Some 1600 people participated in the ninth National Indoor Bowls Tournament, held at Hastings and Napier from June 9th to 14th, 1958. Among the many competitors there were only 22 of my kinsmen including myself. I feel sure that we will be represented by a far bigger percentage at future tournaments. Unlike most sport where Mum and Dad just go along to see their children take part, Indoor Bowls is for the whole family, Mum and Dad included. So I feel sure more of us Maoris will take up this sport.
The standard of play was indeed high. Taranaki and Horowhenua, perhaps produced the best of our Maori bowlers, particularly Mr G. Maha, T. Jackson, Mr and Mrs Edwards. From Horowhenua, we had Mrs A. Holder playing in her 4th National Tournament, and what a grand personality and fine bowler she is. Then there was W. H. and R. Wehipeihare, a grand trio of women. From the mainland we had Mr and Mrs D. Tipere, of Southland.
H. Haitana from the Ruapehu Centre, was perhaps the best of us all, as he was one of the last 32 players left in the Singles Final.
G. Maha, P. Joseph and Miss J. Peterana qualified for the Rinks which was the last section played. They played with remarkable form and consistency. However, G. Maha did the better of the three, winning 2 games and going down in his 3rd game to a Canterbury team skipped by Mrs A. Gordon. This game was closely fought and perhaps some of the best bowling at the Tournament. T. Jackson, playing 3 for Maha will be well remembered for his coolness under pressure. Mrs A. Gordon duly went on to play A. H. Thomas of Wellington in the final, A. H. Thomas winning by 22 to 14.
The friendly atmosphere in which the games were played, and the hospitality by the Host Unions were unexcelled, as was also the efficiency of the President, Mr C. G. Welsh and his Committee. In my opinion Mr Welsh could well be called the DADDY OF BOWLS.