Albert Heath the longest serving Administrator of BCC Zone 15

 

For a sport that is very dependent upon the services of its volunteer workers there are some outstanding examples of long serving volunteers be it umpires, coaches or administrators at Club level that have given readily of their time for the enjoyment of others.

 At Zone level,  84 year old Albert Heath is about to chalk up 25 years continuous service as an administrator serving on the Bowls Central Coast Match Committee since 1989 and as Treasurer since 1998. Both positions he still holds today.

Albert was initially attracted  to lawn bowls through those antiquated licensing laws that some would remember and joined the National Coursing Bowling Club in 1958, which is now known as Canterbury Bankstown Tennis and Bowling Club, so he could enjoy a drink on Sunday. He took up the game a couple of years later and discovered a latent talent of judging the line and length of those old wide arc bowls.

Over the next 20 or so years he moved around playing at Hurlstone Park, Campsie and Bankstown B C’s where he won numerous Club Championships and represented the Metropolitan side on many occasions in those high profile Metropolitan versus Country games.

He moved to the Central Coast in 1983 and became a member of The Entrance B C where he played No1 Pennants for the next 20 years, winning some 14 Pennant flags and 10 more Club championship titles. He played with some greats of the game including state representative Cec Liddell, State skipper Dick Wain, Phil Flippence and Neville Peterson who Albert still rates as the best bowler never to attain a white pocket.

Albert has always been a loyal and dedicated club man and over the years served as a director, bowls secretary, treasurer and an umpire of The Entrance B C.

He was attracted to join the District Match Committee in 1989 under the chairmanship of Norm Burcham and took over from Laurie Hopley.

He has since served under no fewer than six chairmen in Arthur Clifford, Kevin Lovelock, Peter Henry, Max Chatwin, Gordon Fell and in more recent years Reg Richardson.

The District then became a Zone as we know it today in 1995 and in January 1998 he extended his duties even further by taking over the Treasurer’s role from Allan Pollock and has since served under seven Zone Presidents in that time.

As a player and a member of Match Committee it has been an interesting journey of change having witnessed the introduction of narrower biased bowls, multi-colored bowls and colored clothing. A far cry from when Albert first started when standard dress was crèmes, blazer, collar and tie. Match Committee also managed the introduction of the pennant player grading system and remains responsible today for its ongoing supervision and administration.

In more recent years another big step forward was the technological transition of pennant results being displayed on the Web Site by 7pm on the same day of play.

One of the most pleasing innovations Albert has experienced in his time as treasurer was the introduction and establishment of a major sponsor on behalf of the Zone. Such sponsorship was initiated and fostered by the then proactive Zone Secretary John Peek who raised substantial funds from Coast Loans in 2001-02, Newcastle Permanent Building Society in 2003-05, Canterbury 2005-12 with Ettalong Memorial B C taking over this valued role in 2013.

 Albert was quick to point out that such sponsorship is a “treasurer’s delight” under-pinning the financial stability of the Zone and is the envy of many other Zones.

As a bowler, Club administrator and volunteer Albert’s story is not unique to the sport of lawn bowls but as an administrator at Zone level, 25 years continuous service is an outstanding achievement and a record still in the making.

 

Kevin DRING

Publicity Officer Zone 15