It was “all hands-on deck” over the weekend at the Mercury Bay Bowling Club (MBBC) for their annual Seafood Tournament, sponsored by Moana and OPC. The tournament, in its 50th year hosted 32 teams of 4 players each from all over the North Island and presented a logistical challenge for Trevor Knight and the club volunteers who fed and watered all bowlers, regaling them with the fabulous hospitality and glorious seafood for which Mercury Bay is well-known. The Seafood Tournament is the largest event and a key fundraising vehicle for the club and has been greatly missed over the last two years, due to Covid.
The Seafood Tournament, as it is now known, was started back in the early 1970s, sponsored by a local fisherman when the Mercury Bay Bowling Club comprised just one green and was located on the corner of Albert and Hannon Streets. Such was the limitations of the green that the tournament had to be held over two weekends to accommodate all the bowlers.
In 1992, the MBBC moved into it current club houses on Cook Drive and grew from strength to strength. Today the facility sports a full bar and kitchen facilities plus seating for 150 people and a proper dance floor and the MBCC is host to a number of other community groups and events. The pitch sports two full size 38.1 metre square bowling rinks, one with organic green and one with astro grass for all year-round use. Although over the years the club membership has fluctuated, membership is growing strongly at present, especially represented by new members who have moved to Mercury Bay from larger cities.
A good way to try your hand and bowls is the annual Business House Bowls event which occurs each year in late January for five weeks. Now in its 40th year, Business House Bowls is open to teams of four who can be businesses or just a group of friends. In fact, at least two of the four have to be “non-bowlers” to keep things even.
The 2022 MBCC Seafood Tournament, with its 124 plus players, was a huge undertaking for the club and its members who worked very hard over the two days to make sure everything ran smoothly for the 160 attendees. Everyone was well fed with lunches and a fabulous seafood feast on the Saturday night. By all accounts the event was a huge success and brought in quite a few visitors to the area.
Pictured : High fives at the Mercury Bay Bowling Club’s annual Super Seafood Tournament over the weekend.