Ros Camera – Lawn Bowls


At our request, Ros Camera submitted the following in July 2020. Ros is our tutor for Lawn Bowls.

Nunawading was my home until the age of 20. My father’s family ‘Boyle’ has great history in the area – David Boyle from Scotland 1841 was a Botanist/Nurseryman/Gardener and his expertise and contributions are well documented; his name is mentioned in records which are held in the Royal Botanic Gardens Library … this is my only claim to fame!

As a kid, I was a fair all-rounder – I was good at sport and reached State finals as bowler for the rounders team while I was at primary school.

I slogged away at piano lessons for 10 years, with quite good results for 6th Grade exams. Absolutely no talent but I came out of it with an understanding of patience and concentration. Just this year, my pianola has moved to a new house for a new life with my daughter and granddaughters.

My working life as a Tracer began at the Titles Office in the Drawing Room as a Draftswoman, later classified as Tracer or Drafting Assistant. I also worked for a company which built dust extraction units, contracted by Mount Newman Mining WA. Lastly, I worked at Doncaster and Templestowe City Council Engineering Department. The bonus here was the social club which ran a golf competition on Thursday evenings at Warrandyte Golf Club (long since extinct), a new sport for me and short lived.

I married at age 20, and went straight into a culture shock, leaving home and country to live in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for two years. My husband’s job in the Department of Civil Aviation took us to Lae. I renewed my skills as a typist and worked in the PNG Development Bank where I enjoyed many friendships, especially my Papua New Guinean work mates.

The bank’s women’s basketball team played at night when it was still horribly hot, but great fun.

This was during self-government with feelings of uncertainty as they moved into independence. Ever since, I have had a discomfort with the culture of expatriates being in charge of a country’s development into the industrialised world.

1974: We bought a house in Research.

1984: The family (two daughters and son to be born as a Queenslander) had a four-year transfer to Townville. There was a drought during those years and I developed a yearning for clouds and no sunshine, consequently I don’t have a love of clear blue skies even now. I learnt the serious requirements of wearing a hat and most activities undercover. The washing could be timed out on the line (30 minutes) to a crisp dry in the dry season and guaranteed to go mouldy in the wet season (most essential was a clothes dryer during the nappy period).

1989: Back to Research. I spent a lot of time as a parent volunteering at schools and developing different crafts.

1991: I took up lawn bowls – the ABC show ‘Jack High’ got me hooked. Lawn bowls has been a large part of my regular activities ever since.

1999: I was widowed and life took on changes. Colin Gibbs, owner of IGA Supermarket Research, kindly offered me a job. It was a jump in the deep end, learning many new skills quickly. I had 7 very happy years there.

2004: Frank and I became a couple, then married in 2006. I think that our romance and marriage was a first at Eltham Bowling Club. Frank was a Secondary Teacher for a few years before many years as an IT Service Engineer. He is a Bunning’s man and loves his woodworking, producing many beautiful pieces regularly. Frank is also a bowls coach and we share the running of the Nillumbik U3A Lawn Bowling Group.

My last job before retirement was at Merriang Special Development Senior School Lalor, as a Teacher’s Classroom Assistant. This was one of my greatest challenges, providing care, consideration and co-ordination to help give guidance, contentment and pleasure to special students.

2014: Frank and I joined Nillumbik U3A. The Walking Group came first. Then History, Ancestry, Drawing/Painting, Cryptic Crosswords, Wine Appreciation, Thi Chi, Italian, Investment and Web Design, all of which we have enjoyed.

2014: Our Nillumbik U3A Bowling Group got started in the 3rd Term. Many people were surprised just how much they enjoyed lawn bowls. Quite a number have subsequently joined the Eltham Bowling Club and also continue to bowl with the U3A group. I really enjoy teaching bowls, it is always a challenge to improve skills, so I push a bit and praise a lot to keep them smiling. The group is still flourishing and has around 20 participants.

For me, Covid-19 has revived and put promises to several activities; gardening knitting, stitching, sewing, book folding, origami flowers, drawing, family history, and many audio books to accompany the busy hands.

Gardening with succulents is a special interest.

Lastly, but a significant occupation these past three years, is coordinating ‘Jazz by the Green’. It was Mal Harrop’s idea, then Mal, John Crichton, Frank and I set out with some uncertainty to present a regular Eltham jazz gig. There has been no looking back; Jazz by the Green is now a recognised event in jazz circles. Patrons will be very happy when the event can return.