Vale Ken Chapman

by John Roberts

04.04.1938 – 07.02.2022

It is with sad news that we bring to the attention of the Victorian Bowls Community of the passing of Kenneth (Ken) Chapman who passed away in hospital in Melbourne on the 7 February this year. Ken was born in Brighton, Melbourne.

Ken came to the East Malvern RSL BC in 1985 as a very competent bowler and after his club’s closure, he transferred in 2011 to the Mount Waverley Bowls Club.

On joining Mt Waverley Ken was invited to join the Group 12 Umpires and Laws Committee (now Eastern Ranges Region) having been a member of Group 11 while at East Malvern. Ken remained an active member of the Eastern Ranges committee up until his recent passing. Ken assisted in many umpires and bowls related issues at his club. Ken was a good and valued club person.

Ken, (affectionately known as Grumpy or Chappy) was heavily involved at a Group and then Regional level with the District Umpire Chair over many years.

He was on the BV Umpires Committee for over five years and a presenter and assessor at Regional training courses for markers, measurers and umpires. He conducted many Umpire’s Seminars across Victoria. Ken officiated at many and numerous Bowls Victoria events over a long period of time.

Ken officiated at 10 consecutive Australian Opens and was Deputy Technical Official Coordinator at four of them.

Ken was also the umpire coordinator for the Richmond Union Masters for many of years – where he enjoyed the bowls, the food and the great company.

Ken was an International Technical Official (ITO) appointed by World Bowls (WB) in 2009 thus being part of the first intake of ITOs.

Ken officiated at his first Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 as a Level 3 State umpire. Ken then officiated in 2010 as an ITO at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India. He also travelled to Cypress in 2012 to officiate at the World Champion of Champions (WCoC) and again in 2015 with Shelia Dillon (a long-time friend) to officiate at the Atlantic Rim Championships. The Atlantic Rim Games is the Northern hemisphere are the equivalent of the Southern hemisphere (Asia Pacific Games). Chappy was an ITO for over ten years.

Ken with the Aussie ITOs. India 2010 (Back right).

Ken was at the WCoC Singles in 2002 at Moama, he was at the World Championships in Christchurch NZ in 2008, and 2012 World Championships in Adelaide.

Ken was the father of three children (a son and two daughters), was Pop to three grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

From a very young age Ken was into the bag pipes and had the rank of Sargent Major which may have accounted for (when required) his very loud voice.

Ken in his full regalia, circa 1970.

Apparently, Chappy used to annoy his children by practicing the chanter in the lounge room and never outside as was suggested on many occasions.

In some ways this was an enigma as Ken was not really into pomp and ceremony or fuss. However it never showed whilst in officiating mode, but he definitely had a loud voice.

Ken demonstrated great strictness regarding measuring correctly, umpiring effectively, understanding the laws of the sport, and following the Conditions of Play.

Ken was also in the Army Reserves for many years and was also a Mason rising to Grand Master.

Ken’s contribution to Bowls over many decades cannot be overestimated. Ken was patient and thorough when involved in training and would always offer his assistance if required.

Ken loved a chat about interpreting the Laws of the Sport. He was good company and will be sadly missed by all. We thank Ken Chapman for his contributions to  officiating, bowls and in his role as a loyal club member. Ken will be sadly missed locally, Nationally, and Internationally. May he rest in peace.

Doug Whorlow, Mark Cowan, Haydn Williams, Bob Carlson, David Allen, Sheila Dillon.