THE ALIATHON BOWLING CLUB HISTORY
The Very Beginning
It was in the summer of 1991 that a group of enthusiastic bowlers decided to introduce the game of lawn bowls to Cyprus. On Wednesday afternoons at the Queen’s Bay Hotel, Pafos, Jim and Catherine Allison, Tom and Helena Sloane and Brian and Susan Dring could be found playing bowls on a rather poor quality carpet green, laid on an under-sized concrete base, which had poor drainage and flooded when it rained. The following winter, the quality of the green deteriorated and the group ceased to play. It wasn’t until June 1994 that the Avanti Hotel opened an almost full-size, all-weather green and the little group were back playing again. Their numbers had grown to sixteen and it was felt that if there was enough interest, a club could be formed.
It was decided that an advertisement should be placed in the local press to test the level of interest in bowling. There was an overwhelming response and during 1994, on a Sunday afternoon, the bowling green at the Avanti was full of bowlers.
The Avanti green was of the same construction as the Queens Bay but was practically full size. It still flooded when it rained but was far better than what had gone before!
Numbers grew and, on average, forty people were playing regularly. It was decided that a bowling club be formed and on 28 August 1994, a Working Committee was formed. It comprised the following pioneers:-
Chairman - Bruce Ferguson, Treasurer - Don Hawes, Secretary - Barbara Brown, Director of Play - Jim Allison, Members - Catherine Allison, Christine Hartley, Tom Sloan, Brian Dring, Bill Herring and Peter Greenwood-Jones.
At this time, the only reasonable green was at the Avanti. The hotel management were not slow to realise this and, in September 1994, doubled their charges. Lengthy negotiations with them were to no avail and the Club stopped using the facility.
It is of interest to note that the charge, per person per game, at the Avanti, was one pound then two and finally increased to three pounds.
Birth of the Aliathon Bowling Club
With relations at the Avanti deteriorating, it seemed as if the group was about to split up but fate, and a lot of determination from one man was to change that. That man was Jim Allison who lived below a man who had connections with the management of the Aliathon.
As a result of a number of offhand remarks and, no doubt, a little pushing from Jim, the Aliathon management began to take a serious interest in building a bowling facility at their complex. Realising that they had a good chance of building a viable club, the Working Committee formed at the Avanti put its efforts into the new venture. A liaison committee was formed by the Aliathon and the fledgling club and many meetings followed. This resulted in a promise by the Aliathon that a bowling green would be constructed and by early 1995, the Working Committee was delighted to report that a “Greengauge” carpet would be laid on the new green. The club was in business!
With this development, a number of decisions had to be made including a name for the club, a badge, rules, dress code and fees.
The first name suggested was The Paphos Lawn Bowling Club but this was soon changed to Aliathon Bowling Club Paphos (1995). The original club badge was designed by Brenda Hawes (wife of the first Treasurer, Don Hawes). It was designed with thought given to two things which all visitors to Pafos harbour would remember, the pelican and the castle. It also included, as an amendment to the original drawing, a bowl and a jack and the year of our beginning, 1995.
The initial club rules were based on those obtained from the UK by Jim Allison from long established clubs. They required an enormous amount of work and were subject to frequent alterations. The fees were negotiated with the Aliathon and a figure of £100.00 was agreed on.