Fellowship of the bowls
MONTO Bowls Club hosted a day of friendship for men's president Mark Torrens on Sunday, giving the long-time bowler the chance to reflect on how far he'd come.
Torrens has been bowling since the early 1990s, when he was introduced to it by his parents.
At the time, his family ran the former Mulgildie Sawmill, which closed in 2008.
"I was restricted to bowling weekends and once or twice a month, since I was pretty busy at work back then,” Torrens said.
"Now, I can afford to travel, I have a little more time since I don't have to be back start time Monday morning.”
Torrens doesn't like to consider himself retired since the sawmill closed, given he still does odd jobs around town.
However, the presidency of the club has become one his main focuses since taking it on two years ago.
Torrens has had the unique opportunity these past two years to share presidency of the club with his wife, Bron.
"When both of you do it, it works out much easier because you're both committed to the same club, the same days,” he said.
"I think if she wasn't involved and supporting me, it would be more difficult.”
This includes representing the Monto club in various major events at other clubs.
"Probably the furthest I've played bowls is Hughenden in north Queensland and down to the Gold Coast,” Torrens said.
"You get around and see a lot of different places when you're bowling.”
Over the years, but particularly since becoming president, Torrens has grown to appreciate the fellowship between the various Queensland and Port Curtis District Bowls clubs.
He loves a chance to crack a joke about the long-standing rivalry between Monto and Biloela, but also appreciates the turnout on fellowship events.
"I'm very pleased with how the day went; we ended up with 18 teams, so out of that there was 11 away teams from Bundaberg, Gladstone, Mt Larcom, Biloela,” Torrens said.
"These sorts of days inject not only finances into the area, but camaraderie in bowls, that's why we play the game.”
Though Torrens' favourite aspect of bowls is the social side of it, he enjoys playing out of a love of the game itself.
He doesn't consider himself a seriously competitive player, but in the course of a nearly 30-year career, he's racked up some impressive achievements.
This year, he and Bron won the District Singles Tournament for Port Curtis.
On the management side of things, they oversaw the official joining of the men and women's bowls clubs.
Things have gotten more difficult in the years since Torrens started bowling; the bowls club has struggled for members.
"You could come down here on a Sunday and there'd be 50 bowlers where nowadays we'd get 10-15,” Torrens said.
Next year, Torrens plans to take a break and go travelling across Australia with his wife.