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Here you will find the factual, the quirky, the poetic, and other random bits and bobs related to the history of Disc Bowls International and the love of the game…

Motorhoming and the CMCA in particular has a long history of bringing people from all walks of life together often through a bit of friendly competition. That is how the Port Macquarie Escapees and the Lakelanders became friendly rivals many years ago and which, more recently has given birth to the now annual ‘The Ashes’ disc bowls contest.

Each year the two clubs get together for a disc bowls challenge.  The clubs share the hosting duties with the most recent event held in Buladelah in May 2016.  Friendships were renewed over many a long tale of adventure on the road and rivalries tested over the disc bowls court.  Competition was fierce without losing the friendly banter, fun and laughter of the event.

From the get go it was clear over the course of the challenge that like those taking to the field, the disc bowls themselves were well used and well over due for retirement. These were old wooden discs that had seen better days and were on their last legs.

After the challenge and the victor celebrated, the President of the Port Macquarie Escapees approached Disc Bowls International, a new company that is manufacturing a new range of modern disc bowls and equipment, to donate a replacement set to the Lakelanders on A condition that the old disc bowls were appropriately ‘retired’.

Not one to see a missed opportunity at celebrating the longstanding relationship between to the two clubs, the Lakelanders not only decided to burn the old disc bowls but to place the ashes in a special container and rename the annual disc bowls challenge ‘The Ashes’.  Just like the spirit of the much more famous Ashes cricket series, the now renamed annual challenge between the two clubs represents the wonderful connections, lasting friendships and rituals that the annual event has fostered. Many reading this article may recognise a similar spirit in their own interclub gatherings, something the CMCA for many members has come to represent.

How ‘The Ashes’ came to be has now also been immortalised by the wonderful resident poet of the Port Macquarie Escapees Cathy Edwards. A reading of the poem might just now become the traditional opening of each Ashes tournament, the next one scheduled to take place in May 2017.

The Lakelanders and the Escapees

came up with a bright idea.

They would hold what they call a Challenge

Between the two ‘Macquarie’s’ every year.

 

This challenge was a group of games

to test each members’ skill.

They would not be too strenuous,

we’re all climbing that proverbial hill.

 

Bulahdelah was the chosen town

as it was half way in between

Port and Lake Macquarie

and both clubs were pretty keen.

 

The games they payed were varied,

throwing quoits and coloured rings,

bean bag bowls and ladder golf

and heaps of other things.

 

But Disc Bowls was the favourite one

of all the games they played,

yet the bowls that they’d been playing with

did not quite make the grade.

 

They were looking old and somewhat worn

with chips and marks and smears,

this was, of course to be expected

they’d been used for a number of years.

 

Then a company called Disc Bowls International

(or ‘DBI for short)

offered a brand-new set of disc bowls

for the challenge between Lake and Port.

 

This offer was gratefully accepted,

brand new bowls would be fantastic

and they are made in the Hunter Valley

from what is known as a compounded plastic.

 

However, there was a condition

as everyone soon learnt,

the old wooden bowls they’d been using

were to be thrown in the fire and burnt.

 

DBI’s wishes were acknowledged

then the ashes were carefully swept

into a small glass container

and forevermore would be kept.

A member crafted them into a trophy

for the annual friendly clashes

between the Escapees and Lakelanders;

Now they play every year for the ASHES.

© Kathy Edwards