The new Tenterfield Ladies Bowls committee may be only 4.5 weeks old but it pulled together an impressive celebration of the group’s 60th anniversary, with the help of the previous committee which starting planning a year ago.
Games director (and vice president) Penny Stanbridge said players came from Texas, Warwick, The Summit, Stanthorpe, Glen Inns, Guyra and Inverell to celebrate the special milestone. Sixteen teams of four players took to the greens, battlng strong winds which had to be taken into account when lining up the jack.
While organisers couldn’t plan the weather, once inside the celebrations were highly entertaining and nostalgic, with a display of memorabilia and a slide show of images from the group’s history.
Five past presidents were able to attend – Jean Halliday, Pat Pepper, Margaret Johnston, Joy Bailey, Pauline Romer and Elaine Symko – along with a fine turnout of past and present bowlers.
Skirt length rulers relegated to history
Joyce Petrie was one of the senior players on the greens. While she’d been a social member of the Bowling Club ‘forever’ it wasn’t until she retired from her clerical assistant post at The Sir Henry Parkes Memorial Public School (and after a stint around Austrlaia with husband Michael) that she took up the sport in the mid-1980s.
“I had two sisters who played (Dulcie Thornton and Lorna Petrie) and they enjoyed it, and I have no regrets,” Mrs Petrie said.
She enjoys the friendship as well as the challenge of the game, and travelling around to various tournaments back in the day. These days she doesn’t bowl as regularly as she once did, with her eyesight starting to fail her, but she’s happy to participate in special occasions like the 60th birthday.
She sees the biggest change over the decades as the relaxation of uniform rules. When she started, ex-school teacher Patty Imberger had the job of going around with a ruler to measure that skirt hems were the required distance from the ground.
Hats were also mandatory – more out of custom than sun safety – as players were even required to wear them in the clubhouse.
Mrs Petrie well remembers Mrs Imberger and Irene Miller coaching her in the instracicies of the game, although there have been a few rule changes over the years.
These days there’s no hem measuring and no requirement for ‘mini beige’ stockings, but there was some push back to the introduction of trousers.
Joy Bailey said she resisted for a long time, not wearing trousers as she didn’t consider them feminine.
The all-white uniforms of the past, topped with a maroon cardigan, have now given way to more colourful uniforms, making clubs more identifiable and instilling club pride.
Tenterfield’s uniform – designed by Margaret Johnston – depicts autumn leaves reflecting Tenterfield’s stunning seasonal colour. This theme was carried through into table decorations for the birthday celebration in the Greenview Restaurant.
A highlight of the entertainment was a fashion parade of uniforms through the decades, mostly sourced from the backs of wardrobes of past players and still pristine white.
Ladies Bowls secretary Kay Hurtz also gave a hilarious performance of a poem she adapted from an original piece by Graham Watt, describing an intruder unencumbered by clothing of any nature. Watch it here: