Bowls WA History Series

by admin on October 8, 2013

Part 1 – the story of Jack Hi Welcome to the first website story on the history of the magazine bowlers in WA know as the ‘Jack Hi”
Firstly, thanks to the volunteers in our History Project who will be responsible for getting all the archives of Bowls WA material (starting with past Jack Hi’s) into an online format for our readers.
We will have scanned copies of some past issues of Jack Hi to take a look at and we will touch on some of the significant stories of the day as we take a trip down memory lane.
In this column we will take a brief look at the history of Jack Hi and also three of the earliest issues of the magazine we have in our records.
Jack Hi …… a brief history
Believed to be the first publication of what is now known as Jack Hi a small booklet was produced in February 1973 and was simply called “Bowls in Western Australia”. Bowls WA has in its records the Vol 1 no 2 Edition produced later in 1973 which has been scanned and reproduced below but sadly not the very first publication which is very much sought after.
The magazine was a collaboration between RWWBA (Men’s Association) and the WALBA (Ladies Association), this was some 30 years before unification was to officially take place.
These was sold for 20 cents each and the original editor was K. Des Austin, 20 cents in those days I have been reliably told could buy you a pot of beer so is probably the equivalent in today’s money of around $4.
Volume 2 saw the introduction of the name “Jack Hi” and whilst no copies are on record at Bowls WA the magazine began to expand in that time under the guidance of the publishing committee of “Blue” Hobson, Ray Robinson and Alan Eddy. We are not sure exactly over what years this Volume was published.
Volume 3 was launched in October 1977 and saw further expansion as the bi-monthly magazine hit a mammoth 52 pages in Edition 2.
Bowls WA only has a handful of Editions from Volume 3 1977 through to Volume 21 in 1996, what is notable is that in 1987 the editions were selling for 50 cents a copy however from 1988 onwards the magazine became a free publication as it still is today.
In 1997 the magazine changed format to an A3 Newspaper broadsheet no doubt influenced by the newspaper men in JJ Carter, Steve Lague and Neville Faulkner who were regular contributors of stories in these editions.
For a short period in 1998 and 1999 the Newspaper changed its name to be called “Bowls WA” however this must not have been popular as it was quickly changed back to “Jack Hi”.
The Newspaper format was scrapped in 2000 as the full colour Magazine style was re-adopted and the Editions started fresh from 1 and have been going ever since up to Edition 95 which will be out in clubs soon.
Bowls In Western Australia 1973 Vol 1 No 2 (20 pages)
Highlights include:
·         Tom Scaddan Profile
·         Club Reports from Armadale, Floreat Park, Manning Memorial, Midland Junction, Morrison Park, North Beach, North Fremantle, Royal Park, Victoria Park and Mount Barker.
·         Ladies President and Secretary Report plus club reports from Civic Centre, Royal Park and Melville
Jack Hi 1977 Vol 3 no 1 (40 pages)
Highlights include
·         Feature on the Celtic Club
·         Annual Election results
·         Various other articles on Scroungers, Lindsay Rosenthal Medal, Ladies News, Blind Bowlers, Silver Jubilee, World Bowls Venue Frankston, ABC Laws of the Game Alterations, Interstate News, Greenkeepers News, Personalities and various Club News.
Jack Hi 1977 Vol 3 no 2 (52 pages)
Highlights include
·         Feature on Busselton, Corrigin and Esperance Bowling Clubs
·         State Team announced
·         Various articles including Club News, intestate News, Greenkeeper News, Personalities and RWWABA Committee Reports
Of particular interest was a report on the installation of a new synthetic all-weather green at Kew Bowling Club, Victoria, yes this was in 1977!!!
Special thanks to the following contributors
History Project Volunteers
Ken Provost (Sports Association)
Steve Black (Bassendean)
Jack Hi Contributions
Steve Srhoy (Cockburn)
Evan Blechynden (Bunbury)
Pat and Ken Triner (Thornlie)
If you would like to Volunteer for this project or have old Jack Hi’s you would like to contribute please contact Aaron Delaporte at Bowls WA or phone 9340-0807