Hall of Fame Created
09 Sep 2013
With Bowls New Zealand celebrating one hundred years of a `sport for life`, the time has come to pay tribute to the careers and contributions of the legends of New Zealand bowls. A corner stone of the centennial year festivities, the establishment of the Bowls NZ Hall of Fame last night at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre in Auckland aims to emphasise honour as a crucial value in the sport, not to mention looking back on the many successes of the top athletes, administrators and recognised legends of bowls.
Of the 36 inductees into the inaugural Hall of Fame annals, 27 are athletes of the highest calibre and the final nine were selected for their outstanding achievements in support of the sport.
Auckland is well represented with 9 inductees starting their bowls career in the Auckland Centre.
Frank Livingstone (Onehunga) from the 1920`s was one of the earlier inductees along with Maxwell Walker (Ponsonby) from the pre 1949 era.
In the 1950-1974 era Auckland is represented by Verna Devlin (Herne Bay Women`s and Carlton); Bob McDonald (Ellerslie and Onehunga); William O`Neill (Carlton) and current Carlton Cornwall member Kerry Clark.
In the 1975 -1999 era Auckland players Rowan Brassey (Okahu Bay); Marlene Castle (Bucklands Beach, Onehunga, Carlton); and in the general category Ian Birch (Epsom) and George Shaw (started at Bucklands Beach and now in the Counties Manukau Centre).
Congratulations to all of these people who have contributed so much to the sport in Auckland and New Zealand and fully deserve this recognition.
From the list of 27 athletic luminaries five elite players were chosen to wear the mantle of `Kiwi Bowling Legends`, in recognition of their mastery on the greens in the first hundred years of the sport in this country.
All recognised by their peers for their sublime skill and successes, the bowling mavericks that stand out are Elsie Wilkie MBE, Cis Winstanley MBE, Millie Khan MBE and living legends Peter Belliss MBE and Phillip Skoglund OBE.
Without doubt some of the finest players to ever grace national and international rinks, these five bowlers were pivotal in creating golden eras in the sport from 1950-1974 and 1975-1999 and still provide inspiration to the bowlers of today that are creating their own golden era on national and international greens.
Inducted into the NZ Sports Hall of Fame in 1990, Elsie Wilkie was a natural bowler that won two World Bowls Singles gold medals (1973, 1977), four national singles titles (1966, 1970, 1971 and 1976) and 50 club titles from the Walton and Matamata clubs in the Waikato – among various other accolades.
Another NZ Sport Hall of Fame inductee (1996), Cis Winstanley was an all-round sportswoman that won gold in both fours and triples at the 1973 World Championships and was a dominant force on the national scene. She was part of various winning fours and triples teams from 1957 until 1984.
In the new golden age of bowls Peter Belliss is a living legend that has represented his country more than 40 times, but has remained a committed member of the Aramoho Bowling Club throughout his career.
Belliss has transferred his own World Bowls gold medal successes (1984 Singles, 1988 Pairs, 2000 Triples) experiences into his current role as assistant coach for the Blackjacks (Bowls NZ National Team).
Two names that are synonymous with bowls in New Zealand are Millie Khan and Phillip Skoglund. Often considered the undisputed `King and Queen of the Green`, both players dominated the national and international scenes in their time.
A fearsome competitor, Khan is still a household name that captured the imagination of a nation with a Commonwealth Games silver and bronze in singles, silver (triples) and bronze (singles, fours) at the World Bowls Championships and numerous national victories that ensured her a place in the hearts and minds of the bowling community.
Winning his first national singles title at the tender age of 21, Skoglund is the only player to have won three national singles titles in a row, and joined Elsie Wilkie on the national stage when he was inducted into the NZ Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
Skoglund has also won a
World Bowls gold (1988, triples), silver twice and bronze (fours),
earned Commonwealth Games glory in fours and pairs (silver and bronze
in fours and bronze in pairs).
List of Inductees
Pre 1949 Athletes
Pre 1949 General
Kerry Clark, OBE
Gordon Jolly, OBE
Robert (Bob) McDonald, QSM
William (Bill or Bomber) O’Neill
George Boulton, MBE
Ron Buchan, MBE
1950-74 Athletes – Legend
Elsie Wilkie, MBE
Cis Winstanley, MBE
Rowan Brassey, MNZM
Ian Dickison, MBE
Judy Howat, MNZM
Ian Birch, OBE
Hugh Moss, QSM
Graeme (George) Shaw
1975-99 Athletes – Legend
Peter Belliss, MBE
Millie Khan, MBE
Philip Charles (Phil) Skoglund, OBE
Sharon Sims, MNZM
Stewart (Stu) Buttar