Swan Hill Autumn Carnival
The first Swan Hill Bowls Autumn Carnival was held in May 1966.
It started after Past Life Member Roy Lewis and other bowlers returned from the Warrnambool Seaside Summer Carnival and proposed that Swan Hill was ideally placed to host a similar event in Autumn.
The then Swan Hill City Bowling Club decided to give it a try and Roy Lewis became the first Secretary in charge of the Carnival. The first Saturday in May was chosen as the opening day with a week of bowling events organised for women and men.
The Carnival proved to be so popular, it was increased to 12 days and bowlers started to put their entries in for the following year, in case they missed out. The tournament is held in such esteem that over the last 50 years, bowlers from across Victoria and from most states in Australia have attended.
Clubs and tournaments like this owe much to the dedicated efforts and support offered by volunteers.
The Swan Hill Bowls Club and this Carnival tournament are no exception. The late Jim Magee followed Roy Lewis as the Carnival Secretary & served in the position for some 15 years. The late Bill Holland continued the work ably assisted by his wife Dulcie for over 10 years. There are many more who grew and built this tournament to what you see today.
The current Carnival Secretary, Bill King and his wife Lynda are another example of that commitment. For the last 18 years, they and many other volunteers have worked tirelessly to ensure all participants and visitors have a great time both on and off the greens.
To continue to demonstrate year after year a commitment to this Club and to Swan Hill by keeping this tournament so welcoming and popular is something that is hard to quantify.
But what can be acknowledged is the legacy that these dedicated volunteers have given their Club and Swan Hill. To be associated with something that keeps bringing people back to Swan Hill year after year is an extraordinary achievement – made more extraordinary because this is has been done by people who have given their time to do something for others.
A Carnival of this magnitude does not just happen. From the green keeper and his helpers and those who assist with draws. Many others like the ladies who do the excellent catering, the office and bar staff, the ladies who clean seats each morning and others who assist in many ways.
We all look forward to the Swan Hill Bowls Club Autumn Carnival continuing its great Carnival tradition for many years to come.