Life Members

Lesley Russell

Lesley became a member of our club in 1991 following in her husband Lindsay’s footsteps.  She was a keen tennis player but when their weekends became dominated by Lindsay’s participation in pennant, she decided to make the move to bowls as well.

Lesley’s entry into lawn bowls came during the era of demure white dresses defined by a strict hem line. A ruler was used to make sure all ladies complied with this direction. She has witnessed the various changes of uniform from white to navy blue and various styles and colours since. Permission to wear shorts and pants also came into vogue.

Lesley saw the inevitability of the introduction of mixed bowls as ladies’ numbers decreased and embraced the idea.

Lesley quickly became involved in club activities becoming a member of the Ladies Committee and 7 years on the Selection Committee. She also served as Vice President and Ladies President. She has always been a driving force behind many of the Clubs functions helping to raise funds for the club and charities.

As well as serving on various committees, Lesley has had a successful bowls career achieving success at all club championships and with Eastern Ranges competitions.    She currently holds 8 singles championships !!

Lesley was awarded Life Membership in 2022.


John McCarthy

John was awarded Life Membership in 2021 for outstanding contribution and continuous selfless work for the betterment of the Club.

He joined the Club in 1998 along with his son and after he settled in as a competitive bowler, he made himself available to the Men’s Committee, the Tournament Committee, Executive Treasurer, Umpire, Bar Manager, Admissions Manager, Executive Secretary, Club Auditor and Club Communications Officer. In addition and maybe a little less formally, John was our very own ‘Santa’ appearing in the star role at our Christmas dinners.

Among his many Bowls successes, John won the following Club Championships/Club Events:

2007-8 Triples and Fours

2008-9 Open Two Bowls Singles

2008-9, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13 Easter Cup

2012-13 Fours


2015-16 Pennant Rink of the Year (+34)

2015-16, 2016-17, Triples

2017-18 100 UP

A fitting award to a fine example of a thoughtful and caring member of the Boronia Bowls Club.


Vin Hughes

Vin joined the club in 1982.  He joined the committee of management in 1986 as Junior Vice President and became President in 1990.  In 1990 the constitution was changed and the club began to operate under a three tier system and Vin was installed as Executive Director and held both positions for a two year term, Vin continued on the committee until 2013 when he stood down.  Vin was re-elected as Executive Director in 2005 and re-elected as President in 2013. Vin has served on the Men’s Pennant selection committee on and off for 14 seasons, he also gained Level 1 coaching certificate and joined the coaching panel, he also became a National umpire.  On the green Vin has enjoyed success, although he never won the club singles he was runner up, however he has been successful in winning the club Pairs, Triples, Fours and Mixed Pairs, Chandler Triples and Presidents Day Trophy.  He also played in two Division 2 Premiership winning teams, the first as a lead , and the second as a skip.  Off the green Vin also made old English rocking horse’s when not playing bowls and made two which were used as special effort raffles for the club and raised approximately $5000.00.  Around the club, Vin has joined with the many other volunteers in maintaining and improving the club and in particular the plumbing problems.

Vin was presented with his life membership in 2015.




Maisie Dodds joined Boronia Bowls Club in September of season 1993/94 having previously played bowls at Corinella. She played pennant for a number of seasons, skipping rink of the year in season 1996/97.

The highlight of her bowls career was being a member of the Boronia team which won the State fours title in 1995/96. This rink was Nada Tapscott, Joan Riley, Gloria Spinks and Maisie Dodds

John Cowling was secretary when Maisie joined our club. He also managed the club bar in 1995/96 season when Maisie became an assistant to Rea Behan in the bar.

Ever since then, Maisie has been a fixture in the club bar. Each Saturday she has arrived in her little white Ford Escort, prior to the afternoon tea, to ready the bar for the members playing pennant that day.

Maisie has been the welcoming face for those sides returning from far and wide with stories of their day at bowls. She invited all to tell of their day.

During her years at the bar Maisie has trained nine bar managers, John Cowling, Doug Smith, Tom Bedohazy, Les Moxon, Rob Trinnick, Keith Scutt, Ernst Burian, John McCarthy and Garry Degenhardt. This isn’t being flippant. Maisie believes if a job is worth doing it is worth doing well. So she tells the manager when she is unhappy with some issue in the bar. The manager then does it the right way.

