Legends’ fame grows
Three late Matamata bowling legends have been inducted into the newly- established Bowls New Zealand Hall of Fame.
Elsie Wilkie, Millie Khan and Jack Somerville are among 36 people nationwide to be honoured by Bowls New Zealand.
Wilkie and Khan were also chosen to wear the title of Kiwi Bowling Legends in recognition of their mastery on the green.
Wilkie won two world singles bowls titles, in Wellington in 1973 and England in 1977, the first when she was 50 years of age.
She also won four national singles titles in 1966, 1970, 1971 and 1976, and 50 club titles in Walton and Matamata.
In 1977, she famously took on three New Zealand men’s champions in exhibition singles matches – and beat them all.
Wilkie was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
Often considered the undisputed ‘‘Queen of the Green’’, Millie Khan dominated the national and international scenes in her time.
She won 12 New Zealand titles, including Champion of Champions in 1990, as well as a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in 1990, followed by a bronze in 1998.
Jack Somerville was a member of the Rewa Bowling Club and won a gold medal at the 1974 Commonwealth Games.
He also represented New Zealand at the World Championships in 1976 and against Australia in 1985 and 1986.
The Bowls New Zealand Hall of Fame was a cornerstone of the centennial celebrations of Bowls New Zealand.
It aims to pay tribute to the careers and contributions of New Zealand bowls legends.