Autumn carnival set to shine

SWAN Hill Bowls Club is a hive of activity for the 52nd Annual Autumn Carnival.

The two-week tournament culminates with the final event on Wednesday, May 16.

Tournament secretary Bill King is excited about the amount of players set to visit the region in the coming days.

"We're getting a great number of people south of Swan Hill this year," King said.

"A lot of people coming out from Ballarat, Warrnambool, Montmorency, along with other parts of Melbourne and the Gippsland area.

"They seem to keep coming back because they love the fellowship.

"It's a friendly carnival and they like mixing up with friends that they've met over the years.

"We currently have about 250 players, with some playing everyday, while others will play a day or two here and there."

The idea of the carnival originally came to fruition back when some Swan Hill bowlers participated at a similar event in Warrnambool.

King, 85, has been a part of the Swan Hill Bowls Club for 46 years, and running the Autumn Carnival for the past 22 years.

He has spent countless hours using ink and white-out on his book throughout the years, as participants, teams and fixtures have been organised.

During his time, King noted the evolution of technology has eased the pressure.

"We used to do this years ago all by hand," he said.

Swan Hill Bowls Club tournament secretary Bill King is flat out with the club's 52nd Annual Autumn Carnival. Picture: COHEN MORTIMER

Swan Hill Bowls Club tournament secretary Bill King is flat out with the club's 52nd Annual Autumn Carnival. Picture: COHEN MORTIMER

"Six or seven of us would sit around a table and work on the draw for four days and now I can do it all in ten minutes on the computer." King originally used to juggle the role of player and organiser, but it all eventually became too much.

"I used to play, but I'd always have to run back to the office to help with something," he said.

"I make sure I always keep the book on me and I alone work on it — it reduces the risk of mistakes."

King sees the event as not only a chance to continue the existence of the club, but the growth of the town.

"It goes towards our finances to keep us running because we've got things we've gotta pay out," he said.

"It also greatly benefits the businesses around town, including all our sponsors, who, without their help, this wouldn't be possible."

Lunches will also be available to purchase at the club until Friday via order, with special Saturday night dinners, too.

King believes the club's members will cater for all the visitors in every which way.

"We've got a good staff and everybody puts in, and our staff in the kitchen are keen to give the bowlers a good feed," he said.

For more information, or to book your place, call King on 5032 4083 or 0428 324 083.

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