With bowls temporarily put on hold, contributor Gordon Lewis sits down with some of the club's characters. First up is an absolute gem.
Lew Wilson, Patron 2000-2021
Joined: November 23, 1966
Board member: 30 years, 15 as chairman/president
- Australian Sports Medal, 2000
- Life membership, 1985
- Played pennants: 45 years
- Won: 10 pennant badges and four club championships
- Chosen on 15 occasions to represent NSW Master Builders Club in the interstate James Wall Cup competition.
An ever-present figure in the Bowral Bowling Club's history, Lew Wilson nowadays is an assistant manager for the Division 2 pennant team.
When he joined the club in 1966, the clubhouse building was half the size it is today and open to members and their guests only.
These days the club is open to both members and visitors who play social and competitive bowls, walking soccer on the synthetic green and croquet. There is even a playing area for children.
The club has also turned into the musical hub of the Southern Highlands.
Wilson has a remarkable playing and administrative record in the game of lawn bowls and been fortunate to have been in the presence of some high profile people.
When NSW played a trial cricket match at Bradman Oval between Jack Chegwyn's XI and Southern Tablelands, Lew as president of Bowral Bowling Club entertained Sir Donald Bradman for lunch.
Having been told how stern Sir Don could be, Lew was pleasantly surprised how relaxing the great man was to talk to.
Lew's son Mark, who joined the club in 1980, has taken on some of the bowling traits of his father and is now delegate for Bowral in Zone 5.
He has been the manager of the first grade pennant side for the past seven years and said the highlight was being assistant manager with his father when Bowral won the zone pennant in 2016 before Lew handed the reins over to his son.
Lew has travelled all over Australia playing bowls and whenever he came across people who had played at Bowral they were sure to praise the hospitality accorded them from a country town was excellent and this filled him with pride.
Well done Lew, a legend of the game of lawn bowls.
Best bowler seen?
Tom Beattie. He had every shot in the book and never favoured full on drives. He would class it as a non- counter if it missed its target and he always expected to get bowls in the head as counters
As a pennant skip he always expected his team to also play a range of shots and make them count. He was a man to be feared in tournament matches.
Incidentally Tom's daughter Nancy Davenport now lives only a stone's throw away from the club and fondly remembers her father's love for bowls.
Best present day bowlers?
Mick Spong, Mick Armstrong and Russell Fahey are very accomplished bowlers and all play well under pressure.
Being awarded the Australian Sports Medal.
Finest gentlemen on the green?
Sir James Willis, who played bowls at Bowral before he moved to Adelaide. Sir James was a Vice- Admiral in the Navy and he said the only person he answered to was Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser but a finer gentleman you could not find.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: