Still a pennant ace at age 90
At 90, Rod Beevors is still playing, and still winning.
“I’m not all that fussed playing social bowls. I’m competitive. I love playing competitive bowls,” Rod says of a career which has taken him everywhere from Monbulk to Merimbula chasing the thrill of victory.
“I love playing pennant, and in tournaments.
“I keep on telling new bowlers – to achieve something in their career is to play against better players and to enter into tournaments.”
Even in his 91st year, Rod Beevors is still in the winning habit.
He was an integral part of Berwick Bowling Club’s Division Two Midweek Pennant grand final-winning team last season, and a bowlers arm has helped keep him in the sport.
Rod only started playing bowls when he retired at age 60, and moved to the coastal town of Loch Sport in Gippsland.
He learned to play the game on a bitumen green covered in shredded rubber, primarily because there was no town water to irrigate a grass green there.
He won a singles championship and skipped a Pennant-winning team at Loch Sport, and spent two years as club president.
But after 15 years there, Rod’s health – specifically a heart problem which required a triple bypass in the early 1990s – forced a move closer to Melbourne.
“It was 62k’s from Loch Sport to Sale where the nearest hospital was, and then after I’d recovered … we put the house on the market.”
Rod and wife Kathleen made their home in Berwick South, and predictably for someone who plays and enjoys the sport as much as he does, a second home at Berwick Bowling Club.
“I enjoy playing bowls. It’s my life.
“There was one year – it was a leap year. The wife said to me: ‘You realise there’s 29 days in this month, and you’ve played on 27 of them’,” he said.
Not that the love of bowls has affected the love of his life.
Kathleen also plays bowls, and in November the Beevors celebrate 62 years of marriage.
Rod’s longevity – and his competitive fires – are much admired at his club. Those at Berwick say his age is secondary to the fact he can still command a place on merit in his team or tournament he plays in.
“I still skip now in the winter time, but in the pennant now I usually play lead or second.
“Since I’ve come here, I’ve won the President’s Handicap twice. My wife and I – on the same day – she won the final of the Ladies’ President’s Handicap and in the afternoon, I won the final of the men’s.”