Bowls comp unites rail men
BOWLS: The bowls green.
A place where the ultra competitive meet the super relaxed.
A place that is as comfortable hosting people wearing Hawaiian shirts with no shoes, to Commonwealth Games gold medallists.
With the start of one of the state's biggest carnivals getting under way on the Cooloola Coast yesterday, the Queensland Railway Institute tournament, is one that traces its roots to the very fabric of Queensland's industrial heart.
Started by a group of railway workers in 1948, the Queensland Railway Institute was a way for railway workers and their families to socialise and play bowls.
In its 69th year, The QRI carnival is still one of
the most frequented by players throughout Queensland.
QRI state secretary John Patterson was in the railway for 41 years and has been involved in the QRI bowls scene for 40 years, 36 as treasurer.
"We have 10 branches throughout Queensland, with Gympie being one,” Mr Patterson said.
"They are aligned with towns that have railway traditions.”
For Rod Myles, the QRI carnival is a tradition.
Since his first carnival in 1985, Mr Myles predicted he had missed "about three.”
He said it was the camaraderie that kept him coming back.
"It is the social atmosphere,” Mr Myles
"We now invite a lot of the social players who are not necessarily with the railway to come and join us.
"That's why we have 60 teams competing here.
"These carnivals are all about friendship and sportsmanship.”
"The facilities here (Tin Can Bay Country Club) are great.
"And the place we are staying at is beautiful.”
The lawn bowls action continues today at Tin Can Bay, Rainbow Beach and Cooloola Coast Bowls Clubs.