The measure of success

By Cobram Courier

Hall of fame inductees were announced at Murray Bowls Division’s presentation day at the Cobram Barooga Golf Club.

Inductees Roy ‘‘Darkie’’ Rowan and Geoff Sutcliffe were there and Elaine Chaplin (Finley Bowls Club), Bon Sweeney (Berrigan Bowls Club) and Gordon Grinter (Picola Bowls Club) were awarded posthumously.

Sutcliffe is undoubtedly the most successful bowler in the Murray Bowls Division.

His record of success is outstanding. He has represented Victoria in 340 games and Australia in 38 games.

He was ranked the second-best player in Australia in 1992.

At the Victorian State Championships Sutcliffe has won one singles, two country singles, one state champion of champions and one sets play championship.

At national level he played 38 games for Australia, winning two silver medals at the Pacific Games in Hong Kong.

He has won Tweed Heads golden nuggett, two Coolangatta master of masters, two Murwillumbah master fours, one national under 35 singles, one bicentennial pairs (Tasmania), one Gold Coast winter carnival pairs, one west coast classic pairs and one Wagga City master pairs.

Locally he has won 33 club championships, 43 association titles, 18 group titles and participated in 10 successful group sides championships.

He has played in nearly every Norm Knopp Tournament since its inception 50 years ago.

At club level Sutcliffe was president of Numurkah Golf and Bowls Club for four years (1994-1997), with life membership awarded in 2008.

He has been a member of North Goulburn Valley Bowls and Murray Bowls for more than 40 years and is a selector in the current Murray Bowls Division and Central Goulburn Murray Region.

Rowan started playing bowls at Katandra West Bowling Club in 1957 and has played at Shepparton Golf and Shepparton RSL.

At Katandra West he served as president from 1967 to 1973. He won the club championship nine times and was three times champion of champions. He also won the 100-up five times.

In 1982 he moved from Katandra to Shepparton Golf, where he won the club championship 12 times. He also won three club championships at Shepparton RSL, in all a total of 24 championships.

He participated in state trials over five years. He won the country singles championship in 1972 and 1980 and was runner-up in the state singles in 1999.

He played and won group five at state level five times.

He was selected to play in the Norm Knopp Shield competition for more than 20 years.

Rowan won the Northern Goulburn Valley association pairs championship in 1972-73, the triples in 1977-78 and the NGVBA state fours.

He was awarded the Shepparton News bowler of the year award five times and was runner-up three times in the Channel 6 ‘bowls show’ series.

He was inducted into the Goulburn Valley Bowls Division hall of fame in 2016.