Bowlers roll up on big travel adventure

November 10, 2023 BY

Keen on greens: Jean McIntyre (second from left, back row) and Mal Gunner (third from left) plan to bowl at every club in the country. Photo: SUPPLIED

MEMBERS of the Heathcote Bowling Club received a surprise visit last week from two fans of the sport who are on a mission to visit every club in Australia.

Mal Gunner and Jean McIntyre from Canberra set out on their epic journey last year and have so far visited 250 clubs.

“As we approached retirement, we thought it would be great to spend every day on a bowling green,” said Ms McIntyre.

“When we started out there were 2400 clubs in Australia but, sadly, some are closing. At this rate it will take about 10 years to visit them all.

“So far we’ve only been to country clubs and will leave the capital cities for a couple of years.

“We especially love Victoria and our visit to Heathcote was wonderful.”

The couple originally met on a bowling green.

Ms McIntyre is a member of the Western Creek Bowling Club and Mr Gunner was at Tuggeranong.

“We go home once a year for medical appointments and check-ups, and to see our little grandchild but we are on the road the rest of the time,” Ms McIntyre said.

“We spend summer in Victoria, autumn and spring in NSW and winter in Queensland.

“Along the way we stop and visit friends and relatives and it’s amazing how many people we meet from home or who have some connection with our clubs.”

The visit was welcomed by Heathcote club secretary Duncan McGann.

“It was an absolute pleasure to host Jean and Mal as they make their way around Australia,” he said.

“They represent the true spirit of the game, building a lovely community as they seek to play at every club in the nation.

“Two very friendly, easy-going and interesting people.”

The couple will be heading to Horsham next, via Bendigo, spending Christmas in Geelong, then travelling to Warrnambool.

You can read Ms McIntyre’s account of their visit to Heathcote and follow their journey on their blog accessible via bit.ly/3Sv2iJj.