The VC Cup bowls tournament has been played in Raumati every year since 1987 but has yet to be won by the host club. Hopefully this month that elusive success will be achieved.
The VC Cup was presented by a famous former President of the Raumati South Bowling Club, war hero Rev Keith Elliott, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his outstanding actions in the first battle of El Alamein during World War 2.
On retiring to Raumati in 1981, the Reverend Elliott began playing bowls at the Glen Rd venue and was an enthusiastic and popular President from 1985 until his death in 1989.
When the Raumati South Club ceased operating early last year, the majority of members joined the Raumati Bowling Club (formerly Kapiti Bowling Club) in the Raumati Village, so the VC Cup event is now held there.
In its 33 year history the Cup has been won by several famous New Zealand bowlers such as Kerry Clark, Peter Shaw and Phil Skoglund, but no Raumati names are yet engraved on it. On at least ten occasions, including last year, host teams have played in the finals but never with success.
While hopes are high for a change in fortunes during this year’s tournament, it won’t be easy with strong teams entered from throughout the Kapiti and Wellington regions and visiting combinations from Taranaki, Hikurangi and Marlborough.
Reg Goston, one of the organisers of the VC Cup and a previous finalist, says Raumati players are becoming slightly frustrated that the trophy has been handed to a visiting team every year. “Maybe the changing of the club name will bring with it some success at last” he says.
No matter the outcome, the deeds of one of New Zealand’s great war heroes will once again be recalled on the bowling greens of Raumati.
The VC Cup is normally scheduled for the last weekend of August each year.