Custom badge to celebrate ardent player’s 100 years
YOU may see Bill Schmidt Snr get around in a wheelchair but the centurion proudly stands tall among his bowling peers.
Mr Schmidt turned 100 at the end of March, and last month Bowls Queensland honoured the proud man with a custom 100-year badge.
Bowls Queensland often make presentations of 70, 80 and 90-year badges when players reach the milestones, but it’s not every day men like Greg Caulley have the opportunity to present three-figure badges.
Caulley, the state development officer for the Central Queensland region, said it was an honour.
“It proves this sport is one of longevity; it’s a sport for life,” Caulley said.
Mr Schmidt bowled for about 60 years, with the last 30 at Urangan Bowls Club.
Born in Childers a month before Australian troops landed at Gallipoli, he started bowling at Grey Lynn Bowls Club in New Zealand 60 years ago.
He spent several decades across the Tasman, and fought for the New Zealand Regiment in the Second World War.
He also met his wife Phyllis in NZ, before the couple – and their children – returned to Australia in 1986.
Mr Schmidt’s son Bill Schmidt Jnr said his father joined Urangan when he returned, and bowled at the Hervey Bay club until he was 95 years old.
He was also made a life member last year.
“After 55 years he came back here and joined the club,” Schmidt said.
“He was still bowling at 95 but it’s a bit hard on the joints now.
“I think it’s fantastic (to see him honoured). He got a 90s badge but they had to get a 100-year badge specially made for him.”
Son Bill Schmidt Jnr He was still bowling at 95 but it’s a bit hard on the joints now.
Schmidt said his dad got him into bowls when he was eight, and it was a family tradition that had continued.
“Two of my sons play and a third is about to start,” Schmidt said.
“Ashley was in the Queensland under-18s, Dylan bowled here and Konrad is about to start.
“They’re the fourth generation of bowlers in the family.
“Me and dad were the first father-son combination to win the First Year Championships when we were in New Zealand.”
CONGRATULATIONS: Bill Schmidt Snr proudly wears his Bowls Queensland 100-year badge.