“Use it or Lose it!” says Jean
By Graham Lewis & Dee Ayre
Jean Bell is a remarkable lady who plays out of Ipswich Bowls Club (Cunningham District). Great-great grandmother Jean celebrated her milestone 100th birthday on December 3, 2019 with more than 300 people helping her celebrate the occasion at numerous parties held around Ipswich.
Jean and her late husband George were avid lawn bowlers. Jean has played bowls since 1972 and has also served as president of both the Booval and Ipswich Bowls Clubs. Just after her 97th birthday, Jean was presented with a 25-year Meritorious Service Award.
Now, almost two years down the track, Jean will soon be celebrating her 102nd birthday, while still going strong on the bowls green, playing always two, sometimes three times a week. Just recently, Cunningham held their Ladies Pennant Semis and Finals at Algester, with Jean playing second in the Ipswich Division 4 side. Jean’s rink went down by four shots and her team went down by eight overall to United Bowls Club. Regardless of the result, Jean’s contribution was an outstanding achievement.
Family is very important to Jean, and she proudly adds that she has six children, 20 grandchildren, about 50 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren! There is always something going on in Jean’s busy schedule, if it is not a bowls day, then it may be her group’s weekly Rummy card afternoon. When she has a busy day ahead, she rises at six o’clock, but when she is not going out, she treats herself to a 7.30am start. Whichever it is, Jean says “it’s a bonus to get up in the morning” and lives by the motto of “you either use it or lose it”.