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99-year-old to put down the first bowl

NINETY-NINE-YEAR-OLD Cecil “Snow” Morgan will put down a bowl alongside Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, Governor of Tasmania, to open a weekend of festivities for Beltana Bowls Club’s 50th anniversary.

Mr Morgan is well-known for building the clubhouse when Beltana was first formed and still enjoys a weekly drink at the club.

Mr Morgan, who turns 100 years old in March, said he missed playing and now only had a couple of drinks at the club.

He said he liked being sociable in the club and still meeting up with old members.

“I tell them I’m 87,” he said.

Mr Morgan has only recently stopped driving, and put his last bowl down about three years ago.

He said socialising, travelling and playing bowls was the key to a long life.

“I still go up to the Sunshine Coast every year with my family,” he said.

“We have been going for about 11 years to the same place.

“There’s a bowls club within a hundred yards of us and another very big club quite close as well.”

Mr Morgan started off his early working life in the Army and travelled to places that included the Middle East and New Guinea.

He spent four months at Duntroon during the war.

“I got to know some great people,” he said.

Following the war, he learnt his trade as a builder and spent a few years with an employer before branching out on his own.

Max Moody, Beltana’s first greens director, approached Mr Morgan to build the clubhouse.

“I told Max it was too big a job, but he said just work out a price,” Mr Morgan said.

“I told him $23,000 but he came back and said he could only give me $17,000, so that’s what we built it for – it took about four months.

“I agreed to play bowls, as the members said they didn’t have enough players.

“I was club champion several times and my wife Pauline and I won three grand finals.

“I enjoyed playing with a lot of people and telling them how to fix lots of little faults – it’s an easy game to get into.

“In the early years, all the ladies were pretty old in our club and it was mainly husbands and wives.

“You didn’t have to put a tie on, but the old blokes would.

“Some of the ladies didn’t like playing in the dress, when you had to wear the whites.

“Travelling was hard as not as many cars were around, so if we had to go to Ouse or Geeveston, it was a very long way.

“About four or five years ago, a chap bought a set of bowls for $600 and the chappie selling them told me he had just the set for me as well.

“I asked how much and he said $197 and I said, ‘don’t be so stupid’, so he cut five dollars and I took them.

“He told everyone that was the greatest sale he’d ever made.”

Mr Morgan will put down the first bowl at the Mixed Triples on Friday 22 February.

Other events include a Long Table Breakfast on Saturday 23 February and a 50s themed Barefoot Bowls on Tuesday 26 February.

All details can be found on Beltana Bowls Club’s website or Facebook page.

Caption: Cecil “Snow” Morgan will put down the first bowl at the upcoming Beltana Bowls Club’s 50th anniversary celebrations.