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Centenarian is still on the ball
2:00pm Monday 14th January 2013 in News
HE MAY have just become a centenarian, but Bert Potter can still be found on the bowling green – and he usually wins.
The grandfather-of-two, of Haydon Wick, celebrated turning 100 with friends and family on Saturday with a party held at Haydon Wick Bowls Club.
Bert, who also enjoys games of dominos and cribbage, said he is hoping to continue playing bowls for a long time yet.
“I bowl on Mondays and Wednesdays. It is the nicest sport there is because you get all these nice people. I’ll keep playing as long as I can,” he said.
“The secret to living to 100 is keep breathing and don’t die. I still enjoy a drink but I haven’t smoked since 1952.”
Albert Henry Potter, who was one of six siblings, was born to parents Charles and Edith in Portsmouth on January 11, 1913.
Bert, who grew up in Portsmouth, later met his late wife, Hilda, and they had a son, David.
Bert, who served in the Second World War, worked for insurance company Prudential until he retired in the early 1960s.
The family moved to Swindon in 1984, when Bert was 71, and he joined Haydon Wick Bowls Club several years later.
He won the club championship when he was 89, and club president Howard Smith said he is still a great player.
“He is probably the oldest player in Swindon. “He is very competitive and he often beats me,” said Howard.
“Playing bowls keeps you fit and active. In the average match you walk about a mile in total.
“Bert is very well known around the district because he has been playing bowls for a very long time. If you are playing away he will often get offered drinks from the opposition because he is so well known.”
Members of the club, other bowls clubs, friends from around the area and Bert’s family were at the party on Saturday.
Bert’s son David, 67, who lives near Monmouth, said: “He is kindness and generosity itself. He comes from a long lived family. His parents lived into their 80s.
“He was a heavy smoker until he was 40 but then stopped dead. He still likes to drink sherry and the occasional scotch.
“This club has meant the world to him. My mother died in the mid 1990s and I don’t know what he would have done without this club. It is a remarkable community.”