A Rockingham man has been “piped in” as Australia’s oldest petanque player

Indigo Lemay-ConwaySound Telegraph
Lynne Brodie, Mac Thomson, David Sinclair and Wendy Sims
Camera IconLynne Brodie, Mac Thomson, David Sinclair and Wendy Sims

A 97-year-old Rockingham man has been recognised as Australia’s oldest petanque player.

Last week the Safety Bay Petanque Club held a surprise 97th birthday for Duncan “Mac” Thomson who has lived in Rockingham for the past 30 years.

“It was an amazing day, I’ve never experienced friendship like I have in the petanque club, it truly amazed me,” Mr Thomson said.

“Lynne Brodie picked me up like she always does but on this day she arrived in complete Highland gear because I am a very proud Scot.

“Off we went to the club house and I noticed there were more cars then usual, but I just thought people were playing bowls.

“Then I noticed there was a piper in full Highland dress who was waiting to pipe me into the petanque club. (There were) 60 people were all there cheering and shouting for me ... you have no idea how amazing that was.”

Petanque is a form of French boules where the goal is to throw metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a jack. The game is typically played on hard dirt or gravel, but can also be played on grass or other surfaces.

Mr Thomson has played lawn bowls for the past 50 years but has been playing petanque for the last three months. This makes him the oldest club petanque player in Australia and the oldest new starter.

“The best part of the sport is the friendships and social interactions you gain from it,” he said. “I would encourage everyone to find a club, whether it is petanque or something completely different, it doesn’t matter, just take that leap and you will find some great people on the journey.”

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