Grand fig­ure of bowls looks back on life

Kev Her­bener re­calls his sport­ing days

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE - Jack Lawrie

A LIFE mem­ber of the Monto Bowls Club, Kev Her­bener can re­mem­ber the ear­li­est days.

With a copy of the orig­i­nal meet­ing min­utes from 1953 in his posses­sion and a por­trait hang­ing promi­nently on the club wall, Mr Her­bener, 88, is an el­der states­man of the bowls club.

Mr Her­bener’s bowls ca­reer prop­erly started in 1969, but he was there for the orig­i­nal open­ing of the club.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the club was founded by the town’s busi­ness­men and didn’t get ac­tive un­til 1954.

Around that time, he had come back to town from Bris­bane, where he at­tended Bris­bane Boys’ Col­lege and went into busi­ness with his par­ents for the next 16 years.

That year Mr Her­bener was made a mem­ber of the club, he said.

“The bank man­ager took a mem­ber­ship fee out of my bank ac­count and told me I was a mem­ber,” he said, chuck­ling at the rec­ol­lec­tion.

“I was too busy: I was a young man in those days so I only re­ally started in 1969.”

In those days, he re­calls, the Monto Bowls Club didn’t pay wages to main­tain it, re­ly­ing ex­clu­sively on vol­un­teer­ing from mem­bers.

That changed over time, around the time Mr Her­bener was be­com­ing more in­volved with the club.

His pas­sion for bowls ex­tended from a love of sport in general, dat­ing back to his school years.

He played ten­nis, cricket and foot­ball, tak­ing train­ing schol­ar­ships to Gayn­dah and Glad­stone.

“We were in a good sport­ing town, very much so,” he said.

In 1973 he be­came sec­re­tary of the club and held the po­si­tion for four years.

He went on to be­come a big wig when the North and South Burnett formed a com­bined dis­trict.

As sec­re­tary of the Monto Club, he be­came in­au­gu­ral sec­re­tary of the com­bined group, with the un­der­stand­ing that he would even­tu­ally trade roles with the pres­i­dent from Mur­gon.

At the time, he was also del­e­gate to Royal Queens­land Bowls, and went on to be­come pres­i­dent of Queens­land Bowls Aus­tralia.

Since then, he has re­tired, both from sport and from work in general, hav­ing sold his par­ents’ share of the busi­ness.

He re­tired 20 years ago at 68, some­thing that would be un­think­able for most, but in­sists he wouldn’t have done it any ear­lier.

“Retirement age was 60, my wife wanted me to re­tire but I wouldn’t do it,” he said.


LOOK­ING BACK: Kev Her­bener, 88, has a sto­ried his­tory with the Monto Bowls Club.

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