life Member of the Edithvale Bowls Club and the Clubs Synthetic Green is named in their honour. Edithvale’s biggest tournaments are the Isabel Baguley Day (which continues) for Ladies, the Frank Baguley Day for Men and another was added in 2018, an Open Triples Day. These events (now called the Baguley Carnival) run 3 days in row and in 2019 it will be from the 5th to the 7th April. Frank took up the Arm about 8 years ago, without hesitation, when he realized his body was wearing out a little. He took to it like a duck to water (obviously practicing day and night on his own indoor green) and won the original “City of Frankston Battle of the Arms” not too long after. At 96 he still played Saturday Pennant and Friday Triples and in 2017-18 played Tuesday Night Pennant as well. On Friday Triples Days, Frank always arrived loaded up with at least 6 bunches of flowers to give away as he has always done. On Special Days for the workers as well. Good on ya Frank!  “You’re a bloody marvel!”

Cardiff Bowls Club, Armed Club Pairs – 16 Jun ’19

Cardiff Bowls Club, N.S.W. held its “First” club pairs game with all players on the rink using Bowling Arms (Stick Pairs)

Pictured below L to R – Leon Bell, Jeff Huntley, John Mackenzie & Neil Smith.
Cardiff Armed Pairs, NSW
After a hard fought Battle, lasting 4 ¼ hours and finishing under lights, the team of Smith and Mackenzie, won through to the next round.

May ’19 –  (Posted 3 May ’19)

Bowls Australia recently announced changes to the Artificial Devices Policy (effective 1st May 2019) with the removal for players to have approval from their State Governing Body to use an artificial device (bowlers arm) or to have a medical certificate to use a bowlers arm.

As a result, there is now NO requirement for players using a bowlers arm in Victoria to complete an application form and provide a medical certificate to Bowls Victoria for approval.

The new whole of sport IT platform Bowls Link will ask players to record if they use a bowlers arm.

Bowls Victoria confirm that there will be no changes to the Bowls Victoria State Championship Events with Specific Eligibility Requirements Conditions of Play which states that ‘Every delivery (including the rolling of the Jack) MUST be delivered with the Bowlers Arm’

(Ed note: please check the latest “Laws of the Game” and attachments to same, which may differ, in respect of other competition i.e. Pennant.)

December ’18

A moment of self-indulgence from Editor, Pamela Bryant

So proud of husband John, runner-up in the Edithvale Club C’ship 22/25 after 3 months with a bowling arm. He was once a Div. 1 Skip (before Premier), and won the “Mentone Skip of the Year” award as a Div. 1 Skip. He was also a Div. 1 Skip at his current club Edithvale, when they had one. He was about to walk away from bowls, as his health failed, too proud to use an arm, even tho’ he had a card to do so 5 years ago, he spiraled to lower sides. His older mates shamed him into “not” using an Arm. (5 years wasted as he slowly embarrassed himself, failing to be the bowler he once was.) With the Arm (John chose the Dart Release, and we are indebted to Rick Haddrick for his design which made the changeover from hand to device bowls so much easier.) John has done exceedingly well in a short time and has “got his hunger for bowls back” Thank god, or whoever, for the “bowling arm” and getting my husband “back on the greens”.

(The Nay Sayers…have no where to go!)


Poem by John Baker (Mooroolbark) to mate “Col” – We can all learn from this!

Baker, Poem (2)

Queensland’s Awesome Foursome, will be competing today 5 Dec ’18. “We’ll be watching this bunch of swingers with interest today via the internet. Could be the first time three members of the Q’ld Team are Arm Bowlers. Cheryl Hutchinson, Heather Hodgson and Wendy Usher are joined by Vicky Dunn and looking for a good showing in the play-offs.” “Go Q’ld”. Thanks Geoff Geary for alerting us.

Click here to go to the video.


November ’18

Thanks Peter Dixon for a great day at Beauy on 7th Nov. ’18 (Best 4th Game).

Peter Dixon and Pam Bryant 7 Nov 18

October ’18

“Coops” wins Club Vet’s Singles at Kawana.

“Winners are Grinners.” After 4 tough rounds, Geoff Cooper won the final of the Clubs Vet’s Singles.

Geoff says “it’s been a long time between drinks, but I’m over the moon with the win. Congrats to my opponents with all games played in good spirits. I played Les Baker in the final and I believe I was the only Arm Bowler in the event. It’s  my first Club Championship since having to use the arm.”

Geoff represented Q’ld in the 2018 National Armed Sides C’ships at Newcastle.

Geoff, your a true gentleman of the game. Congrats from ABA.

Geoff Cooper (Winner) Les Baker (R/up) Kawana Vet's Singles C'ship. 7 Oct. '18
(R) Geoff Cooper (Winner), (L) Les Baker (R/up) Kawana Vet’s Singles C’ship. 7 Oct. ’18

September ’18

barry-ansett1.jpgCongrats to Armed Bowler Barry Anset on again being selected to the Bowls Vic. 60’s and Over Senior Men’s Side.




August ’18

Rule change for Armed Bowlers, as notified by Bowls Queensland.


July ’18
N.S.W. Squad member Pam Martin won her first Minor C’ship this year.
“Just won my first championship. 2018 Ladies Minor Singles Champion at Beresfield Bowling Club. Very excited that I played well enough to beat another great player in Pam Greenbank. 25 -11”

(Captured by Editor Pam Bryant…….Yes 3 P’s in a blog!)

Pam (Martin) we wish you well in the 2018 National C’ships and congrats on your many recent wins!

Pam Martin NSW


May ’18

Congratulations to Victorian Armed Bowler, Wendy Odgers on winning Singles GOLD in the All Abilities National Championships in Western Australia.

You can read more about this at

Victoria collected 3 x gold medals, 3 silver medal and 1 bronze medal.

Medal winners were:


Wendy Odgers (Somerville Bowling Club)

Gold Women’s B5/B6 Singles

Silver Open Triples

Silver Women’s Open Pairs

Gwen Fabris (Cockatoo & District Bowls Club Inc.)

Silver Open Triples

Silver Women’s Open Pairs

Lucas Protopapas (Mulgrave Country Club)

Gold Open Triples

Bronze Men’s B5/B6 Pairs

Matthew Hansen (Finley Bowling Club)

Bronze Men’s B5/B6 Pairs


Josh Barry (Deer Park Club)

Gold Open Triples

Silver Men’s B7/B8 Pairs

Barry Brennan (Moama Bowling Club)

Gold Men’s B7/B8 Singles

Gold Open Triples

Silver Men’s B7/B8 Pairs

Janet Morrison (Mulgrave Country Club)

Silver Open Triples