Even though she does not play bowls anymore, every Thursday, Living Choice Alloura Waters resident Beth Barber, dons her Davistown RSL Women’s Bowls uniform and walks next door to the club to watch the bowlers in action. When she arrived at the club on 8th April, she discovered that members of both the Men’s and Women's Clubs had combined to stage a Gala Day and luncheon in honour of a very special milestone on 14th April – Beth’s 100th birthday!

There to capture the moment was the NBN television crew plus several VIP guests, including Adam Crouch, State Member for Terrigal, Ben Bradley, CEO of the Davistown RSL Club and Gary Dowling, President. Sales Consultants, Dave Grassby and Alicia Stacey attended on behalf of Living Choice, which provided sponsorship towards the event. The beautiful birthday cake was donated by the club.

Beth, who was born in Paddington, NSW, moved into Alloura Waters in July 2011 to be closer to her son, Neville and daughter, Valerie. She lives independently in her villa, although she does receive some personal assistance three times a week, plus cleaning services. When asked the secret to a long and happy life, she replied “I’m not sure – it just crept up on me! I’m one of six children and now I’m the only one left. I was always active though, playing tennis and bowls. I also try to be a positive person and have many wonderful friends. I’ve very happy at this village.”

Beth is still passionate about bowls. Her bowling career was initiated by a doctor who advised ‘play bowls, it will be good for you’. Little did he know that his advice would result in a champion bowler who would go on to hold many Club and District positions. Her bowling life started at Canterbury WBC, but really started to flourish when her family moved back to the Riverina. She joined the Riverina Australian Football Bowling Club (now known as The Rules Club).

Roles as Secretary, President and Vice-President, followed by another three years as President, were combined with winning the Major Singles (twice) and Beth played in many Pennants teams, including going to the Pennants State Play-Offs. She also served as Vice-President and then President of the Central Riverina District WBA, eventually being asked to serve as Patron of the District and being made a Life Member of the RAFC.

Beth joined Davistown RSL WBC in 2011 and continued to play bowls until the end of 2019 when her health and the COVID-19 situation saw the end of her active playing days. Alloura Waters resident and bowling club member, Jean Paviour-Smith, said Beth was a much-loved member of the club with a large circle of friends.

Beth said she thoroughly enjoyed the celebration organised by her fellow bowls club members. “It was beautiful – I couldn’t believe there were so many people. I’m not used to being in the limelight like that! I also received certificates from the Queen, Governor General, NSW Premier, the Prime Minister and the NSW Governor which were put into a lovely folder by the Women’s Bowls President Kerry Hutchison.”

PHOTOS BY JEAN PAVIOUR-SMITH