THE Tinnings and the Tongala Bowling Club go back a long way.
And the Tinning clan’s long and dedicated service to the club over many years was recently further acknowledged with four stalwart family members — two husband and wife and brother and sister teams — being recognised with life memberships of the club for their combined 197 years of service.
The latest life membership recipients are Keith (Chooka) Tinning, 89, his wife Elaine, 83, Geoff Tinning, 85, and his wife Marie, 84.
An older brother, Ivan, 93, is also a life member of the club.
Both Keith and Geoff became members of the club in the early 1960s when it was situated in St James St, Tongala.
Elaine and Marie followed their hubbies to the club in the mid 1970s and also instantly made their presence felt, both on and off the greens.
Geoff was the Australian Pairs runner-up in 2009-10 with Mick Humphreys, a Victorian representative in the State 60-and-Over team for five years.
Geoff collected one Australian title and two runner-up prizes.
Geoff was also Victorian Sets Play champion in 1988-89 and dual Victorian and Country Pairs champion with Geoff Cameron in 1988-89 and 1992-93.
Four Campaspe Valley Bowls Association singles titles and four CVBA pairs titles are also part of his impressive playing resume.
Geoff has also been a regular representative in the Group 5 Victorian Group teams which have claimed two state championships.
Geoff’s wife Marie has also won a club championship and has been a member of three division one pennant premiership teams.
Along with Geoff, Marie has also collected a club record of nine club mixed pairs titles.
Like his younger brother Geoff, Keith Tinning has been a top performer on the greens with two club championships. He has also claimed four club pairs, two with his brother Geoff.
Keith has played in the last four division one premierships with the club and with wife Elaine has also collected seven club mixed pairs titles.
Elaine holds the record of 11 club singles championships and seven mixed pairs titles with husband Keith.
The Tinnings’ love for the game of bowls and the 94-year-old Tongala Bowls Club — it was established in 1926 — was inherited from their father Tom, one of the club’s early members and a club champion in 1951.
Children and grandchildren of Keith, Geoff and Ivan have also followed the family’s love of the sport.
Geoff and Marie’s sons Barry and Peter have been club champions at Tongala, as has Barry’s son, Brad.
Another grandson, Jarryd, has been a runner-up club champion and has played in premierships with Tongala, Mooroopna and Shepparton Park bowls clubs
Elaine and Keith’s daughter Jeanette has been club champion three times at Balmoral in the western district of Victoria while son Stephen is also a member of the Tongala Bowls Club.
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