If Oscars were handed out for volunteer work done for a sporting club, Frank Dorris would certainty be on the podium to receive the accolades.
A tireless worker for the Bega Bowling Club, Frank spends endless hours doing the jobs no-one else likes doing.
When I approached him about the recent acknowledgement the bowling members had bestowed upon him, he was atop of the Green-keeper’s shed giving it a coat of paint.
Like most, Frank certainly doesn’t volunteer his services for personal accolades.
Recently we all gathered before bowls started one Saturday afternoon to present Frank a plaque in his name.
The plaque “Frank’s Garden” was placed in the garden that he had spent countless hours improving.
He was a bit embarrassed and surprised to say the least.
Frank insisted that he was not the only volunteer that worked on the garden.
“Neil Holzhauser was a great help and he wasn’t the only one,” Frank said.
Frank was coaxed to play bowls with the club by his brother-in-law John Jefferies and good friend Bobby McNaught after he and his wife Deanna moved to Bega from Canberra.
At first, Frank was a little apprehensive, stating that bowls was “only for geriatrics”, after all, he was only 70.
He started with Hense-lite size five heavy second hand bowls, which were a little extreme considering his small stature.
He boasted, “I’m using a newer set of bowls now that are probably 20 years old.
“It’s not the bowls that make the bowler, it’s the bowler that makes the bowl,” he said.
You certainly can’t argue with that.
Around the club, Frank is affectionately known as “Cranky Frank”.
When I asked him why the nickname, he said: “they are only jealous because I like to win”.
There is no place for second in Frank’s eyes, unless it’s picking up the block of cheese instead of the first placed meat voucher that is drawn at the end of play each bowls afternoon.
If you ever have the pleasure in defeating Frank, you come away from the game with great satisfaction, because you know you have bowled well.
This speaks volumes for his competitive nature and the fact he always gives 100 per cent, on your side or against you.
Along the way he has won the club’s 2007 consistency, 2008 triples and the 2010 minor pairs championships.
When asked how the club has changed during his time, Frank had this to say: “The club has gone ahead in leaps and bounds since the RSL and Bega Bowling Club amalgamated, with many new bowlers joining our roster”.
“Last year we had a large amount of new bowlers join our ranks,” Frank said.
At 81, Frank is still bowling, fighting fit and climbing rooftops.
Congratulations Frank from everybody within the club, without volunteers like yourself and the many others at the Bega Bowling Club, it wouldn’t have the standing it has today.