Hello, My name is Dick Sayer and I am a third generation lawn bowler. I have played this game my whole life it seems, beginning with carpet bowls and then joining the Smithfield Avenue Lawn Bowls Club in Pawtucket, RI when I was 12. That was 34 years ago. Back then we primarily played in tournaments in our region. But we played each weekend in a 4 game tournament in Quincy or Milton Mass., Springfield, Ma, Hartford Ct. or Pawtucket, RI. And the greens were pretty full, usually 16-22 trebles teams. ('trebles' is what we used call triples)
Things have changed. None of those clubs are even members of the Northeast division and only the Hartford clubs appear to even still exist, but are not affiliated with our division anymore.
I first want to thank Colin Smith for his service as President. Colin stepped in after we had some difficulties and assumed solid leadership when we needed it most. Colin has and will continue to serve our division as one of our greatest advocates and workers. He continues on as Games chairman, a member of the board of directors and has agreed to help out in anyway he can. I for one will take him up on that often.
I have just taken over as Pres. of the NED and I feel that if we don't begin with some initiatives that this division will be forced to either dissolve in a few years or merge with another division just to keep affiliation with the USLBA.
Many of you may ask the question, "why do we care if we keep our affiliation?" What does belonging to the Northeast Division and the USLBA do for us? Well Ihope we can answer that question in the coming years with action. The USLBA has recently sent out instructional DVD's to be distributed to each club for their use in teaching people the game. These DVD's which will be distributed to each member club this off season can be used to give presentations to schools, senior centers, open houses and as tutorials for new members.
As Vice President last year it was up to me to nominate the next board. I had ideas that this was a good place to start. We have clubs without representation and I sought to change that. I nominated Ron Dickey from Skytop and Barb Roberts from Buck Hill Falls to give those clubs a voice. I also sought advice from people familiar with strategic planning and was able to convince Susan Berg from Williamsburg to become a board member to add her experience in strategic planning and grant seeking to our group. I want to work with Susan and others in creating both long term and short term goals for the division and its clubs.
One of our short term goals is a simple one that hopefully has great benefits. The NED is looking into partnering with clubs to purchase indoor bowls equipment to extend our short season. We are stronger together as an organization than we are as small individual clubs. We can pool our resources and ideas.
I also asked Patrick Duffy of Brooklyn to take over as Vice President and to look into the possibility of getting his club's green going again(The club has existed in name only for many years. He has begun the process with letters and has been invited to meet with park officials and present a plan.
This is just a beginning!
In the coming year I hope to form a committee to work on bringing winter bowls to life with the short mat game as one possibility. We discussed this some in past board meetings and it has gained some traction. Members at the Frick Park club have already begun to look into places they could store the equipment and play this winter.
I want to see us establish an open games committee with the posting of tournament formats so any club could hold a tournament and know how to run it themselves. Having an archive of tournament draws would benefit every club. Games Chairman Colin Smith of Essex County LBC is already on this task and is working with a committee now to spread the knowledge of running tournaments to others so he is not over-burdened and so we will have multiple members who can help teach even more members how to run a successful tournament, even if its just a club tournament.
I asked Barb Roberts of Buck Hill Falls LBC to begin the process of bringing the National Championships back to Buck Hill Falls. What many may or may not know, the National Championships, as well and the USLBA was formed in the Northeast Division. Barb has already met with club president Jim Price and they have presented the idea to an enthusiastic board who runs the Buck Hill Community. They are beginning the plan to bring the tournament back here as early as 2015. We will now begin the process of working with Buck Hill and the USLBA to bring the tournament home where it started.
I also want to bring back into our division the clubs we have lost, but still exist. And seek out all clubs that exist within our division to invite them to join us. Believe it or not some bowling green clubs don't even know we exist as an organization.
And much more. This sport is too good to let whither and die. The American lawn bowling community began here in the East and I really and truly hope we can save it here. We only have a fraction of the clubs and members we had 34 years ago when I started, this needs to be fixed!
At this time I would like to introduce the NED division board and the officers for 2013. By our constitution we are to have a 8 to 12 member board including 4 officers. I'm happy to report we have a full board representing eight different clubs. This is the first time in many years we are a full board.
Pres. Dick Sayer, Frick Park
VP. Patrick Duffy, Brooklyn
Sec. Jack Edwards, Williamsburg
Tres. Tee Adams, DuPont
1. Colin Smith (immediate past president), Essex
2. Michele Arculli - Essex
4 Ron Dickey- Skytop
5 Alan Winson NY
6 Eileen Luba-Frick Park
7 Barb Roberts-Buck Hill Falls
8, Susan Berg - Williamsburg
On our website you can find contact information for most of us now and soon hopefully all of us. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your thoughts and ideas.
Soon we will be conducting our fall meeting to discuss the items we want to address in the coming year. I will see to it that our discussions are shared and will be calling on our members to get involved in making sure we build and not allowing this game to dwindle any further.
Looking forward to the coming year to see what we can do to accomplish our goals.
Lastly, we have a team of six of our top bowlers about to head out west to San Diego to compete in the National Championships. The team is a familiar one, it is the same group who earned their way last year to Seattle. Dan Berg of Williamsburg LBC will represent the men in Singles. Michele Arculli of Essex County LBC will compete for the women's crown. Eileen Luba will seek a return to gold with Rusty Hein as her lead(both of Frick Park LBC) while Gene Oka and Tom Rabolli of New York LBC will be our stand out pairs team on the mens side(and yes I do mean stand out--they always find a way!) I want to wish them luck from all of us in the NED. Its been 5 years since the NED has won a championships, we're due!!!!!!
Bring back the hardware team!
Dick Sayer, Frick Park LBC