Rodger Barron in action at the Fairfield Bowling Club
yesterday. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Rodger Barron has carried his family bowls heritage to a
second generation and hopes his sons will continue the
Rodger (65), a retired butcher, shifted to Dunedin in 2005
and won his first Bowls Dunedin title this week in the
Fairfield open triples team with Blair Barringer and Robbie
But it is in South Otago that Rodger has continued the legacy
that was established by his father and uncles. He has won 27
centre titles and is third on the South Otago honours board.
He won his first South Otago title in 1977 in the pairs with
his uncle Bill Barron, who has long dominated South Otago
bowls and heads the South Otago honours board with 41 centre
He is followed by former New Zealand pairs champion Wynston
McLachlan with 30 titles.
Bill's best performance at national level was to beat World
Bowls champion Peter Belliss to win the Johnnie Walker
Bill (94) will be honoured next month when his Balclutha club
holds the ''Bill Barron 60th Open Fours'' to mark his 60
years in bowls.
Bill, who won his last club singles title three years ago,
will be playing in the fours tournament with his son Kevin,
grandson Corey and nephew Rodger.
Another uncle, Jeff Barron, won the New Zealand championship
singles title in 1962 and finished sixth at the 1962
Commonwealth Games in Perth.
Rodger's father, George Barron, was a member of skip Bill
Barron's four that finished runner-up in the national fours
Rodger's best performance in bowls was to win the South Otago
Super Bowls singles in 1991 and qualify for the national
He was also a member of the South Otago inter-centre sevens
team for more than a decade. Rodger became interested in
bowls as a teenager when he watched his uncles at the Benhar
''I played rugby and cricket but often went down to the green
to watch the action,'' he said.
He was 25 when he joined the Balclutha Bowling Club and was
taught the draw. In 1972, a new bowler was expected to
concentrate on playing accurate draw bowls. Since coming to
Dunedin, Rodger has learnt more shots by playing with Paul
Girdler at the Leith club and Ken Walker at Fairfield.
''The game has changed a lot from what it was when I started
40 years ago,'' Rodger said. He has a simple philosophy about
''I always try my hardest,'' he said.
''There are so many good bowlers in Dunedin. I didn't expect
to win a title.''
Rodger was talented at rugby and represented South Otago in
the senior reserve grade.
His son Ashley Barron was a noted rugby player and was first
five-eighth for the New Zealand secondary schools team, the
New Zealand Colts and Southland. He lives in Outram and has
had a few roll-ups with the local club.
It was the 12th Bowls Dunedin title for Thomson in the
triples and the seventh for Barringer.