Melville Bowling Club has lost another of its champions of yesteryear.
Earlier this month it was former State fours champion Kevin Foley (84) who died. This week the much respected Mervyn Shehan passed away at his home in Mandurah aged 86.
Shehan, a former Central Wheatbelt farmer from the Meckering area, established himself as one of the State’s leading bowlers after moving to Perth around 1980.
It didn’t take him long to show his class, winning the club singles title at Melville in 1981 and claiming the prestigious WA Champion of Champions title the same year.
Playing as a third, Shehan teamed up with Geoff Oakley (skip), John Cusack (second) and John McKenzie (lead) to also win a State fours title in 1987/88. In the final they defeated a Belmont team skippered by Ken Hinge 27-14. The Melville combination stamped their authority early in the match, scoring four shots on each of the opening five ends, racing to a 20-0 lead, and from there they cruised to victory.
At Melville, Shehan won club singles titles in 1980 and 1994, the pairs (1990), triples (1984 and 1989) and fours in 1984.
Shehan was among several wheatbelt farmers from the Meckering/Northam area who descended on the Melville Bowling Club during the 1980s. Others included Merv’s brothers Max and Ken, Brian Kelly, Frank Cullinane and former champion footballer Jack Clarke. Those were halcyon days of the Melville Bowling Club, which fielded 12 pennant sides on a Saturday in summer, including two first division One Red (premier league) sides, and a third first division team of 16.
When he retired to Mandurah about 20 years ago, Merv showed that he still hadn’t lost any of his skill as a lawn bowler. Around 2007/08 he teamed up with Peter Johnson, Bill Graham and Ron Summers to win the South West League fours championship.