THE Goulburn Valley lost one of its greatest lady lawn bowlers with the recent passing of Kyabram’s Joan Coldwell.
Joan, who left us on March 21 at the age of 91, won multiple club, association and regional titles after taking up the game in 1968 when the Merrigum Bowls Club was founded.
Within the first five fledgling years of the Merrigum Bowls Club Joan claimed two women’s championships — in 1971 and 1972 — to announce she was a prodigious talent to be reckoned with.
When she moved with her husband, Ray, to live in Kyabram in the 1980s her bowls career continued to blossom.
Between 1984 and 2000 Joan won eight Kyabram ladies singles championships: in 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994 and 2000.
She also won the club mixed pairs on seven occasions: with Harry Gorr in 1980, husband Ray in 1983 and 1988, Gino Scapin in 1995 and 1996, Ivan Robertson in 2001 and Shane Walsh in 2004.
She also won six 100 up club titles and also added six ladies pairs titles to her resume.
During this golden period Joan was a member of Kyabram’s Goulburn Valley Division 1 premiership teams in 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007.
While dominating Kyabram club titles in this period she was also making an indelible mark at association and regional level.
Joan was the Goulburn Valley Bowls Association ladies singles champion in 1988 and 1993 and also claimed a Goulburn Valley Champion of Champions title in these years.
Other achievements at association level were the ladies pairs championship in 1982-83, the Triples championship in 1994-95 and five Fours titles: 1982-83, 1986-87, 1988-99, 1989-90 and 1988-89.
Joan also did her share off the greens at the Kyabram Bowls Club, serving two terms as the club’s ladies president and one as secretary.
Her long and dedicated contribution to the sport in the Goulburn Valley was recognized two years ago when she was inducted into the Goulburn Valley Bowls District Hall of Fame — an honour thoroughly earned and richly deserved.
Vale Joan Coldwell — a true sporting legend of Kyabram and the Goulburn Valley.