Bowral comes together to celebrate Sir Donald Bradman's 100th birthday

Bowral students sing Happy Birthday to Sir Donald Bradman on the oval where his cricketing career began. Pictures: SYLVIA LIBER
Bowral students sing Happy Birthday to Sir Donald Bradman on the oval where his cricketing career began. Pictures: SYLVIA LIBER
Ex-Test captain Ian Craig holds Don Bradman's famous baggy green cap.

Ex-Test captain Ian Craig holds Don Bradman's famous baggy green cap.

It was the best century of all for Don Bradman, cricket's master blaster. The life of Australia's greatest cricketer was celebrated at Bradman Oval in Bowral yesterday on the day he would have turned 100.Fittingly, it was a day when Australians of all ages kept the legend of Sir Donald Bradman alive. As the big crowd showed at the picturesque ground in the town where Sir Donald grew up, the batsman is still held in the highest regard seven years after his death. The admiration of Sir Donald's unparalleled record and of his sportsman-like nature seems to transcend the sporting arena.In the brisk Southern Tablelands chill, students from Sir Donald's old school, Bowral Public School, gathered on the ground where he scored his first century.After performing a rousing version of the song Our Don Bradman, the children sang Happy Birthday and carved up a cake before playing games of cricket.School captain Luther Canute said the students were inspired by Sir Donald's cricket career and his life."Even for people who don't play (cricket), it's still inspiring for people to know that The Don went to our school," Luther said.Former Australian cricket captain Ian Craig, a resident of Bowral and former Bradman Foundation chairman, said the public admired Sir Donald's values as much as his amazing record."He was the sort of person people look up to," Craig said."His integrity, his honesty, modesty and all of those sorts of virtues - he brought them all to the game." Bradman Museum curator David Wells said the centenary celebrations had sparked a renewed interest in Sir Donald's long innings."We're finding with the schools that they're wanting to find more out about him - about who he was, what he was like, why was he so special and why is he a national figure."