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Surprise for bowls stalwart

PUBLISHED: 13:12 24 September 2009 | UPDATED: 15:07 03 July 2010

Bowled Over: John Vince (second right) with Bernard Wymer, John Symonds, John Myatt and Ray Meeks.

Bowled Over: John Vince (second right) with Bernard Wymer, John Symonds, John Myatt and Ray Meeks.

CAISTER bowls stalwart John Vince suspected nothing when his wife "reminded" him he was supposed to look in at the bowls green on his way to Sunday lunch with the family.

CAISTER bowls stalwart John Vince suspected nothing when his wife “reminded” him he was supposed to look in at the bowls green on his way to Sunday lunch with the family.

But on arrival he found a match all lined up at which he was guest of honour - and he never did get lunch!

The match between a team representing Great Yarmouth District League clubs and a Caister side had been arranged as a surprise to mark the fact that John, a player and official at every level from club to national, had just announced his retirement after 38 years as secretary of the Great Yarmouth and District Federation League (and the Mercury correspondent in recent years).

But Sunday's event was in tribute to a much wider service to the world of bowls.

A founder member of the Caister club in l968, he was secretary for some 20 years and is a life president. He captains the C team as part of a continuous policy to ensure the club caters for players of all levels of ability. He has served the District League with distinction as secretary since the 1960s and continues as an administrator with the county which he has served down the years as vice chairman, chairman and president.

As well as his achievements as an administrator, he had success on the greens as a member of the Caister team that won the County Cup in l971 and 1991.

A portrait of a young John Vince, slim with lots of hair, and already loaded with bowls honours, is featured on a series of place mats - a gift from the Caister club handed over by John Symonds the only other founder member from 1968 still playing with the club.

His work for bowls in the area was outlined by the two men who organised the event, Caister bowler Barney Wymer and the District League president Ray Meeks of Acle.

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