Pidge’s lasting legacy

Kate Withers

Long-standing and much-loved member of the Newborough Bowling Club Ian Burrows will be remembered by many for his selfless contribution to the club over more than 40 years.

Lovingly known as Pidge, Mr Burrows died recently aged 68 and was farewelled at a stirring service where a eulogy was delivered by dear friend and club mate Bryon Puddy.

Pidge started out at the former Yallourn Bowling Club in 1976 and Puddy said people of Pidge’s ilk often didn’t receive enough praise for the work they did behind the scenes.

“He has been with the club for over 42 years and has done a lot of work,” Puddy said.

“People like that don’t get recognition for all they do.”

A four-time club singles champion, Pidge once came back from a staggering 16 shots down to take out the title – a feat which Puddy said was achieved “through outstanding determination” typical of his friend, who also went on to become club captain.

The stalwart is believed to have earnt his nickname after a love of pigeons led him to be involved in a “mischievous” incident involving one of the birds as a school boy.

Pidge won his first club championship in 1980/81 alongside his father Bert in the pairs – the only time he took out the event.

In another family success story, he teamed up with mother-in-law Doris Armstrong and won the mixed pairs in 1995/96 – the only time he was successful in that event.

He also won five triples club championships and five fours championships – taking his total to 16.

“Bowls was always in his blood and he travelled widely representing the club in tournaments,” Puddy said.

“Pidge was always good to play with. He always displayed good sportsmanship, was competitive, and he loved the challenge of the Thursday pairs.

“He was also willing to share his experience and knowledge with other bowlers.”

Puddy said Pidge was “usually quiet on the green but on occasions would have banter with his players that could be heard across the green”.

“He had a theory – one bowl on the jack and one 18 inches behind.”

The stalwart also undertook bingo duties at the club, was a cook at Saturday night counter teas, served behind the bar, was a committee member, treasurer, held the office of president of the men’s committee and was on the board of management for 11 years.

“[Pidge] was a unique person, a highly-skilled and competitive bowler, a dedicated volunteer and [has] been a very, very good clubman for a long time,” Puddy said.

“Members of the Newborough Bowling Club salute you.”