Jack rolls on after 90 years

December 27, 2017

Jack Stewart was presented with a certificate from Bowls Victoria for his 90th birthday.

JACK Stewart has always had a wicked sense of humour.

The former Stanhope shearer, auctioneer and farmer and general good guy was recently presented with a certificate from Bowls Victoria to acknowledge his 90th birthday.

Jack, who lives in Echuca these days, was kidded along to the Echuca Bowls Club one evening to receive the award on the pretence he was on the washing and drying up roster for the club’s Christmas function.

When he got there and announced he was ready to start work he was ushered to a chair and told to sit down and take it easy.

Wondering what was going on, he soon found out.

The club’s vice-president Eddie Smith summoned Jack forward to receive a certificate.

Jack was still wondering what the fuss was all about as people started clapping and cheering.

‘‘I’m a bit hard of hearing and I didn’t quite know what the presentation exactly was for,’’ he said.

‘‘So I then started to wonder what I was going to say in my acceptance speech. It could have been a bit awkward.’’

In his acceptance Jack fell back on an old favourite — a short poem he had devised in his younger days when butcher shops were plentiful in every town before the supermarkets wiped out many a livelihood in this profession.

‘‘Even Stanhope had two butchers in the early days and when I was auctioneer I got to know a lot of them personally,’’ Jack reflected.

After delivering his recital Jack’s response was applauded loudly. In fact, there were three encores.

And when Jack finally realised what the presentation to him was all about he was most appreciative.

‘‘It was really nice they (Echuca Bowling Club) thought about me and set up the award.

‘‘I played a lot of bowls at Stanhope over the years but because of work I wasn’t a regular every week.

‘‘When I retired and moved to Echuca to live in the early 2000s I played again — and in some lower division premiership teams with the club.

‘‘I don’t bowl any more now but they were good times and you got to meet a lot of good people.’’

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