Bowling clubs, not surprisingly, have plenty of veterans in their ranks.
But when you get to the rarefied air of super veterans, well they’re not so thick on the ground.
However, Seymour VRI Bowling Club has just inducted two of its longstanding members into those elite ranks.
Peter Delzotto and Alan Walton both received their Bowls Victoria super veteran badges from club president Wayne Noonan in a presentation ceremony last week.
Understandably the veterans of the club’s veterans were somewhat chuffed by all the attention, and somewhat modest about their achievement.
As they both pointed out, all they had to do to qualify for the medals was keep getting out of bed every day.
Peter Delzotto said, ‘‘I had expected to receive an OBE for the milestone – the Over Bloody Eighty award’’.
“However I am happy to be recognised as both super and a veteran,” the club character added.
“I have been bowling for about 40 years – I started at Seymour but moved to VRI after a couple of seasons and have loved it ever since,’’ he said.
‘‘This is a great little club and as a born and bred Seymour man I have been very happy to spend so much time at VRI.’’
The former drycleaner who also still runs a catering business on the side (but not so much as he used to) is still on the green for midweek and Saturday pennants every week and is planning to add to his latest bit of silverware in the next few weeks.
He said both teams are finals bound and the team number two is pretty confident of a big end to the season.
“I also get the team manager’s job from time to time when no-one else is interested,” Peter said.
“I was on the committee for about 30 years, and president for four of those, so I like to think I have done my bit.”
During his presidency the club expanded its green and renovated the old ladies green.
“Fortunately we still play lawn bowls here, because you can’t beat a grass green and we’ll be using that to our advantage again this week when we have a home game.”
Alan Walton gave it a lot of thought but was reasonably sure he and Peter Delzotto were the only current members with super veteran badges.
A title he has accepted as “another day in the life of an old bowler”.
Arriving in Seymour way back in 1978 with his work in land management, especially noxious weeds, with the state government, he has been playing bowls with VRI for all 30 (and a bit) of those years.
Although he had started playing while living at Tooleybuc before moving here.
“We did a lot of work with pests, plants and animals, chasing everything from exotic weeds to foxes and rabbits,” Alan explained but denied he had ever used any of his extermination skills on opposing teams.
But with the finals in sight for his Goulburn Valley League team the temptation might just be there.
He said he gets just about every job in the team, leader, second or third – “they reckon I am too young to be in charge”.
“These days I am just happy to play anywhere they’ll have me,” he laughed.
“I still enjoy the game but don’t play extra events as much as I used to, just mainly pennants and social with VRI, that’s enough for me.
“Right now I am looking forward to our finals and see where we go from there.”