Maisie, prior to joining our club, had run a milk bar and prides herself on treating the customers well and keeping the bar clean and rotating and refilling the stock.

The monthly line dance commenced at the club in April 1998 and ran for 14 years. In the early years the club also had monthly dinner dances alternating with the line dances.

Why are these events mentioned? Maisie worked in the bar for all these events.

How many parties, weddings, green openings, cards and casseroles, presentation nights has the club run? Countless.

Again Maisie worked in the bar for almost all these functions.

Our visitors are aware of Maisie’s long service, the line dance patrons would seek her out to ask of her exploits and to check on her health. One club’s mens pennant team and supporters wanted to smuggle her onto their bus to take back to their club after a final they played here.

Maisie considered her work in the bar, a part of her life. She saw it as a small contribution she made to the running of the club.  Unfortunately for us, Maisie has now resigned from the bar.

The club’s Executive Committee recognises Maisie’s contribution as enormous.

Our club is a more friendly place for her smiling face and tireless work in this most vital of fundraising areas in our club.

Maisie was awarded Life Membership in 2012.



Lindsay was awarded Life Membership in 2010 having served our club in a number of roles

For many seasons he was our Property Manager. In this role Lindsay managed the building and commissioning of the bowls and archives shed beside the green, he created and installed the shade cloth screens alongside our greens and together with other members was part of the team bringing the water tanks to our carpark during the severe drought our area suffered.

Under his supervision our clubrooms and outside doors and furniture were painted and refreshed.

Lindsay managed the roster for opening and closing our club and for many seasons was the telephone contact when the alarm was triggered.

Lindsay was an enthusiastic member of the club’s coaching team and helped many new and existing members hone their bowling deliveries.

He served as Men’s Bowls President and on the Bowls Committee and Committee of Management for many seasons.

Lindsay skipped rinks in Saturday and Night pennant and was an enthusiastic member who always entered our club competitions.


Elvie was awarded Life Membership in 2007.










BRUCE DYSON (Deceased).

Bruce joined Boronia Bowls Club in 1983-84 and was awarded Life Membership in 2006. Committee positions served included;

Selection Committee – 1997-8 – 1999-2000

Committee 2001-2002

President 2004-2006.

Achievements included;

Premiership – Div. 2. 1986-87

Fours – 1989-90

Mens Triples – 1990-91, 91-92-93-94- 2005-06

RVBA Premiership Division 2. 1986-87

Premier Division – 1997-98

Pensioners Network Fours –

Victorian 60 over pairs Group 13

Eastern Suburbs – 2002-3

Proportional 100 UP – 2002- Runner Up 2000

Pairs – Runner up 2000

Third place 2004 Division 2 State Championships Moama.

He also became a Level 1 Coach in 2005.

Bruce was heavily involved in the Club, always thinking of ways to help improve the Club in any way. His great involvement at Highway Press over 25 years enabled our Fixture Books to be printed and any other matters for printing. You only had to ask Bruce, and it was done. Bruce died in June 2006. Bruce was awarded Life Membership in 2006.


Irene joined Boronia Bowls Club in 1980

She was heavily involved in the Club – raffles, cakes stalls, Anglis Hospital Charity Day, monthly dinner dances, Rotary Dinner nights, sick visitor, 14 years on Ladies Committee, and in 1987-1989 became joint Presidents with her husband Alf.

Irene and Alf introduced monthly dinner dances with live music and, over 21 years, raised roughly $100,000,

They also organised bus trips to Albury & Barooga, and from 1983-2009, end of season trips to Corowa, Echuca, and Moama.

Irene has finished bowling, but still occupies herself in supporting William Anglis Hospital committee. Irene was awarded Life Membership in 2004.





JOHN COWLING (Deceased).

