Fairy Meadow club becomes carnival HQ


Fairy Meadow BC luminaries (from left) Eric Matthews, Gordon Lester, Greg Dumbleton and Laen Stewart. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Fairy Meadow BC luminaries (from left) Eric Matthews, Gordon Lester, Greg Dumbleton and Laen Stewart. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

They are known as the "friendly club", and Fairy Meadow Bowling Club will have the welcome mat out as the headquarters for the South Pacific carnival, which begins today.

With one of the best indoor viewing facilities for bowls of any club in the Illawarra and a renovated bar and TAB, the club is looking forward to hosting the southern hemisphere's biggest annual bowls tournament.

"We call ourselves the friendly club because that's what we are," club secretary Gordon Lester said.

South Pacific carnival - Day 1 schedule

"It's an honour to be headquarters, and we'll be showcasing our club to the Illawarra bowls community and those who are guests for the carnival. We're a family club and everyone will be catered for."

The refurbished bar and TAB will ensure everyone can get a drink and place a bet. And the hundreds of bowlers expected through the club over the next 10 days can use the bistro from before lunch to well after the last match has ended.

Seventeen Illawarra clubs will host hundreds of matches over the first three days of the carnival before Fairy Meadow BC take charge for the final week, including finals day, scheduled for Saturday, January 5.

The club can accommodate around 250 patrons inside to watch the action in comfort, and the three greens are ringed with outdoor seating.

Now in its 54th year, Fairy Meadow will be carnival HQ for a seventh time after first being in charge in 1967-68.

They last hosted the carnival in 2003-04. And their last winning team was in 2002, when Greg Dumbleton and Steve Humphries claimed the pairs at Oak Flats BC.

This year, Fairy Meadow's 130 men's bowling members will be following the fortunes of leading player Mark Kesby in the fours and pairs, as well as Dave Roberts in the pairs.

Laen Stewart, 19, will play fours with his father Adrian and grandparents Warwick and Robert.

Brothers Danyon and Tim Christie, along with Adrian Beattie, will lead the junior charge.


At Fairy Meadow, Corrimal, Wiseman Park, Kiama and Albion Park bowling clubs

Fours: Starts today, winner $700 each 

Singles: Starts tomorrow, winner $1800

Pairs: Starts Saturday, winner $1200 each

Quarter and semi-finals: January 3-4

Finals: January 5