Bowls legend takes well-deserved break
A LADY bowler who has spent 50 years on and off bowling greens all over Australia is taking a holiday from official positions in 2005 and travelling overseas.
She is the legendary Mavis Graham. Mavis began her extraordinary bowls career on October 24, 1954 when the Mount Larcom Ladies Bowling Club came into existence.
This began a career in which she became a foundation member at the club, followed over the years by many more foundation member credits ? Calliope (1979), Port Curtis Division (1983), Past Presidents (1992) and Calliope Central (1995). She has been a member of the Port Curtis Division for 21 years, the past two as match committee games person. Mavis was also a division delegate in the newlyformed Bundaberg/Port Curtis management committee.
During her career, she has held most official offices including patron, president and games director in all clubs. She has been president of Mount Larcom Ladies Bowls Club six times and Calliope president four.
On the greens, Mavis has won almost every championship title available in each of her clubs, across all divisions. Her pennants experiences began in 1960 when Gladstone Bowls Club Ladies requested Mount Larcom supply two members for a Port Curtis pennants team to play for a week in the Central Queensland competition. Although they had no pennants experience, Mavis and Lili Austin volunteered, and much to their delight, the team of eight won the Red pennant competition . Mount Larcom ladies entered their own team in 1961, and won the Red pennant at their first attempt. Mavis was one of the skips.
Mavis has played on greens throughout Australia except the Northern Territory, including Australian Championships in Tasmania and Brisbane. She has also conducted coach tours from Brisbane to the Atherton Tablelands.
Her recollections of joining new clubs would make for an interesting book.
One of the unique events she recalls was the birth of Mount larcom Bowls Club. There was no power, no water supply and no clubhouse. This did not deter the women. Two washing coppers were scoured and placed over an open fire to provide hot water for tea and washing up. Swift's Meatworks supplied several large tent flies, and homes, a school and dancehall were ransacked for tables and chairs, crockery and cutlery.
Beer kegs were transported from the Graham butcher cold room to the green on top of the hill wrapped in wet corn sacks as required. The day was a success.
Mavis said starting Calliope Central Bowls Club was easier ? making scones for morning tea for the workers, running messages and planting grass.
Mavis remembers the days when lady bowlers' uniforms were strictly enforced ? long white stockings were compulsory, the height of dresses above the knees were measured for the slightest infringement, white was the only colour allowed (even for handkerchiefs and bowls cloths) and presidents were treated with great respect.
At meals nobody sat down until the president took her position at the head of the table.
Mavis' philosophy has always been "to play bowls on a regular basis and being involved in club affairs make for a busy life ? frustrating at times ? but never boring''.