Goodbye to a champion bowler

Merrigum bowls champion Jean Bunn has been remembered as a big contributor to the community.

February 7, 2014 4:44am

Jean Bunn and Isla Donkin.

Jean Bunn was introduced to the game of lawn bowls by her father Dick Trevaskis in the early 1960s, and he was the only coach she ever had.

When Merrigum Ladies Bowls Club was formed, Mrs Bunn was the inaugural president in 1968, a position she held again in 1969, 1980 and 1981.

During that time she was club champion three times — 1978, 1980 and 1981.

Mrs Bunn also found time to be president of Merrigum Lions Club in 1974, and was president of the Goulburn Valley Ladies Bowls Association from 1973 to 1975.

Mr Trevaskis took her each year to play in tournaments along the Murray River, to Swan Hill and to Mildura.

It was on one of these trips in 1971 that he wrote this poem about her bowling:

There on the mat Jean Bunn stands,

Grasping her bowl in her long skinny hands,

Level on the card, she knows she has to score,

Click go the bowls, click, click, click,

Fast is her drive for her hand moves quick,

The kitty’s in the ditch and now she has shot,

Glory come on girls, I’ll buy you all a pot.

In 1983 Mrs Bunn moved to Coffs Harbour and joined Park Beach Bowling Club.

She never won the club’s singles championship there — she did not enter, claiming it was a lonely game and she preferred to play with others in team events.

She skippered a winning club triples four times, club fours five times and club pairs once.

After extensive trials in Sydney, Mrs Bunn and club-mate Isla Donkin were selected to represent NSW in the pairs at the Australian Championships on Hobart over two weeks in 1994-95, along with two other Mid-North Coast women in the fours.

After a 16-hour marathon on the final day, they won the Australian pairs and fours.

After the celebrations, Mrs Bunn returned home to find a letter from the NSW selectors advising her that she would not be considered for selection at the next Australian Championships in two years’ time, as by then she would be too old for the state team.

Needless to say, after she told the selectors what she thought of their decision, she was never selected again.

In 2007 she returned to live in Kyabram where she skippered ladies’ teams in Division One and also won the club pairs title.

Mrs Bunn never drove a car, but she played bowls in every Australian state and territory except the Northern Territory.

Mrs Bunn suffered a severe stroke in November 2011 and was then cared for at Sheridan Nursing Home in Kyabram.

She passed away on December 24, 2013, aged 81 years.

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