top of page

REYLAND, Edward Charles.


Dear friend and much respected Member, Past President and Life Member, and Patron of the Helensville Bowling Club.

We will miss you Friday nights on the pool table. Condolences to all the family.

Final end for NZ bowls great.

Ivan Kostanich, a legend among lawn bowlers, died on Tuesday, six months after his 91st birthday.

Kostanich, a three-time national champion and "capped" as the 54th player to represent New Zealand, was regarded not just as a great bowler but a champion bloke.

It was standing room only - and there wasn't much of that - when 72-year-old Kostanich strolled onto the green at Matamata's Rewa Bowling Club to play Blenheim's Kevin Gallop for the singles crown at the 1993 national champs.

Sixteen years after coming from 12-20 down to beat Kevin Wing 21-20 to claim his first singles championship (and nine years after he and his best mate Pat Robertson had claimed the national pairs), Kostanich had the huge crowd in his pocket. For him that win was "the biggest thrill".

"There were a lot of happy people that day," said Kostanich in a recent interview.

Rowan Brassey, another regarded among the very best singles players, said of the "Old Fox": "He just steps up the mat and simply picks his line and length almost automatically."

Croatian-born but New Zealand-domiciled since 1938, Kostanich divided his time between the bowling green and the Kaipara Harbour.

For nearly 50 years he fished commercially, boasting that he had once pulled 700kg of flounder out "in one go".

"Kossie" would sometimes do a little bit of "fish business" on the side, turning up to clubs with a boot full of seafood to flog off. He was also generous - sponsoring an annual tournament at the Helensville club.

With the knack of playing shots most bowlers would dare not contemplate, let alone attempt, Kostanich was the master. Happy to play in a team, it was nevertheless as a singles player he was at his greatest.

In 1978, he trailed Australian Bill Norman 12-20 in the final of the Sydney City Masters before winning 10 of the next 11 ends to claim the title 31-21. In one memorable day Kostanich saw off three truly champion bowlers in David Bryant, Nick Unkovich and Bob McDonald in an unbelievable effort.

While he played for a time out of the Carlton Club, Helensville was his home. A year-on-year member at the club since 1948, Kostanich won the club's singles 23 times - the last in the 2009-10 season.

As failing health caught up with him he cut back on his bowls, but not his regular trips to "his" club, where he would down a beer or two.

The passing of the "gentleman player", who won four centre gold stars (20 titles) and was Auckland Bowler of the Year three times, leaves another gap in the ranks of those regarded as top blokes - on and off the green.

Message from Sel and Veronica Gribble

My wife and I began our bowling careers at Helensville back in 1999 and received many a tip from Ivan in our early days. We are now living in the UK and bowling on very heavy greens.

When we first started at Helensville, we were having a roll-up on a rink next to Ivan. I put down a wrong bias which went across Ivan's rink and hit his bowl. Being a new bowler, and in total awe of Ivan, I apologised profusely to which he replied…" Don't worry about it, it happens to us all. When I played my first tournament in England, televised by the BBC, I put down a wrong bias on my very first bowl"

Ivan helped my wife and I to purchase our first set of bowls which we are still using.

Please pass on our heartfelt condolences to our friends and fellow bowlers in Helensville for the loss of a great character and a great bowler….

Kind Regards,

Sel & Veronica Gribble

On behalf of the President and all Members of the Glenfield Bowling Club we wish to express our sorrow at the recent passing of the Legend, Ivan Kostanich. Ivan certainly took home his fair share of prizes from our tournaments over the years.
He was a pleasure to play against, and to listen to some of his many memories based on bowls and fishing.
Ivan will be greatly missed around the traps.

Ron Smith Secretary 

Patrick Joseph Walter Robertson (Pat)
Written by Trish Hart (daughter) 

Dad was born on the 8th of March 1931 to Archibald and Mary Robertson. He was one of 12 siblings - five brothers and seven sisters. His family lived at Hall Road in Manurewa. He went to Manurewa Primary School up to Form 1 and then travelled by train to Newmarket to attend St Peters School from Form 2 to Form 6. He passed School Certificate and University Entrance and then attended Auckland University for 1 year while awaiting entry into Teachers Training College. On qualifying as a teacher his first posting was at Pataua School in Whangarei for 2 months at which point  he was called up for Military Training for 3 months. He was then posted to Aka Aka School and in 1953 went to Kaukapakapa School where he spent 5 years.

