Philip gets ‘life’ for his untiring efforts at club

By Riverine Herald

PHILIP Thorn has done almost everything at the City of Echuca Bowls Club.

And now he has been rewarded for it.

At last week’s AGM, Thorn was named a life member, following in the footsteps of his late mother.

In fact, the bowls club is in the Thorn bloodline, with Philip’s mother and father racking up a combined 90 plus years of membership.

Thorn has been a member of the club since 1983, when he was 26, but was involved for years before that.

‘‘I was very proud of (becoming a life member),’’ Thorn said.

‘‘It means the world to me. Mum was a life member but passed away and dad was a coach here, so I feel like I’m following in their footsteps.

‘‘I’ve basically been involved all my life because my parents were involved.

‘‘In my early adulthood I did tennis and other sports, but bowls gradually became the favourite.

‘‘As a child I had a mini set of bowls and played with them down the family hallway, as well as on the grass next to the bowling green where my parents were playing,’’ Thorn said.

City of Echuca Bowls Club president Pat Schram said it was a great moment to witness the announcement of Thorn being named a life member.

‘‘It was very exciting the other night and he got quite emotional, because he and his whole family have contributed so much to the club.

‘‘He rang his brother after the announcement, and his brother was cheering over the phone for him — he’s a bit of a favourite around the club,’’ she said.

In his time competing at the club, Thorn has won the singles club championship 16 times, a state singles title to represent Victoria, the state fours title, and is now a member of the Over 60s Victorian side.

‘‘With the Over 60s we get to play in a round robin event once a year against the other states. Two years ago it was held in Perth, then in South Australia last year and this year it’ll be in South Australia again,’’ he said.

Thorn kick-started the barefoot bowls competition at the club, coaches for free in his spare time, and is the press officer for the club, sending in weekly reports to the Riv.

‘‘I’ve been doing that for a long time. I felt for a club like ours it’s important to stay in the public eye and be noted for our achievements,’’ he said.

One of his proudest achievements in his time is conducting four years’ research into the club’s last 50 years, to write a stirring and comprehensive history of the club in time for its centenary celebrations earlier this year.

‘‘It took too many hours to count, and I had to find all the minute books from way back.

‘‘The first 50 years had been written but I did the last 50, making note of any worthwhile events, and I think now the history is invaluable really to our club,’’ he said.