Greg Stewart, of South Lismore, competes at the Cherry Street Ballina Bowling and Recreation Club in Ballina.
Greg Stewart, of South Lismore, competes at the Cherry Street Ballina Bowling and Recreation Club in Ballina. Marc Stapelberg

Exclusive group opens door

BOWLS club secretaries and treasurers are to be accepted into the once-exclusive local branch of the NSW Past Presidents' Association.

A meeting at Alstonville on Sunday decided on the change.

It falls into line with the constitution of the state body, which was amended in July 2010 to allow this other type of bowls club executive into the organisation.

The new members of the branch, unless they have served at least 12 continuous months as a bowls club president, will be called associates.

Concern was expressed at the Alstonville meeting at the decline in branch membership. The move to extend the ambit of membership was expected to boost numbers.

MORE than 100 bowlers and supporters are expected at the annual meeting of the NRDBA Mixed Tour Group at Alstonville on Sunday.

One of the meeting's main purposes will be to arrange details of a bowls visit to Kiama-Nowra area on October 20-November 3. Since its inauguration, the group has conducted 18 previous tours to every part of Australia except the Northern Territory. It usually fills two buses with bowlers and supporters.

THE district pairs championship at Ballina is down to a battle between the team of state rep Mick Anderson (Ballina) and that of the lesser-known Greg Stewart (South Lismore).

In the semi-final Anderson, with former state star Neil Burgess as his lead, gave a 21-11 thumping to top Evans Head performers, 15-year-old Luke Jones and the ageless John Lang.

The other semi produced a surprise result, with Evans Head's Richard Latta and David Ball (Ball was fresh from outstanding efforts in the district triples) going down 18-16 to the South Lismore pair.

Stewart and lead Barry McCall have the job ahead of them in the final at Ballina this Saturday.

The district senior pairs is also down to the final. In this, I Bird/G Latta will take on T Dance/R Montague at Lismore Workers Heights on Saturday.

The reserve pairs at East Lismore was decided on Sunday. In the final, B Partridge/G Rose took the title from P Summerfield/D Wacey in a close one, 32-29.

PARAPLEGIC bowler Terry Wells is considering a comeback.

It's been five years since he played his last game of bowls.

"I might make a return one of these days," he says. "A wheelchair can't damage these new artificial greens."

Although he always obtained greenkeepers' permission before taking to the greens when he played, it was his concern for possible damage from the wheels in wet conditions that influenced him to give the game away in 2007.

Terry became a grey nomad in his caravan, mixing travel with the painting that has led to him becoming a recognised artist whose work has hung in interstate exhibitions.

Terry's life fell apart in May 1973, when he and two mates were digging for gemstones in the Whian Whian state forest.

The trench fell in and he was buried up to the neck, suffering two crushed vertebrae and five broken ribs. His two mates were killed - one suffocated and the other died from a broken spine.

After three months of agony in the Brisbane Mater Hospital, Terry was discharged, never to walk again.

Finding that bowls was a sport that catered for the disabled, he had his first roll-up at Coraki in 1986 and won the inaugural NRDBA Bowler of the Year award in 1997, against all-comers.

Apart from local recognition, he'd become a national star in wheelchair bowls, winning NSW titles in singles, pairs and triples, and representing Australia in New Zealand. Though selected again to play in South Africa, England and Asia, he had to withdraw because of financial constraints.

Terry says he was able to compete in many events only through the generous support of Lismore bowlers.

Now 68, art is his life, but the old urge to compete at bowls is still there. The game would be better for his return.

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