THE DONCASTER VERSION OF Q & A. – Doncaster Bowling Club


ANSWER: KATH: I have been around Bowlers for ages, because my parents were inaugural members of the Boronia Bowls Club. That was in the early 1950’s.

On a personal side, early in my married life I established the ” Kathleen Rundell Fashion Salon” which was in the lounge room of our first home in Boronia. It did excellent business and within a year we had built a shop onto the front of our house. I bought stock from overseas and from Flinders Lane. This eventually expanded into two shops in the main street, one selling up market ladies fashion and the other selling lingerie.

Kath in 1970.

A newspaper ad for Kath’s dress shop.

I sold the shops, and our family now with three children in tow, bought a sheep farm in southern New South Wales. Whilst there during one year I raised turkeys, I also worked as a script writer for the local radio station and as a secretary at the Cooma hospital. We quickly discovered that there’s was more to sheep than just shearing them. But the children had a wonderful free open country life.

Kath with the turkeys that she hand raised from eggs.

ANSWER: GERDA: I grew up in Leidschendam, a town in the north of the Netherlands (Holland), and I was eight years old when WW2 ended. I have seven brothers and sisters, I am the second eldest. I remember the war; I remember standing on a balcony seeing planes fly overhead. I remember people begging, I remember the hunger. Food was very scarce as much of it went to feed the occupying German army. I remember the extreme cold in the winter of 1944-45. People burnt Lino from their floor, railway sleepers too. I went to school only part time, you either went just morning or just afternoon, because the Germans had commandeered many public buildings. Then in the last year of the war there was no school at all. My Mother did not like me going outside because of the soldiers. (Rien, Gerda’s husband to-be, actually hid from the German soldiers because they would abduct teenage boys from the street and take them off to Germany.) When I was 18 my whole family emigrated to Australia because my Dad could not find work in Holland. First we went to Bonegilla. Dad and the two eldest, me included, came down to Melbourne where we found work. Then Mum and all the others followed.

I met Rien through his sister, and I was married at 19. We have four children.

I worked for many years at the Credit Union in Jackson Court.

Gerda and Rien’s wedding day.



ANSWER: KATH: I had watched my Mum and Dad bowling for Boronia Bowls Club, so when I moved to the Doncaster area I decided to join Doncaster. It was the season of 1978-9, that’s 40 years this year! I am the Matriarch of this club, the longest serving female member. I have only ever had one year off and that was a LOA just for a year.

ANSWER: GERDA: Well I used to watch ” Jack High” on TV. We also knew Bill Whiticker, and Bill encouraged Rien to join. Eventually I joined five years after Rien in April 1992, which was after I retired. I played indoor bowls first. For outdoor bowls, well, we were up in Coffs Harbour and Rien’s team needed a player. I had never played outside, but I quickly had a couple of lessons, and away I went! Still, when I returned to Doncaster I was not allowed to play outside because I had not been passed!!!!

Then in my first year of playing outside I had to play with the Roamers. These were either new bowlers or older Ladies who did not play Pennant anymore. Each Tuesday we played against Donvale only, either at their club or ours.



ANSWER: KATH: Oh, that was winning the 100 Up in either my first or second year of bowling. I was so thrilled that I kept the score card for ages. Another highlight was receiving a Certificate of Appreciation. Also being part of the team that won the Ferntree Gully Ladies Invitation 4’s. (we won a trophy not money) I was in the Doncaster Ladies Tuesday Pennant Firsts for a time, and of course winning many indoor (IBB) trophies.

Kath’s special trophy.

ANSWER: GERDA:  Well there have been many highlights, but do you know I think the team efforts are the best. Especially the 2015-6 Tuesday Open Pennant Division 3 when we were the best out of 78 other clubs in Melbourne. We did not receive the accolades that we deserved. I know I have won the Singles four times, the Pairs four times and the Triples six times, and the Mixed Pairs four times and the 100 Up six times. I have been part of the Womens  Only finals and also been runner up in the Yarra Region Champion of Champions where I only lost by one shot……the last shot……was that a losing highlight? But most of all I do love playing in a team.

Gerda and Rien win the Mixed Pairs

How Doncaster Tuesday Open Division 3 won in 2015.


ANSWER: KATH: I have been to various Gala Days, to the National Championships in Sydney in 1985, to Interclub tournaments and to Country Week. I am sad that many Clubs in our region no longer exist.

Kath is third from the left.

ANSWER: GERDA: Yes, for 25 years we travelled up to Coffs Harbour every winter. We bowled at the many clubs around there. I still play in the Edinburgh Shield each year, and when it was the VLBA, I would play with Lorraine Holstock in the State Competition in the singles, pairs, triples and fours.

Gerda is attending the Edinburgh Shield competition. Guess who is holding the Doncaster sign?


ANSWER: KATH:  I still enjoy bowling, but most importantly it is the bonds and friendships that I have made and kept.

(Here is a story……When tragedy struck Kath’s family, Kath had to move to Glen Iris  to care for her Son-in-Law and his three small children. The youngest was a little girl called Alex who was only 19 months old. Kath through the kind help of DBC friends was still able to play Tuesday Pennant each week. She would bring her granddaughter to be in the care Doug Papworth’s daughter Margaret. Then after the game finished it was the “grey haired ladies crèche” time. Alex would be passed from knee to knee. The ladies loved Alex and Alex loved the cuddles. )

I enjoyed organising and working in the kitchen and I still enjoy working in the bar.

My philosophy is to think of the good times in life.

ANSWER: GERDA: I like to keep my brain active, so in persuit of that , I get involved. I was a National Umpire for 15 years and I am still a Measurer . I am the handbook coordinator, I still work on Thursday night meals. Committees!! Since 1993 I have been on at least one Committee every year. Over the years I have been on the Social, the Tournament, the Bowls and various Selection Committees, often as Chairperson. I am back as the Chairperson of the Open Tuesday Selection Committee this coming year. I am on the Carnival Committee too. Plus I like the people and the friendly company.   “Lyn, what sort of question was that??!”


There are more photos in the Photo Gallery section. See below.

Here are various photos of Kath and Gerda’s happy times at Donnie. Social times and Pennant times and a photo I found of two skips playing Indoor Bowls. Then two special ones, Kath dressed up for Halloween and Gerda on her wedding day.