Le Phare des Alpes

Established May 8, 1909 in Valdese, North Carolina

Bella Bocce!

From the very earliest days of the Valdese settlement, a favorite pastime for the men was the playing of "Bocce".  This game is a form of lawn bowling which is still popular in much of Europe.  In the early years, a Bocce court was constructed in a grove of pine trees which stood where the Valdese Cleaners and Wells Fargo Bank stand at present.  This court was a popular gathering place for the men of the community on Sunday afternoons.  After the purchase of the present home of the Society, three courts were constructed on this site.  One court ran parallel to the hall on the south side of the building.  At a later date two more courts were constructed with a roof to allow for the playing in inclement weather.  For many years, until well in to the 1970's, this was a gathering place for the men of the Society and many other interested men of the community.  Men met here on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons to play Bocce and to enjoy good fellowship with their neighbors.  Many of the great problems of the times were discussed and some may have even been settled in these meetings.  The Bocce game was the focal point of the recreational activities for the men for many years.  "Choice" patois words were often heard between partners as well as opponents!  Could this have been a reason that women were not allowed near the Bocce courts?  The courts continue to be used today and have been the site for the Unifour Senior Games.

 

 

WESTERN REGIONAL BOCCE TOURNAMENT PREPARATIONS

The Valdese LPDA – host of the Western Regional Bocce Tournament on August 10 – puts the finishing touches on its “old” new sign at 301 Laurel St SE in Valdese.

Le Phare des Alpes (LPDA) was founded in 1909 by the Waldensian settlers as a mutual insurance cooperative.  It continues today as a service club that, among other things, promotes Valdese as the “Bocce Capital of the World.”    The Italian marble slab, acquired by the Waldensian Bakery in the 1920s was inscribed and mounted as a permanent reminder of the Town of Valdese’s Waldensian Heritage and the Waldensian credo, “never throw anything away.”

Several years ago, Mrs. Naomi Rostan gave LPDA the marble slab that was used in the original Bakery, which stood behind the present MacDonald’s, to roll out dough for loaves of French bread.  The slab was moved to the bakery’s current location in 1929, where it was used until replaced by a large wood table and, later, by stainless steel tables.   Repurposing the marble slab to the new sign was a club project.  Several members dug the footer, mixed concrete and hauled the masonry materials purchased with donations from two members.  Jeff Mcgee (pictured) Custom Stone, supplied the masonry expertise.

On August 10, during the annual Waldensian Festival, LPDA will host the Western Regional Bocce Tournament at 301 Laurel Street SE, the site of the only covered bocce courts in North Carolina.  The top three teams will qualify for the NC State Bocce Tournament on September 7, also hosted by LPDA.  A team registration form and additional information can be found at www.lpda.us

Several years ago, Mrs. Naomi Rostan gave LPDA the marble slab that was used in the original Bakery, which stood behind the present MacDonald’s, to roll out dough for loaves of French bread.  The slab was moved to the bakery’s current location in 1929, where it was used until replaced by a large wood table and, later, by stainless steel tables.   Repurposing the marble slab to the new sign was a club project.  Several members dug the footer, mixed concrete and hauled the masonry materials purchased with donations from two members.  Jeff Mcgee (pictured) Custom Stone, supplied the masonry expertise.

On August 10, during the annual Waldensian Festival, LPDA will host the Western Regional Bocce Tournament at 301 Laurel Street SE, the site of the only covered bocce courts in North Carolina.  The top three teams will qualify for the NC State Bocce Tournament on September 7, also hosted by LPDA.  A team registration form and additional information can be found at www.lpda.us

 

2019 Western Regional Bocce Winners

 Chris Barnes, Tim Pons, Grayson and Nelson Turner,  L to R.

 

2018 Western Regional Bocce Winners

The Western North Carolina Regional Bocce Tournament winner was team Pallino Ninjas.  Fourteen teams competed in the tournament hosted by the Valdese Les Phare des Alpes and held during the Waldensian Festival.  Pictured are teammates Tom Rice, Ed Gildea, Carroll Hoyle and Rick Pons.  The Ninja team rolled through the double elimination tournament without a loss to win the tournament.

 

Check out the bocce court expansion!!!

 

Bocce

Click the link below for the North Carolina State 4-person Bocce Championship Information and Tournament application.

Tournament Info

Tournament Application

301 Laurel St. NE

Valdese, NC 28690