 He married Mum (Thelma Webster) in 1954 and they lived in Kaukapakapa. I was born in 1957. We shifted to Glorit in 1958 where he was the sole teacher of 12 pupils at Glorit School. We lived in Bill Dicksons old farm house. My brother Murray was born in 1959. Also in 1959 Mum and Dad purchased the Kaukapakapa Store and Rural Mail Run, and shifted back to Kaukapakapa and lived on the Webster farm. We then moved to Peak Road. Wayne was born in 1963.

In 1964 we sold the Kaukapakapa Store and purchased Gandells Stationary Shop in Helensville, and moved to an old villa in Captain Street. In 1990 Mum and Dad built a new home on this site and moved next door. They sold the stationery and lotto shop and retired at 60 and thus began their many enjoyable years of playing bowls, trips to Aussie and visiting the many wonderful friends they had met over the years.

 In 2002 mum and dad moved from Helensville to Kumeu to a retirement cottage on Wayne and Vickys property. This was a great move for dad as he was able to pursue his love of gardening which he enjoyed right up till the end.

Dad was a multi talented sportsman. His love for sport started at an early age. When he was 9 he caddied at the Manukau Golf Club. Money earned was spent mainly on tennis racquets. When he was 12 he was allowed to join the Manurewa Tennis Club where many hours were spent with family and friends practicing. He could beat them all while still at school and achieved success in tournaments in Auckland. He represented Auckland as a Junior and Intermediate. In the winter he played rugby for school and also played for Otahuhu.  At 15 years he played his first senior game for Manurewa and from then on played for them for many years. He represented South Auckland District and Kaipara and was given a trial in Auckland for the All Blacks. He also played Table Tennis and Badminton at Manurewa until leaving there in 1951.

While at College he won the Kings Medal for Shooting, coming 1st in New Zealand, as well as representing School at Football and Tennis. His best tennis performance was defeat of NZ Davis Cup Rep in the Kaipara Open Final.


In 1959 Dad took up golf after throwing his football boots in the creek and getting his nose bored. He played at Helensville Golf Club at Rimmers Road and then was an original member at the new course in Peak Road Kaukapakapa in 1960 - well known now as Helensville Golf Club. He played for 17 years, during which time he served in many positions on committees through to President. His lowest handicap was 4. He won the Club Champs and got 2 holes in one. 

In 1975 he took up lawn bowls, which he thoroughly enjoyed. He has played this sport at National level and in 1984 Dad and his great mate Ivan Kostanich won the NZ National Pairs title, and in 1999 he made it to the finals of the National Singles. His bowling interest led him to embark on yearly trips to Aussie to compete in the many competitions held during the winter months. This quickly became a yearly trip and many enjoyable years have been spent in Australia playing bowls, socialising with new and old friends and spending time with Murray, Yoko and the children.

I’d now like to share some special memories about growing with Pat as our dad.

Dad named all three children after pupils, mum didn’t get a say on this one.

I remember in the early days of my schooling, dad gave me a piece of advice. That was about the subject of Maths. He told me this was the one subject you could get 100% in and that set the standard for me.

Weekends in the Robertson household were action packed. If the wind was right we headed to Muriwai beach with out great friends the Curreens, who lived next door and the Greigs, where we went contiki fishing and digging for toheroas.

Sports played a big feature in our lives.  Dad played golf when we were young. He took us eel fishing at the Helensville Golf Course where we sat with the sheep that were roaming freely and steered clear of the electric fences around the greens. We all played golf from a young age and many enjoyable times were spent with friends at the golf club.

One of his other sporting loves was tennis. Those that played against him describe him as a very crafty player. He would look one way and hit the ball the other. His serve always had a spin on it and you never new which way the ball would bounce. Dad said that if he had been born 50 years later he would have become a professional tennis player.

Dad you were a great father to us.  I’ll miss our chats, you popping in with a bag full of fresh veggies from your garden, and also the Christmas ham. You have enriched our lives with your wise words, your calm manner, and kind smile. We love you Pa and we will miss you forever. Rest peacefully in God’s wonderful garden. And finally in your own words Dad “Don’t fuss what will be, will be”.

A long time member of the ladies Club, Kath Sheffield (Wife of John) passed away recently at the age of 92.

Kath won many title at Hvl and at centre and paired up with Thelma Robertson to win  8 centre titles.  A capacity crowd at the church paid their respects to Kath.


Please mouse over for slider arrows

Screen Shot 2021-03-28 at 9.02.29 AM.jpg
bottom of page