Zone 9 - Sydney Northern District Bowls
THEY CAN TAKE TRADITION OUT OF THE GAME, BUT YOU CAN'T TAKE IT OUT OF THE BOY
THEORIES abound regarding the secret to longevity with the obvious proviso that you remain healthy.
Balgowlah's Bill Burridge has knocked up a very vigorous 91 years and while certain aspects of his lifestyle maybe a little unconventional, it's definitely worth a look.
Just last month, Bill celebrated 50 year's membership of the Balgowlah Bowling club and apart from holding life membership and surviving 13 club presidents, has held most of the club's executive positions plus various positions on committee of managements of what was originally known as the district and now the zone 9 governing bodies.
In between this, Bill has managed a few games of bowls over all those years, in fact he's won the complete club championship package, 2 singles, 9 pairs, 5 triples and 6 fours, a total of 22 in all.
He has over all the years represented Balgowlah in most of the local bowling events and for that matter still does, and is highly respected for his organisational skills with regard to in-house tournaments.
For the benefit of bowlers who have only taken up the sport in past 30 years or so, some of bowling's more dignified customs have disappeared, much to the displeasure of some of the old guard.
Practices such as the mandatory toasting to the H.R.H. prior to sitting down to afternoon tea, president's days (a rarity now) and wearing a long sleeve shirt complete with collar and tie bearing the Royal NSWBA logo (see photo below) generally indoors, however with the true believers such as Bill Burridge, on the paddock.
Despite the more recent changes in bowling apparellel (for better and in some cases unfortunately worse), Bill is undeniably a true traditionalist, and very easily identifiable on the green, as he religiously wears the bowl's tie and regardless of the temperature, the mandatory short pants, long white socks and his famous woolly cardigan. Actually he's into sixth cardie, having worn out five of them over the years. Wearing mufti is definitely not part of his vocabulary.
Bill doesn't believe his long and healthy life style is any secret, in fact it was well documented by a past president who calculated that during his 5,000 games at the Balgowlah club, he has consumed the equivalent in litres of water. In fact you could say it's his staple diet.
There is of course another aspect that just may have had some bearing on his longevity. Bill was a marathon runner (and a great dancer) and was in the top five veteran runners in the world until he retired in his 80's.
Bill now devotes his concentration purely on the finer intricacies of his great love . . bowling.
(CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTO)