Edna Harling

Sports Hall of Fame Inductee

Category: Sports Hall of Fame

Sport: Lawn Bowler

Edna Harling is 102 years old and commenced playing competitive bowls 57 years ago. Edna has had a wonderful bowling career which has taken her to the highest levels in the country. Edna grew up on the family farm near Kerang where she met and married a local School Teacher Chris Harling. It resulted that she and Chris would be shifted around the state to different schools. Edna was a natural sport and played Basketball, Tennis, Golf and Table Tennis. One of the couple’s first moves was to Red Cliffs where she was introduced to Lawn Bowls by Red Cliffs resident Dot Jenkinson who was a former duel World Champion Bowler.

Edna developed an immediate love for the game and as the family moved to other towns and schools, bowls became a wonderful way in which to get to know the locals and become a part of the community. There were places such as Mirboo North in 1963 when she became the Victorian Champion and followed her victory up with another State Title in 1964. Then it was off to Somerville and Castlemaine. During this time she won her first Sate Pairs title with Hilda Farquharson and her second State Pairs with the Goulburn Valley’s Mavis Meadowcroft. During the time of moves to Kerang, Frankston and Sale, Edna gathered a host of Club Championships and the highlight of her career was in 1968 was chosen to represent Australia against South Africa.

It was lucky for Goulburn Valley that in 1979 Edna and Chris decided to retire to the City of Shepparton where their daughter Jenny lived. The Harling’s naturally joined the bowling fraternity and were foundation members of the Shepparton Park Bowling Club. Her husband Chris was the inaugural President with Edna the inaugural Secretary. Edna relished her new club and continued to practice hard to keep up her standard. She was slim, attractive and fit and was so well liked by team mates and competitors alike. Her career has been long and impressive and Edna has enjoyed every minute of it.

It is incredible to look at Edna’s record which includes at National level being a member of the Australian team, At State level - the Victorian Singles Champion, Victorian Singles Champion of Champions and was three times a Victorian Pairs Champion. She was a member of the Victorian team for 22 years. At 94 years of age Edna skipped the Shepparton Park team to a State Pennant Championship in the 2004/5 season. Her team involvement was very successful as she won 21 pennant division 1 premierships (19 as skipper)

Her regional representation saw her win 14 Association Singles titles along with 3 State Country Singles Championships. Edna loved playing against the best bowlers in the nation and mentally prepared for each big game. Edna has done it all. She also took on various roles as an administrator of the game.

On the day that Edna was to commence her 56th year of competitive bowling she was presented with the first Life Membership ever awarded by the Shepparton Park Bowling Club. Goulburn Valley Lady bowlers now play for the Edna Harling shield.

Edna Harling has been an outstanding achiever on the bowling green and will forever be remembered for her dedication to the sport for over half a century.