John joined Boronia Bowls Club in 1970 and it was in the early days of his bowls career that he decided to limit his commitment to the sport at club level.  He was first elected to the Committee of Management in 1976, serving as President from 1983/85, Secretary, then committee member until 1991.  That year saw the introduction of the three tiered Committee system and he immediately became Assistant Executive Secretary and ultimately Executive Secretary from 1993 to 2000.  John serves on the Executive Committee to this day as a committee member.  Back in seasons 1976/77 and 1977/78 he was on the selection committee and in 1982 served on the club’s coaching panel in its first year of operation.  Also in 1982 he became the clubs promotion officer, arranging all club sponsorships and sponsor promotion within the club.  During his time on Management Committees, John has presided over clubhouse extensions in both 1984 and in 1988, obtained the club’s liquor license in 1984, and the following year completed all requirements for the club to become an incorporated body.  In 1991 he became chairman of the Membership and Bowls Promotion sub committee which is still operating today.  Its role is to actively promote our club and our sport in the local area.  This involves, amongst other things, introducing the sport to students of local schools, a task that John does not mind at all since he had developed an interest in helping younger bowlers succeed.  His bowling achievements are quite formidable: Club Singles Championship 1976/77, 1977/78, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1984/85, 1992/93, 2001/02; Club Fours Championship 1990/91, 1992/93; Club Triples Championship 1987/88, 1992/93; Club Pairs Championship 1989/90; Four Chandler Memorial Triples; Six Proportional 100 up; Five Club Mixed Pairs and the Inaugural Minor Championship in 1975/76.  John has also played in Pennant Divisional grand finals: 1974/75 (Lead); Premiers 1976/77 Division A4 (Skip); Premiers 1981/82 Division 3 (Skip); Premiers 1984/85 Division 2 (Skip); Premiers 1986/87 Division 2 (Skip); Premiers 1997/98 Division 2 (Skip). 

John was committed to the Pizza Club, a group of slightly bent bowlers that met at the club on Thursday nights all year round. During the night, pizzas were ordered and devoured and many bad jokes told.  John would mercilessly fine hapless members if the joke wasn’t up to scratch or if they had committed some other very minor misdemeanour.  All fines collected ended up as a donation to the Royal Children’s Hospital Easter Appeal.  Sadly John passed away in July 2013.

John was awarded Life Membership in 1994.

LUCY WARREN (Deceased).

She could have been the apple of her father’s eye.  Lucy was born on an orchard in Mitcham Road, Vermont, in May 1921 to Alfred and Lucy Kirkpatrick.  She had three sisters and three brothers, and spent much of her early life enjoying her hobbies, tennis, horse riding and cycling.  At age 29, Lucy was staying in a guest house in Surfers Paradise with her mate Molly.  A young Percy Warren wrote letters every day she was away until finally Lucy gave in and they were married in Southport.  Early married life was spent in rented houses at Mt. Waverley and Box Hill before moving to Gwyn Crescent in Boronia in 1957.  They had no offspring of their own but in Lucy’s own words she had “oodles of nephews and nieces to look after”.  Percy joined Boronia Bowls Club in 1962 and, because there were no bar facilities in the clubhouse, he used to invite bowlers home for a drink after the games.  The continual talk of bowls in the house and in the close proximity to the club persuaded Lucy to join in 1963.  Her first coach was Beryl Charter’s father Percy Hordern, with whom she won the Club Mixed Pairs in 1964.  In 1966 she won the Presidents’ Fours.  In only her second year at the club, Lucy was asked to become Bowls Secretary, and for the next 13 years she filled this important position on the Tournament Committee.  She remembers being invited to attend the first Selectors meeting because of her knowledge of players and their preferred positions.  In 1977, five years after her husband Percy passed away, Lucy was elected Senior Vice President of the Ladies Section, and in 1979 become President for a two year stint, followed by two years as Immediate Past President.  It was then back to the Tournament Committee where she served for a further 14 years.  Lucy also served on the Dinner-Dance Committee for many years and remembers Heather Taylor being in charge of the kitchen when the now infamous Beer and Beef stew was first introduced.  This delicacy was still enjoyed until recently by members participating in the Winter Indoor Bowls.  Lucy was awarded Life Membership in 1993.



Beryl Horden was born in Seymour.  After working in her parents drapery store, she attended a training course by the then PMG.  In 1942 she married Fred Charter.  In 1944 the opportunity arose for the purchase of the Boronia Post Office.  This was the start of 36 years service to the community.  Apart from this business, Beryl was an active member of the Boronia Auxiliary of the William Angliss Hospital for 46 years and a foundation member of Boronia Bowls Club in 1952.  Beryl retired from the Post Office, which allowed her more time to attend to the other community services such as; Meals on Wheels, Probus and of course playing bowls.

