News from the Editor’s Chair
A new season and another period of unrest looms for the English
Amateur Billiards Association. After a reasonable period of stability
the Association finds it necessary, in the interests of the future of
English Billiards, to gird its loins and stand by the traditions of our
noble sport. The stark reality of the situation is that the game of
billiards is swiftly being eroded and debauched to a level of gimmickry
intolerable to those who take pride in being connected with a sport so
rich in skill, artistry and established traditions. Those who purport to
be the custodians of billiards have complete disregard for the feelings of
players at all levels of the amateur game. The need to mould the game
into a moneymaking circus is both irresponsible and crass. The E.A.B.A.
is in no doubt that, if not checked, the present trend could ruin the game
and calls upon the governing bodies to think seriously about an inept
and uncaring attitude which is obvious to everyone but themselves.
The E.A.B.A. will, within the next few days, present a paper to all
known billiard playing individuals and leagues setting out their concerns
about the present state of affairs. A suggestion for the future good
health of billiards will be outlined. Your support will be canvassed and
individual comments noted. We may well be a minority sport but we
have no intentions of being driven to extinction.
On a lighter note, the ‘Loose Cannons’ have returned home from
their tour of New Zealand and Singapore. A whistle stop tour of
the North and South islands provided the intrepid tourists with an
experience of hospitality and friendship, which by far exceeded all
expectations. The organisation and hospitality of all the Local
Associations who invited us to play at their various clubs was splendid.
A beautiful country, coupled with the warmth of our welcome wherever
we played made the trip to the antipodes a treasured memory. We must
congratulate the New Zealand referees and administrators for their
organising skills and thank the players and billiards supporters for the
way they so kindly received us. Special thanks to Ray Habgood and his
lovely wife Margaret for entertaining us on our first night in Auckland
and the very adept way that Ray set out the tour itinerary. Thanks also
to Brian Villers for all his help at Hamilton, and to Merv Stewart for his
kindness at Wangerel, the fishing trip was something special. Our trip
to Singapore was equally momentous, Alan Puan and his colleagues
made us very welcome into their City of oriental antiquity, high-tech
and fast food. The climate didn’t suit all of our tourists. Those of us
who felt a little uncomfortable with the extreme humidity had to seek
the refreshment and comfort of a Singapore Sling in the ‘Long Room’ at
Raffles Hotel. It’s a hard life!
Last week I received a surprise telephone call from Joe Bird,
Llanferries. Earlier this year Joe contracted a very rare disease
which left him completely paralysed. Primarily, his condition was of
great concern and stunned his family and friends. However, over many
weeks his condition has improved to the point that his nurse was able
to support him in his effort to make the telephone call. He is pleased to
report that he is making progress, albeit very slowly. He sends his best
wishes to all his billiards colleagues and is looking forward to the day
when he can return to the fold. I would like to add my personal thanks
to Paul Dunning, who has given tremendous support to Joe during his
illness, and to all those who are keeping in touch with Joe and his
family during a very difficult time.
We wish everyone a happy and successful new season, and a peaceful
and healthy Yuletide.