Inspired by reading the article in Meie Kodu on 23 March, I , Anne Richardson ( nee Silting) felt it important to let the Estonian community know that there is another Eestlanna who is inspired by the game of bowls and doing quite well – for a novice – compared to Riina. I actually thought I might be the only Estonian woman who plays lawn bowls. It was truly exciting to read the article on the front page!
How did I get lured into playing bowls – a game considered appropriate for real ‘oldies’ ? I was only 64 when I started!
Similar to Riina Bradbrook I was born in Germany in 1945 in a displaced persons’ camp and arrived in Australia in 1948. I studied hard and gained both a B.A. Dip Ed and an M.A. in Education.
After 7 years of language teaching in the State system I had two children and then entered the world of Private schools as I was primarily a Latin teacher!
Eventually, after various positions as HOD and Director, I was appointed Head of Middle School at Redlands where I had taught for 26 years. Under my care were some 400 students and 100 staff – a very exciting job! Suddenly, in May 2007, my world changed as I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following several months of surgery and treatment, I had to retire from teaching and had to create a new timetable of activities for myself which replaced the joy and excitement I experienced in my working life.
As part of the ‘new’ Anne I turned to bowls – something my husband, Max, had always promoted as a wonderful pastime.
In Feb 2008 I joined N. Ryde RSL Women’s Bowling Club. In 2009- 2010 my fellow bowlers voted me into the position of Publicity Officer to which I was re-appointed for 2011-2012. In this role I am responsible for writing an article each week for the local paper, when required for the NSW Bowls magazine as well as the publication of the Club’s bi-monthly newsletter. This can be viewed on the N Ryde RSL website- under Intra Clubs- and Women’s Bowls. http://www.northrydersl.com.au, www.northrydersl.com.au. It reflects how bowls is more than just a game- but a whole way of life.
In 2010 I won the Club Graduation Singles- having worked my way through several rounds.
In 2011 I was the Lead for the N. Ryde Club Fours team which won the Bennelong District Comp. A significant achievement as we had to compete with many clubs in the district. My fellow players were three women of considerable bowling experience – totalling some 50 years or more. I had played for a little more than two!
My aim for the future is to continue playing well and winning as many championships as I can. This is easier said than done because bowls is actually a challenging yet rewarding game.
Anne Silting Richardson