Thankyou to everybody from the bottom of our hearts


The Ballarat Bowls community has been left bereft after the loss of one of its devoted players following the Avoca bus crash.

The Ballarat Bowls community has been left bereft after the loss of one of its devoted players following the Avoca bus crash.

The Ballarat community will be aware of the recent traumatic bus accident involving a number of our lawn bowlers who were returning from a Mildura tournament.

What may not be so well known is the simply outstanding work and support that has been provided by a large number of individuals and organisations both at the time of the accident and in subsequent days.

Professional personnel and volunteers attending the accident were highly professional and caring, while others have since helped family and friends and the bowls community to deal with the aftermath of the accident, particularly, our shock on hearing of the loss of our much loved member, Carmel Mitchell.

On behalf of the Ballarat lawn bowls community, I wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to the following organisations and volunteers: emergency services personnel, the SES, the local fire brigades, Ambulance Victoria and the police.

In each case, these organisations and their respective personnel acted quickly with the highest levels of professionalism, efficiency and care to assist accident victims and driver.

The dedicated and highly professional hospital staff in Ballarat, Avoca, Maryborough and The Royal Melbourne and Alfred hospitals all of whom acted with great compassion and efficiency to provide the highest standards of care.

The Shire of Pyrenees for their prompt provision of facilities and food, their attention to the needs of the passengers involved in the accident and their later assistance to family and friends. Ballarat Coachlines for their caring and ongoing support for passengers.

All Ballarat and District Bowls Division clubs and their members for the way in which they have come together to provide support and to honour the memory of Carmel Mitchell.

Reverends Lindell Gibson and Bryan Nicholls for their compassion and understanding in conducting a candlelight vigil at Buninyong Bowling Club in memory of Carmel Mitchell.

The Lifeworks chaplains who attended the vigil and provided their comfort and support and Amanda Western from The Shire of Hepburn for her additional counselling assistance.

"Sitting silently beside a bowling friend may be the best gift that we could give or receive at this time - bowling friends are indeed, the greatest of all friends."

At a time when the bowls community was shocked and saddened by the events surrounding the accident, the assistance of these organisations and personnel has helped us to deal with both the immediate impact of the accident and our subsequent sense of loss.

As clubs and individuals continue to reflect on an unforeseen and tragic event, it is important we acknowledge the outstanding work and effort of every professional and volunteer.

In all cases, individuals and organisations have performed in a way that can only be described as exemplary. 

Again, we thank you all.

Sandra Chapman, BDBD Chairman

Respectful debate but troubling scenarios

Who can help but show the utmost respect for the sanctity of Jaala Pulford's account of the passing of her daughter from childhood cancer aged just 13 as presented in the Courier (Oct 17). But as a contribution to the debate on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill it was vexed and worrying. In fact the proposal has no relevance to children. It will provide no solace to families devastated by childhood cancer unless of course the child contracts cancer in their late teens, highlighting just one of the many troublesome scenarios possible. Make no mistake, if this bill is passed our attitudes to the sick and dying will be altered forever. The temptation all of us must resist is the idea that the horror of a terminal illness can somehow be alleviated by letting the state help us kill ourselves.

Pat Hockey, Clunes

This story Thankyou to everybody from the bottom of our hearts first appeared on The Courier.