Long-time Warkworth resident May Evans was surprised last month when her friends at Bowls Warkworth gathered to celebrate her 96th birthday.
“I asked, ‘What are we going to the club for?’ and then when we got there, I wondered what all the cars were there for,” May says. “I soon found out.”
The mic was opened for friends to share stories including Jim Letcher, who was coached by May when he started playing 20 years ago.
“We would go to Point Wells to compete and she would help me come back with a meat pack prize,” Jim said.
“Looking back through the records, there hasn’t been a position in the club that May hasn’t held, usually three at a time, and all voluntary.”
As a respected figure in the bowls community, May could have an intimidating effect on rivals on the green, according to chairperson John Hurdley.
“Sometimes if I was having a bad moment while she was walking past, she would call out ‘I’m not God, you know’,” John said.
John presented May with a bouquet of flowers on behalf of Bowls Warkworth, as well as a bottle of fine aged whisky that the members had chipped in for.
“What keeps her going is a whisky or two a week. It’s either family genes or whisky,” John said.
May thanked everybody, saying she felt like crying and was left speechless by their comments.
“It’s really a privilege that people think I was so good, but I didn’t win these medals on my own and I have to thank everybody for helping me,” she said.