Beryl was awarded Life Membership in 1992.






Nan was born in a village called Irvine in Ayrshire, Scotland.  In 1948, she and her husband John, together with their three children, Richard, Ian and Isobel sailed to Australia on the ocean liner Empire Brent.  This was to be its last voyage although cannot be attributed to the Alexanders!  The family lived in Mt. Waverley for twelve months before moving to Boronia in 1950.  That same year Edward was born.  John, or Jock as he became known, played bowls back in Scotland, but could not interest Nan in the game at all.  It was in 1956 when they both joined Boronia Bowls Club and competition bowls began.  Nan proudly states that she and Grace Fankhauser (wife of Wally), were the first ladies to step out onto the green in their new uniforms, ready to take on the world.  In those days the competition was zoned to a Country Association before later becoming affiliated with the V.L.B.A.  Nan’s’ first coach was Fred Pickering, a foundation member of the Club, and the father of Joyce Mills.  She became more and more involved with the running of the Club, being on the Selection Committee for six years when there were five Ladies Sides plus a Roamers Side.  Nan was elected President of the Ladies Committee from 1983/85.  The 1990’s were a particularly torrid decade for Nan.  Her husband passed away in 1991 and tragically, her son Richard died in 1999.  Never having won a Club Singles trophy, Nan was runner-up three times.  She also won the Presidents’ Trophies and enjoyed her bowls, both on the greens and on the mats in Winter until her recent retirement.  She still lives in Boronia and is adored by her 12 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.  Unfortunately she is not seen as regularly around the Club as before, but still carries with her many happy memories of her time there.

Nan was awarded Life Membership in 1990.


During the second world war when Bill was an air plane fitter and living in South Australia, he was sent to Melbourne for a technical course of instruction.  It was whilst in Melbourne that he met May, later to become his wife.  May’s parents lived in Bayswater so Bill moved from South Australia to Boronia in 1960.  In September that year he joined Boronia Bowls Club.  May was also a bowler there.  Bill took on the role of greenkeeper under the greens directorship of Wally Fankhauser.  He was appointed Secretary of the Management Committee in 1967 and held the position for four years before being elected President in 1971.  In 1984 Bill was Secretary for four years under the Presidency of John Cowling.  His final position with the club was as Executive Director from 1993/1995.  Bill and May produced two sons, John and Stephen and a daughter Pam.  May passed away in 1970 but Bill had wonderful times with his seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.  He retired from bowls in 1997 soon after moving to Glengollan Retirement Village where he lived in quiet contentment among many friends.  Bill was awarded life membership in 1986.




Dick was born in Wantirna in 1915, and become a landowner at the ripe old age of 21, purchasing 50 acres from the corner of Burwood and Mountain Highways to Dandenong Creek, after his father had bought 50 acres in 1900 for seven pounds per acre.  With Austrian grandparents and a family of three brothers and five sisters (one passed away at six months), life was always interesting, and when a cousin married a cousin of Elvie Dehnert (of German extraction), Dick and Elvie met and then themselves married in 1940.  Dick joined Boronia Bowls Club in 1952 as a foundation member, during which time he was Chairman of Wantirna School Committee (10 years).  Also Secretary of the Wantirna Grounds Committee, a position he held for 15 years.  He was elected to the Management Committee of the Bowls Club in 1962 and became President in 1967 for two years.  Harold Jenkins was the original Greens Director and Dick got caught up in helping with the gardens, the first being that alongside Marie Street.  When Harold passed away whilst on holidays in Queensland, Dick’s brother Wally took over, subsequently becoming Greens Director and continuing to tend the gardens and flower beds.  He held the position for about 12 years before deteriorating health forced him to resign.  Dick and Elvie moved to Boronia in 1980 and Dick sold his land to the Education Department for a University.  This changed after the Stud Road TAFE was built, and the land was then sold to the MMBW (now Parks Victoria) for construction of a freeway.  Dick is very proud of his bowls achievements having won the Club Triples in 1999 and was later in the team that won the highest pennant score for the season.  Dick and Elvie have two sons and a daughter, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.  Dick was awarded Life Membership in 1983.


