The name's Thurston. Ivor Thurston. And it's MY SHOUT!
Don't let the autumn-coloured cardigan and matching suede hushpuppies fool you! Wherever people mingle for a convivial beer, wine or skinny mungbean faux-latte, there's every chance that man-about-town IVOR THURSTON will be at the next table, enjoying a Pimms dakota with lime slice and quietly devouring a few juicy bon mots to regurgitate for his regular Indie column.
Every bowls club worth its weight has a bell that’s rung to start games, to time them out if need be if the 21 ends take too long, or simply to herald breaking news back at the bar, like free beer for the next four hours. That sort of thing.
And very shortly, the popular New Farm Bowls Club will have a new bell that’s bloody heavy, probably very noisy ... and most likely the only one of its kind. In fact, as bowls bells go it’s the cream of the crop and we’ll explain that soon enough.
The club’s men’s committee president Roy Toohey (pictured right) was the driving force behind the new bell, which will be unveiled at a community open day on Sunday 12 February between 11am and 4pm.
It’s called the Toohey-McLean bell and here’s the story. In 1950, Roy’s dad Jack Toohey OAM bought Coongoola, a leading Hereford stud at Miriam Vale from the McLean (of football fame) family. It had a top dairy herd, and Hazel McLean stayed on to run the dairy. Jack thought she’d stay a couple of years; she retired to Brisbane 24 years later. Hazel was a top golfer and her brother Viv, an A grade champion for many years, designed and built the Miriam Vale golf course. In her time at Coongoola, deregulation changed dairying for ever and the herd there was diverted from cream production to whole milk. It meant the end of work for the dairy’s three cream separators. Two were engraved and given to museums in Bundaberg and Agnes Waters. Coongoola was eventually sold by the Toohey family but when Roy travelled to Miriam Vale with three other New Farm Bowls Club members for a tournament last year, he got to thinking of the one remaining cream separator unit. He knew where it had laid forgotten and abandoned, and decided to grab it.
“It was black when we got it out. It had obviously been under water,” Roy explained. But was the separator’s heavy cover that he saw value in, and grabbed it, knowing that with a bit of work from an expert bellologist, it would make a bloody good bowls club bell ... and the result will be on show with the handing over of the Toohey-McLean bell and its installation at the doors to the club on the Sunday community open day.
Everyone is invited to attend the community day that will also include the opening of a new green and exhibition matches by top players. There will be entertainment for the kids, including face painting, a sausage sizzle, restaurant meals for those who prefer something a little fancier, and a chance to have a bowl and get some tuition from the experts.
Got some pub or club news that Ivor would be interested in sharing with the hip and funky people that make up the Indie's readership? Send Ivor an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll look into it!