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Bowlers converge on Ridge for Black Opal Classic


John Murray with his life size version of Peter Williams. Photo TWH

Lightning Ridge Bowling Club

Monday, October 15th, marked the commencement of the eagerly anticipated annual XXXX Peter Williams Black Opal Classic.

The town was buzzing with excitement as bowlers and spectators flocked to the venue, ready for a week of intense competition and camaraderie.

On Monday evening, at the Lightning Ridge Bowling Club, a special tradition took centre stage – the unveiling of the John Murray unique artworks and the annual Calcutta event.

For many years, John has been tasked with crafting distinctive paintings featuring cockatoos symbolizing bowler,s and hedgehogs representing bowling balls, which are proudly displayed within the club.

In recent times, these remarkable paintings have found a new canvas on the uniforms worn by bowlers and club staff and are available for purchase by the public.

John has also been painting life-size favourites outside the club at the end of the synthetic green for bowlers to take memorable photos with.

Ray Brown, the Club’s Vice President, Foundation Director, life member, and a dedicated bowler in the Black Opal Classic, had the honour of selecting individuals commemorated through John Murray’s artistry this year.

In 2023, the artwork pays homage to past members, directors, and bowlers who have left an indelible mark on the Lightning Ridge Bowling Club.

Although the exact years of their affiliations may not be known, Ray Brown holds vivid and fond memories of each of them.

This year’s painting features four birds, representing Betty Le Cudinik, former president of the women’s bowls and assistant manager of the Wallangulla Motel, Wally Biegal, who served as bowls secretary and club director; John ‘Legend’ McKay, a beloved and long-serving director; and Kerrie O’Brien, a former director and treasurer of the club.[…]


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