Alan’s family moved to Bayswater (now Boronia) in January 1940 where he later married Winifred Thalma Lewis on 20 June 1942 in the Presbyterian Church that was located on the corner of Chandler and Dorset Roads, the site of the present Westpac Bank.  Alan played cricket for the Colchester Cricket Club from 1945 to 1959.  Later in 1959 he was appointed Life Governor of the Burwood Boys Home, and from 1961 to 1968 was a Group Scoutmaster with the Bayswater – 9th Knox Scout Group.  During this time the new Group Hall was built on the corner of Station Street and Scoresby Road, Bayswater.  Alan joined Boronia Bowls Club in 1959 and from that time, devoted himself to not only the Club, but to bowls in general.  His list of administrative achievements and practical involvements include:
*Elected to Boronia Bowls Club Committee in 1962.

*Served a 2 year term as President from 1965/67.

*Elected a Group Delegate from 1967 to 1988.

*Elected to Royal Victorian Bowls Association Council from 1980 to 1988, during which time he served on the Greens Committee, Rules and Appeals Committee and the Coaching Committee.

*Elected Chairman of the R.V.B.A. Coaching Committee from 1986 to 1988.

*Victorian representative on Australian Bowls Council Coaching Committee from 1986 to 1988.

*Group 12 Councillor from 1980 to 1988.

*Served on numerous Group Committees between 1967 and 2001.

*A Level 2 Accredited Bowls Coach from 1980 to 2001.

*A Level I Accredited Disabled Bowls Coach from 1995 to 2001.

*A Level I Accredited Bowls Umpire from 1980 to 2001.

*Elected to steering Committee of Coaches Association of Bowls in February 1995 and subsequently to the Committee of Coaches Association of Bowls in 1996.

*Has been a Member of Boronia Bowls Club Selection, Tournament and Coaching Committees for many years.

The pinnacle of Alan’s bowls career came in 2001 when he was a recipient of the prestigious AUSTRALIAN SPORTS AWARD.

Alan was awarded Life Membership in 1980.


Joan served in many positions in the Ladies Section.  President in 1968/69 to 1969/70.  Secretary in 1963/64.  Treasurer in 1961/1962 and again in 1970/71 to 1984/85. 
Joan was awarded Life Membership in 1975.










Wally was a bowler at Croydon club before Boronia Bowls Club opened, but soon transferred to Boronia where his brother Dick was a foundation member. Like his brothers, Wally was born on the land, but as he attended Old Melbourne High School, he stayed with an aunt in Hawthorn going back to the family’s Wantirna home on weekends. When greens director Harold Jenkins passed away on a holiday in Queensland, Wally took over at Boronia and held the position for a number of years before handing over to Dick. Wally was Club President from 1969/71. With wife Grace they had two daughters.  Wally was awarded life membership in 1974.





MADGE DOBSON M.B.E. (Deceased).

The original homestead still stands in Short Street, Boronia where Madge lived with her family.  In 1973 she and her husband Len, moved to Marie Street adjacent to the Bowls club, which was quite appropriate as both were very keen bowlers.  Madge was appointed President of the Ladies Section in 1956/57 and enjoyed a very successful bowls career.  She was a member of the Division 6 premiership side in 1963/64, and was in the State Fours Championship side in 1982/83.  During the 1980’s, Madge was awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to the community.  The Boronia Auxiliary of the William Angliss Hospital was just one of her community involvements and a Perpetual Trophy event is now being held in her honour.  Madge was awarded Life Membership in 1970.








Wife of Allan Chandler.  Char as she was known, served terms as President of the Ladies Section in the years 1955/56 and from 1970/72.  Char was also involved in the Boronia Auxiliary of the Angliss Hospital.


Char was awarded Life Membership in 1972.











