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Tributes after death of Garioch bowling stalwart

By David Porter

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Harlaw Outdoor and the Garioch Indoor bowling clubs have lost a stalwart from both camps, with the sad loss of Denis McDonald aged 89, just one month short of his 90th birthday.

Marion and Dennis McDonald at the presentation of the Freedom of the Green.
Marion and Dennis McDonald at the presentation of the Freedom of the Green.

He was married to Marion, has two daughters, Lynne and Susan and various grandchildren and a great grandchild who was the apple of his eye.

As Nicky Littlejohn, a contemporary over 50 years said: “He was Mr Bowls, particularly in the 70s, 80s and 90s, involved in various administrative rolls in Aberdeenshire and Kincardine different leagues.

"He was always the life and soul of any social occasion.

"He will be sadly missed”

Denis was involved in the transfer of the Loco Works Bowling Club, to become the new Harlaw Bowling Club.

They had to struggle hard to get finances to run the club, but they succeeded.

He was the second President of that Club in 1981.

He followed the “barber” Louie Cassie, who was the founder President.

As a “bobby” and married to Marion in 1961, he saw service in Bucksburn, Fraserburgh, Turriff and Inverurie, and you can see his name on the honours boards at Newhills, Bucksburn and the other three bowling clubs.

In the 80s, he was in many a Bennachie competition winning team, and once represented the Club in a national 4s competition.

For his work he was given the Freedom of the Green at the Harlaw Club.

Denis was “a doer”, when things needed done he got on with it.

He fought for an Indoor Green, and in 1988 he was on the original committee of the Garioch Indoor Bowling Club.

The original management team were given the target of having a minimum of 700 signed up players, contributing £100 each, and that target with Denis, and others pushing, meant the former Garioch District Council leant £250,00 to have the building built and opened.

His claim to fame was in 1999, putting together a team of young bowlers to compete in the Scottish under 35 competition, and after five rounds they won the final at Prestwick.

So pleased were the Scottish Indoor Bowling Association, that they invited him to manage the Scottish team the following year.

It was only in the last few years he found it difficult to play two hours of competitive bowling, but he was always a regular at Harlaw and Garioch Indoor Clubs, enjoying the fellowship with the bowlers and spectators.

He will be sadly missed.

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