Lawn bowlers Manny Rees and Vic Bliss both celebrated their 90th birthdays together at the Canberra North Bowls Club. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
A friendship formed on the tennis court is still going strong on the bowling green more than 60 years later.
On Sunday, Canberra North stalwarts Vic Bliss and Manny Rees celebrated their 90th birthdays at the club, where they have played bowls for the last 50 years.
Bliss still plays in the weekend pennant competition, as well as club games and socially during the week, while Rees has scaled back to once a week, on Thursdays.
Neither has plans to hang up the bowls bag.
''I'll be going until the day they put me in the box up on the hill out at Mitchell,'' Rees said. ''I'm only 90, I've got plenty of time to go yet.''
They played tennis together at O'Connor until tennis elbow forced Rees to give the game away.
With 40 approaching, Bliss felt it was time to pack the racquet away.
''I thought I was too old to be playing tennis so I took up bowls,'' he said. ''I played a fair bit of tennis before that and I thought I was getting too ancient.''
On Sunday the two men enjoyed a game followed by a lunch and a beer or two, with plenty of faces from the past coming along.
ACT's triples treat
Three mainstays of the ACT men's team took out the champion of champions triples at Belconnen Bowling Club on Sunday.
Weston Creek's Alan Monfries, Mac Mclean and Scott Ballard edged out their Canberra City opponents - Manny Brookman, David Hill and John McDonald - 24-20 in the final. Meanwhile, teams from the coast dominated the Queanbeyan masters pairs in an all-visitors final.
Trevor Gillis and Scott Bateup, from Dapto Citizens, beat Batemans Bay duo Ray Emerson and Greg Wale 21-16 in Thursday's final.
Also, the ACT began a three-Test series against Tasmania at Weston Creek on Tuesday in the home side's first ever Test under lights.
The final game is on Wednesday. Biased Banter will have a week off next week, but will return with a wrap-up of the games against Tassie.
There might not be any cheese wheels or greenkeepers growing any dodgy plants in the shed, but there will be plenty of quality bowls at the world championships being held in Adelaide from Saturday. The movie that put lawn bowls on the map, Crackerjack, has been re-released in South Australia and Victoria for the worlds, and comedian Mick Molloy was named the No.1 ticket holder.
They'll run from Saturday until December 9 with the world's best bowlers descending on the Holdfast Bay and Lockleys clubs.
No doubt, Molloy's mug will be the most recognisable there.
Be in it to …
A spot in the southern hemisphere's richest bowls tournament is on the line at Canberra Bowling Club.
The winners of the ACT mixed pairs will automatically go into the event, which will be held at Darebin, Melbourne, in February.
But first, Canberra hopefuls must win their games starting on Saturday, with the final on December 8.