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Still learning . . . New North Otago Indoor Bowling Association life member Bob Lewis says he will continue to play bowls for as long as he can. PHOTO: EMILY MENKES

The North Otago Indoor Bowling Association has a new life member – Bob Lewis.

He received the honour at the association’s recent season closing night.

Lewis, who was born, raised, and married in Dunedin, took up the sport when he moved to Whangarei in 1970 for his career with the Post Office bank.

When he arrived in North Otago, he started playing for the Eveline Church. However, it was not affiliated to the association so he joined the Meadowbank Indoor Bowling Club in 1991 to take part in competitions.

Lewis went on to be the Meadowbank president, club captain and coach, and its delegate to the association.

He became a long-serving association committee member, coach and umpire. And as a former bank manager, he said it was almost inevitable he would be the treasurer – a role he filled for 13 years.

He took his umpiring all the way to national level.

Lewis also ran Yankee bowls and summer bowls for the association for several years and promoted indoor bowls to pupils at primary and secondary schools.

The sport was now struggling for numbers, he said.

“I’m one of the young ones,” the 75-year-old told the Oamaru Mail

His wife, Denise, had not been an indoor bowler in Whangarei but took it up once they came to North Otago. She was now a better player than her husband, he said.

“She was the skip of the Champion of Champions fours.”

Lewis said he had been unable to play much this winter for health reasons, but hoped to be back on the mat next year. He would play as long as he could.

“There’s always something to learn.”

The aspect he had enjoyed most throughout the years was “meeting all the other people and the friendships”.

He believed taking on administrative positions and getting “stuck in” was an important part of joining any club.

Other awards presented at the closing night included the OLT Trophy for the club with the most points throughout the season. This year it went to the Oamaru Club, which had amassed 82 points.

One of its members, Andy Blakeley, won the Jackson Trophy for the most points in nominated events. He also earned his gold star for winning five titles.

Lynne Porter’s 10 titles were recognised with a gold bar, and Gordon Robb this year attained his 40th title.