Norman Spiro, Israel’s top reporter on lawn bowls, died at Petah Tikva’s Rabin
Medical Center-Beilinson Campus on Saturday at the age of 87.
will be held at the Morasha Cemetery in Ramat Hasharon on Monday at 2
“The whole family from Israel, South Africa, Canada, America,
Australia and England have gathered here for the funeral,” his son, Michael,
said. “His philosophy of life was expressed in his favorite quote, ‘Let tomorrow
come, for I have lived today.’ This was his outlook and this is how he lived his
Spiro, who was born on March 13, 1925, in Durbanville in South
Africa’s Cape province, excelled as an athlete, studied engineering and worked
as a car mechanic.
He spent a year in Israel in 1948, serving as a Mahal
volunteer in the 7th Brigade armored unit during the War of
At this time, he filmed historic footage with a 16 mm.
camera, which was broadcast on Channel 10 and is now housed at Beit Hatfutsot –
The Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv.
He wrote an account of his
experience on the World Mahal website. “Would I do it all again?
Absolutely!” he said. “I remain humbly proud of having been able to be present
at the birth and recreation of our national homeland, and to have taken part in
Spiro made aliya in 1962 from South Africa with his wife, Mickey, a
master bowler who died in 1993.
They moved to Ramat Hasharon, where he
first worked in the auto industry, later become one of the founding partners of
the Anglo Saxon real-estate company and then worked for Telfed, the South
African Zionist Federation, before retiring.
He served as secretary of
the national rugby board in the early 1970s. In 1972, he began playing lawn
bowls in Ramat Gan, falling in love with the game.
A gifted writer, Spiro
reported meticulously on bowls for more than three decades, originally for The
Jerusalem Post and later for Haaretz, making a name for himself as the country’s
premier journalist and expert on the sport.
Spiro was on the Ramat Gan
lawn bowls club committee and the national executive for more than 25 years. He
was made honorary life president of both the Ramat Gan club and the Israel Lawn
Bowls Association for playing a key role in promoting bowls in the country. In
1998, he was awarded a trophy by Telfed for his outstanding contribution to
sport in Israel.
Spiro spent the last years of his life documenting the
history of bowls in Israel on his website, together with his partner for the
past 18 years, Yudith Rozenblat, whom he met at the Ramat Hasharon bowling
“He really loved the game of bowls and never missed a national
final,” bowler Denis Phillips said. “He collected an archive of the history of
bowls in Israel. He was very much admired and will be sorely
Spiro is survived by Yudith, a brother, Theo, four children,
Michael, Sheila, Karen and Hazel, and eight grandchildren.
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