Allan married Charlotte Pickering in 1931 and they honeymooned at Moruya on the New South Wales south coast.  They later called their house in Lewis Road by the same name, so impressed were they with the village.  Charlotte was a daughter of Fred Pickering and a sister to Joyce Mills, and the Chandlers and Pickerings were instrumental in starting Boronia Bowls Club.  Allan was a Sunday-school superintendent in the Methodist Church and made his living from acres of boronia and daffodils.  He and Charlotte raised a family of four children, Anne, Alan, Neville and Bernard.  In 1952 Allan helped grade the 1st green; in the old photos at the time, you can see him driving his tractor to level the surface.  He was of course elected the very first President of the Club, and to this day, the Chandler Trophy is played for in honour of his memory.  Later in life Allan moved to Avonsleigh and continued with his flowers.  His father, Mr. A. Chandler, was a State Minister for Agriculture, so the land and horticulture were in his blood at a very early age.  Allan’s brother Gil is still living in Boronia.  Allan was awarded Life Membership in 1967.




LEN DOBSON (Deceased).


Born in East Doncaster, Len was the son of an engineer at the coolstore situated on the corner of Mitcham and Springvale Roads.  It seems that Len had the Steam Train bug.  He was a guard on the original Puffing Billy, and travelled around Victoria working for the railways until 1936.  It was while he was on duty at Box Hill station one day that a young lady, who travelled by train to Box Hill Tech, gave him a kiss on her way home.  That was when Len met his future wife and they were married in 1935 and lived in Ouyen for two years before settling in Park Crescent, Boronia.  At this time he became Managing Director and Accountant at the Stock and Station agency in Dandenong.  Madge and Len produced a family of three boys, Stewart, named after his Grandfather, and after whom Stewart Street is named, Ian and Graeme.  Len was a foundation member of the club and it’s Treasurer for 26 years from 1952 to 1978.  He passed away in 1984 and such was his popularity, there were over 500 people at the funeral and Police on every intersection through Boronia to control traffic.  Len was awarded life membership in 1967.



ALICE PAGE (Deceased).


Alice assisted Vere in the Real Estate business and also served community organisations.  Alice joined the Boronia Auxiliary of the William Angliss Hospital at its inception in 1948 and served for over 35 years raising funds for the hospital.  Alice served as President of the Ladies Section in 1960/61 then served as Treasurer from 1963/65. Alice continued to play bowls into her 80s and was awarded Life Membership in 1980.







VERE PAGE M.B.E. J.P. (Deceased).


Vere Page was born at Harkaway in 1900.  He established a hire car service around 1920, meeting trains at Upper Ferntree Gully.  In 1924 he started Boronia Service Station in Dorset Road, Boronia.  A friend suggested he start a Real Estate business as well.  This grew with the assistance of his wife Alice.  1934 saw the sale of the Service Station to Laurie Maguire and the relocation of the Real Estate business to Boronia Road at the corner of Dorset Road.  Vere was involved with many community organisations including the Boronia Progress Association, Boronia Football Club and of course Boronia Bowls Club.  His main passion was the establishment of the William Angliss Hospital with Sir Gilbert Chandler, and served on the board for 35 years.  Vere was a councillor for the Shire of Ferntree Gully 1938/47 and served as Shire President in 1942/43.  He served a term as President of the club from 1956/57.  Vere was awarded Life Membership in 1967.





ALF J. NEIL (Deceased).


Alf served as President in 1961/63.  He was Club Champion in 1960/61 and again in 1962/63.  Served on Tournament Committee for a great many years.  The garden in the front of the clubhouse consists of roses planted by Alf. Alf was awarded Life Membership in 1967.












Harold’s parents moved from Doncaster to what became Jenkins Coolstore in High Street Road, where young Harold was born.  Following in his father’s footsteps he became an orchardist, and, after his marriage to Florence in 1932, moved to the present Jenkins orchards in High Street Road, which is still operated by his son Brian.  Harold and Florence in fact raised a family of three children, Shirley, Alan and Brian.  Harold served on the original committee of the Bowls Club.  Harold also served as President 1959/61.  It is interesting to note that he injured his right wrist in a shotgun accident and had to change to bowling left handed.  His wife Florence was a champion bowler, having won the Club Championship twice and played in many Metropolitan Championships.  She continued her bowling after Harold died in 1978.  Harold was awarded Life Membership in 1965.





HARRY LOVETT (Deceased).
Harry was one of the driving forces behind the formation of the Club.  He was Vice President and also took on the position of Works Manager during the construction of the greens and the clubhouse.  Harry was President in 1956/57. He was awarded Life Membership in 1956.