Delegates' apathy a let-down
Three bowling clubs have called a special general meeting to try to avoid a leadership crisis in the sport in Manawatu.
The prime movers have been Johnston Park (Feilding), Takaro and Palmerston North. They have compelled Bowls Manawatu, under its constitution, to stage the meeting at the Palmerston North Bowling Club on Sunday with the same agenda as the failed special meeting on May 27.
That fell over because there were insufficient club delegates to even muster a quorum. Only 14 of the potential 38 club delegates attended, six short of a quorum.
After most clubs ignored that meeting, called to change the structure of the ruling body and to get away from the antiquated delegate system, president Tony Jensen announced he had had enough of the apathy in bowls and would be resigning.
Despite numerous pleas from bowlers for him to stay, even from Bowls New Zealand, Jensen was adamant yesterday that he would still be quitting after the annual meeting next month.
"My position is unchanged, and will remain unchanged," he said.
"I have had a lot of comment from Joe Soap bowler."
Jensen is now looking forward to playing bowls instead of taking care of everyone else. His departure is likely to snowball with many other executive members vowing to follow him.
The three clubs behind Sunday's meeting are concerned that the centre could be left leaderless and decided to call the meeting because a club tournament programme meeting was being held a half hour later. Surely club delegates will front up for that.
As one bowler said, under the current constitution, "a dipstick" could be nominated and elected.
Jensen said the agenda would be exactly the same as for the abortive meeting in May.
"They realise they have a serious issue and need to do something about it," he said.
"They will still need the numbers to get the quorum. I understand they have been on the phone to all of the clubs."
Of the eight clubs absent from the May meeting, only one club had spoken to him since, he said.
"Which still shows there is an apathetic attitude amongst them."
Jensen understands why the three clubs have acted, because the centre could be left in a precarious vacuum if they don't do something.
Johnston Park's Terry Puklowski, a former Manawatu Bowling Centre president, said the changes weren't detrimental, they were to the benefit of the sport to have the best people running Bowls Manawatu.
"Our club was all for the changes," Puklowski said. "We've got to make sure it all ticks over otherwise we're all going to be in the cart."
Takaro's Eric Franklyn had a meeting with Northern great Phil Skoglund.
Takaro also agreed with the centre's intended changes and didn't want to see them lapse because some delegates didn't get off their backsides.
"There is nothing like a shake-up call to make people show interest," Franklyn said.
He felt many clubs probably hadn't realised the importance of the original meeting and many such clubs played bowls for six months and then had six months off, virtually a winter hibernation.
- © Fairfax NZ News