New Life Members

27 Jun 2017

It was with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of two new Honorary Life Members of Auckland Bowls.  At the Auckland Bowls AGM last night, Graeme Bennett and Ian Birch were granted life membership following a unanimous vote from the delegates.

Both men have given outstanding service to Auckland Bowls and the sport in general over many years and we are very grateful for the contribution they have made and continue to make to our great game.

Graeme Bennett

Graeme has been Chairman of the Auckland Bowls Judicial Committee for a number of years and was instrumental in the initial set up of this committee. 

In conjunction with his role on the Judicial Committee, Graeme also provides advice and assistance with changes and updates to the Auckland Bowls Constitution as are required from time to time.  He also provides this service to a number of bowling clubs in Auckland thus helping to ensure bowling clubs meet their constitutional requirements.

Graeme also sits on the Jury of Appeal for any major Bowls Tournament held in Auckland.  Under the rules of the sport a Jury of Appeal must be appointed and Graeme is always more than happy to assist.

In 2009 Graeme was appointed to the Kimberly Investment Committee for Auckland Bowls Inc. This committee is charged with ensuring that the investment funds of Auckland Bowls are well managed and secured for the future benefit of the sport.

Graeme is also the current Chairman of the Rawhiti Fund Committee providing excellent leadership.

Graeme is always available to assist on any matter and has the best interests of bowls in Auckland at heart.

Ian Birch OBE

Ian has been Patron of Auckland Bowls for many years but has not been made a Life Member (until now!).

Ian started many year of commitment to bowls in Auckland and New Zealand as an elected member of the Executive of The Auckland Bowling Centre from 1974 until 1978.  In 1979 John Flett was instrumental in getting Ian elected to the executive of the N.Z.B.A. as one of the four Auckland Councillors.

In 1981 with the advent of the Professional era in Bowls, Ian was made Promotions Director of the N.Z.B.A. In this capacity he became the driving force in introducing coloured clothing to the game. The Countrywide Professional series with high profile International, & New Zealand bowlers playing in a series of events throughout N.Z. was another of his creative promotions. 

Ian introduced Bowls to Radio & his colourful commentaries of the National Championships were most entertaining & always signed off with his great catch phrase "This is Ian Birch at the Bowls".

As an N.Z.B.A. councillor he continued to attend Auckland Centre executive meetings until his elevation to the N.Z.B.A. Presidency for the 1988/89 Bowling season.  He was a member of the World Indoor Bowling Council in 1987, becoming President in 1993.

Ian was awarded the O.B.E. in 1993 for services to the game of Lawn Bowls and was made a member of the Bowls NZ Hall of Fame at the inaugural induction ceremony in 2013.  One of only 36 inductees.

He has been a member of the Epsom Bowling Club since 1956 were he is a Life Member & current Patron.

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