Like Fine China
27 June 2024
First-ever triple 20 title gold star holders

Traditionally celebrating a 20th anniversary one would give fine china. Still, for Mike Galloway, Chris Lowe and Martin Dixon it is their fourth Gold Star, awarded for winning 20 centre titles in Bowls Auckland Centre events.

You hear the stories from smaller centres of players who have insanely large numbers of centre titles, David File of Gisborne East Coast has well over 85 now, Peter Doreen in the Far North has more than 40, Ray Park from Whanganui got his 69th title in September 2023.  While it doesn’t for one second take away the magnitude of their success, in a centre with the population of Auckland, the odds are far less favourable.

So, let’s share a brief review of our first-ever triple 20 title gold star holders. As you read through the titles it becomes clear that these three have risen together sharing a connection through the Hillsboro Club, many of the titles shared between them from team disciplines.

Mike Galloway was the first to achieve the feat and now leads the way with 22 titles. His first title dates to 1998-99 where he won the COC Singles, a title he would not win again until this year, earning him his 20th. All of Galloway’s titles, except for the Singles, have been earned playing as Skip.

COCS 98-99 COF 97-98 CP 00 COCT 01 CS 02
CT 14 CT 15-16 CT16-17 CP 16-17 COCF 16-17
COCP 17-18 COCF 17-18 CF 18-19 COCT 19-20 COCF 19-20
COCT 20-21 CF 20-21 CT 22-23 COCF22-23 COCS 23-24
CS 23-24 CF 23-24      

Just one week later Chris Lowe would earn his 20th title with the Champ of Champ Pairs, a title he has had great success with winning back-to-back in 08 & 09 and then again in 19 and finally in 24. Chris achieved a three-peat of the centre Triples in 11, 12 and 13.

COCF 01 COCP08 COCF 08 COCP 09 CT 11
CT 12 CT 13 COCT 14 CP 16 COCT 16
COCP 16 COCF 16 CF 16-17 CT 17-18 COCT 17-18
CP 18-19 COCP 18-19 CP 20-21 CP 23-24 COCP 23-24

And finally, Martin Dixon brought up his 20th at the recent Centre Fours completion. Martin, best known for being the concrete that holds the team together has won all his titles in Pairs, Triples and Four events and shares 14 titles with Galloway and five with Chris Lowe. His first title COC Triples back in 2003 was played with Grant Goodwin and John Harding from the Hillsboro Club.

COCT 02 COCP08 COCF08 COCP 09 CT 14-15
COCF 15-16 CT16-17 CP 16-17 CF 16-17 COCF 16-17
COCP 17-18 COCF 17-18 CF 18-19 COCT 19-20 COCF 19-20
COCT 20-21 CF 20-21 CT 22-23 COCF 22-23 CF 23-24

Congratulations to Mike, Marty and Chris, for this historic achievement.

Who will be next to achieve this great honour? Ivan Kostonich sits on 18, while from those currently active Gavin Brown sits on 17, Peter Thorne remains the only other player to have received the 15-title star, perhaps it will be a new trailblazer, only time will tell.