Mark Mountain retires as Caringbah Bowling Club greenkeeper after 44 years

Murray Trembathin Bowls

Mark Mountain began working for Qantas when he left school and was going to be an accountant.

Mark Mountain on the greens at Caringbah Bowling Club

John Veage

But, the idea of spending the rest of his working life in an office was far from appealing, and he looked for an opportunity to work out outdoors.

And, things couldn't have worked out better.

On Sunday, Mr Mountain, of Gymea Bay, retired after more than 50 years as a greenkeeper, of which the last 44 years were spent at Caringbah Bowling Club - possibly the longest tenure in NSW.

Mr Mountain got his foot in the door in 1972 when his father, who was a member of Sutherland Waratah Bowling Club, talked to come of the officials.

Mr Mountain worked for no pay at first before gaining an apprenticeship.

He later moved to Taren Point Bowling Club and then became head greenkeeper at Caringbah Bowling Club in 1979.

Mr Mountain, 67, decided to retire in conjunction with the Caringbah club closing on the weekend for two years while the site is redeveloped.

"I am fit and healthy enough to keep going, but I think its time to join a golf club and spend more time with my wife and fishing and spearfishing," he said.

"The club has been very good to me. The bowlers have always been happy and the greens have been good."

Mr Mountain is proud of the "five or six" apprentices he has trained over the years. "They have all gone on to bigger and better things," he said. "

Mr Mountain is disappointed the new club greens will be synthetic, rather than grass.

"It's a matter of opinion, but I would say the general consensus is most bowlers prefer grass greens," he said.

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