Bowls ‘n Boerie

The Big Skies Foundation held its first fundraiser, Bowls ‘n Boerie, this weekend at the Pirates Bowls Club in Greenside. It was a beautiful Johannesburg Autumn day and Pirates were graced with a solid turnout of literally dozens of barefoot bowlers (twenty-four to be precise).

Introducing people to a new sport is always fun, and you wouldn’t have guessed that hardly any of the bowlers had any relevant experience when you saw Dicko removing his shoelaces to find that elusive second shot. There are many cliches trotted out about Joburgers and one that rang true on this day was that the okes are competitive! (Dicko couldn’t find that second shot no matter how hard he tried though…)


Expectations were especially high from those arrived with their own bowls, especially from the self-proclaimed “best bowler in Parkhurst in his thirties”, Dale. Dale ran an intriguing bowls demonstration to his team which we are told included an analysis on the dark-art of reverse-swing, and commented to his team that the Australian cricket team’s practices would not be “technically illegal” if applied in bowls. He squirted a smelly, sticky substance which he called Grippo onto his team-mates hands as their game started, which they all actually looked a bit upset about. Dale’s team, a strong quartet that included Phil, Shannon and Louise, but unfortunately the only thing they managed to keep a good grip on were their drinks. They tumbled 9-7 to a team of William, Sarah, Mike and Brendan who were last seen ordering a large vat of G&T in celebration.

Dick King, lent his experience and Dad-jokes to get the best out Caela, Chanean and Nic to a big victory over Dicko’s team of Alex, Stu and Migael. The 9-1 result was very one-sided and could be best described as a classic Dick-King-victory. Stu, playing in the only all-male team, was a little upset with his opponents’ clear superiority and wanted to see if he could challenge Nic and Dick to a game of squash, a 5km run or even a boat-race before the day was out to get a taste of victory. In the end, his team settled for a victory of sorts at the Jolly Roger (familiar territory for Dicko) for half-price pizzas.

Sean was remarkably not seen within ten-feet of the braai at all times, no doubt observing the remainder of his self-imposed boerewors ban after his efforts in Plettenberg Bay were once described as “burnt to a crisp, identifiable by dental records only”. He played with Perri, Sinal, Dirk and Bridget against the potent coupling of couples, Llewellyn & Christine and Hein & Ailyssa. It was a terrifically close match with the couples trumping the singletons 9-8.

Hein, after reflecting on his team’s victory with a boerewors roll, got a little bit misty-eyed when he said “From the side of the Windmill Park cricket field in Bloemfontein to the lawns of Dagbreek in Stellenbosch, I have tasted a lot of boerewors. And in my boerewors journey, this was the finest boerewors rolls I have tasted thus far.” His wife Ailyssa, known for her legendary five-course meals, looked on with a wry smile as she planned their meals for the week ahead.

Despite Bradley paying his entrance fee up-front on Monday, he maintained his nickname of Camilla, by not showing up. The joke, as it goes, asks “What is the difference between Bradley and Prince Charles’ wife?” with the answer being “Camilla Parker-Bowles”.

The ladies all looked stunning, and the Pirates Bowls Committee, watching from the deck above, have asked that we forewarn them before the next event so that the members can have their pacemakers calibrated in advance.


Perri suggested we may be having a few more Bowls, Beers ‘n Boeries in Johannesburg ‘on the semi-reg’, which apparently means ‘reasonably often’. If you’d like more information about future events, or are considering taking up bowls as a sport, please contact Nic (0829024547) or Perri (0846572668).

Thank you to all that come out and showed support for a great day and especially to all those that helped out.

FundraisingRoux Pecans