Standing: L-R: Jenny Blundell, Louise Witton, Debbie Scott, Marion Hewish, Brenda Balchin & Ann Russell Front L-R: Maureen Innes & Linda Morish

What bowlers do during COVID-19

by bqmedia

By Linda Morish

Last year, during the Covid-19 lock-down, a group of 10 ladies played bingo via Zoom video conferencing. We called ourselves the Bingo Buddies and we played bingo every day for three months. We all live in Brisbane, except for one lady who lives in NSW. We are all friends or know one another through lawn bowls.

Free electronic bingo cards were downloaded from the internet and a bowling friend, Trent Healey, organised a computerised random draw of 90 numbers. One of us was appointed as the bingo caller with amusing stories and one person was nominated to keep score on our wins. At the end of each three-week period, presentations were conducted via Zoom. There were bowls medals, old trophies and lots of fun prizes.

When Maureen from NSW came to Caloundra for a visit, we organised a get-together at Cotton Tree, Maroochydore. As it was an opportunity to meet in person, we had to wear clothing from an opportunity store, relevant to bingo numbers. Everyone arrived at the park dressed as ‘8’ – one fat lady, ‘16’ – never been kissed because she was ugly, ‘22’ – two little ducks, ‘1’ – the baby of bingo, etc. We sat in the park in our costumes, had morning tea and played twelve games of bingo. Passers-by were amused or bewildered, as were the staff at the coffee shop where we purchased our drinks. We had lunch at a nearby restaurant dressed in our gear and the patrons laughed and applauded.

The next day, we played normal boring bingo at a local bowls club wearing our normal clothes. We cleaned them out, winning $350 between us and had lots of laughs and fun.

We promised to get together again next year. This is a lesson in making the most of a bad situation. Positive steps produce positive results. We made new friends, had heaps of fun, laughed a lot and enjoyed each other’s company.

Cotton Tree opportunity for a get together, with ladies wearing clothes bought from opp shops with a bingo number theme
Lunch after bingo Back L-R: Brenda Balchin, Ann Russell, Louise Witton & Maureen Innes Front L-R: Linda Morish, Marion Hewish, Jenny Blundell & Debbie Scott