On the 1st September, 2011, twenty one members and associates of the Shogun Short Mat Group departed these shores bound for Malaysia, where they spent up to 4 weeks, in a combined holiday and bowls tour. The tour was the brainchild of Jim Allison who spent many hours in communication with contacts he had in Malaysia. Jim was assisted by a number of other tour members both prior to, and during the tour, especially Ron Day who was transport coordinator for the duration of our stay in Malaysia.
The 21 members of the touring party, pictured with the President of the Malaysian Lawn Bowls Federation,
Tun Ahmed Sarji bin Abdul Hamid, at the Bukit Kiara Stadium.
Our first tour location was in Kuala Lumpur where five days were set aside for pre-arranged green bowls matches against Malaysian opposition. Every alternate day was free for exploration and sightseeing.
The Shogun touring group, some with little experience of playing the full length game, played a total of five matches in the Kuala Lumpur area against very high quality local opposition. It was evident that the locals were unsure of who was going to turn up from Cyprus, so just in case, some of their world ranking players were included in their line-up. Although we didn’t manage a win in any of these matches, we did win a few of the rinks, an achievement in itself, considering the massive gulf in abilities.
Every match was followed by a small social gathering with food and soft drinks kindly provided by our hosts. On the evening of our last match in Kuala Lumpur, 12th September, we were invited to a more formal event, which marked our last match and the birthday celebration of the President of the Malaysian Lawn Bowls Federation, Tun Ahmed Sarji bin Abdul Hamid.
From the 13th to the 15th September, eleven of the group flew to Terengganu on the east coast of Malaysia, where the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu Bowling Club was our host for the three days. We played two games here and recorded our only match win of the tour. It must be said that the opposition were probably newer to lawn bowls than our opponents in KL. We also crammed in some sightseeing and our hosts from the Universiti were always on hand as our guides.
On our last night in Terengganu we were again guests at a meal where our hosts dressed up for the occasion in their national dress. Some of the touring party were also suitably clothed in colourful locally acquired attire.
On the 16th, nineteen of the party flew to Penang, where they were staying variously for either a further one or two weeks. No bowls matches were on the curriculum and time here was spent sightseeing, touring and relaxing.
The abiding memory of the touring party in Malaysia will be the people. Their friendliness, generosity, consideration and helpfulness were unmatched, and members of the touring party will always remember: