History


The European Bowls Union was established in June 1995 and was the brain-child of the late Alan Williams, a Past President of World Bowls and Secretary of the Welsh Bowling Association and Roy Peacock, a Past President of the English Bowling Association.

Alan and Roy believed there was a need for an organisation to promote, foster and develop the sport of Bowls throughout mainland Europe, both in those countries where the sport was not yet played and in those countries where bowling greens already existed, primarily for use by United Kingdom holiday-makers who were travelling to the sunnier climes of Cyprus, Portugal and Spain in increasing numbers.

In the UK at that time it was evident playing 'mixed bowls' was gaining in popularity and consequently Alan and Roy decided the new organisation from the outset should cater equally for men and women bowlers.

The idea of such a new organisation, and its objects, received whole-hearted support from the established National Governing Bodies representing men and women bowlers in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and they became the Union's first members, to be quickly followed by the National Governing Bodies of Guernsey, Jersey, the Netherlands and Spain. In 1996 representatives from Cyprus and Israel became members, to be joined in 1997 by the Isle of Man and Portugal; in 2001 by the Canary Isles and in 2005 by Malta. In 2005, because the Spanish Authorities insisted the Canary Isles should not have separate membership from Spain, the Canary Isles withdrew from the Union. In 2008 Germany Turkey and Sweden became members, to be followed in 2009 by Switzerland.

Roy was elected the Union's first Chairman, a title subsequently changed to President, and held this office until 2001 when he was followed by Terry Coulthard of Wales who, in turn, was succeeded in 2003 by Eleanor Allan of Scotland. In 2005 Eleanor was succeeded by Amadeu Gil da Rocha of Portugal who, in turn, was succeeded by Douglas Johnston of Scotland. In 2009 Douglas was succeeded by Mrs Jean Tait of England. In 2011 Eddie Williams from Wales became the 7th EBU President, followed in 2013 by Zvika Hadar of Israel. 

In 2003 Roy accepted the appointment to a newly-created post of development Officer.

Alan was elected the Union's first Secretary/Treasurer but, unfortunately, he died suddenly in 1998 and was succeeded by Bob Jack MBE, a Past President of the English Bowling Association. In 2009 Bob was succeeded by Willie Cook, a Past President of the Scottish Bowling Association. Unfortunately in 2010 Willie had to resign due to pressure of work and pending the election of a new Secretary/Treasurer at the next AGM in 2011, Miss Brenda Keech agreed to act as Secretary and Bob agreed to take on the duties of Treasurer again.

At the General Meeting in November 2011 it was agreed by the members to separate the post of Secretary/Treasurer due to possible problems arising should the post be resigned in the future.  Gary Collins from Guernsey was elected as Secretary and Pauline Biddlecombe from England as Treasurer.   The Development Officer post, held by Roy Peacock, was also amalgamated into the Secretary’s position at this time.
In 2012 Gary Collins resigned as Secretary due to a change of employment.  Following this Treasurer Pauline agreed to undertake the secretarial duties until the 2013 General Meeting and President Eddie Williams undertook the position of games co-ordinator to take the Union forward to the 2013 games in Spain.  Roy Peacock and Bob Jack were awarded Life Membership of the EBU for their services to the Union.

At the 2013 General Meeting Pauline Biddlecombe was appointed Secretary, which left the Treasurers position vacant.  Fortunately, Eddie Williams agreed to take up the position of acting Treasurer, at an executive meeting in early 2014, until the next General Meeting in October 2015.

Championships

In 1997, with financial help from the Guernsey Tourist Board, the Union staged in Guernsey the First European Team Championships.

In 1999 and 2001, respectively, the Second and Third Team Championships were staged at Les Creux Bowling Club, Jersey, with the help of sponsorship by the States of Jersey Sport and Leisure Department.

In 2003 and 2005 the Fourth and Fifth Team Championships were held at the Vilamoura Bowling Club, Portugal and were generously sponsored by the Club's owners, Amadeu and Janeth da Rocha.

In 2007 and 2009 the Sixth and Seventh Team Championships were held at Athena Beach, Paphos, Cyprus kindly sponsored by Constantinou Bros Hotels Limited and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation.

In 2011 the Eighth Team Championships were held at the Vilamoura Bowling Club, Portugal and were generously sponsored by the Club's owners, Amadeu and Janeth da Rocha, when the Netherlands felt unable to host these championships.

The 2013 championships were held in the Valencia region of Spain and were generously sponsored by the Federation Espanola de Bolos, and were an outstanding success.

Test Matches

In 2002 the Union accepted an invitation from the Asian Lawn Bowls Federation to compete in an inaugural Test Match between Asia and Europe: this was held in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi Island, Malaysia in July 2003. The European Team, consisting of ten men and ten women, included players from England, Guernsey, Jersey, Portugal, Scotland and Spain; the event was won by Asia.

In July 2005 the Second Test match was held at the Winchmore Hill Bowling Club, London, England. The European Team of 6 men and 6 women from England, Guernsey, Jersey, Netherlands, Scotland and Spain lost to the team from Asia.


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