Karen's fight to keep bowling club membership number in the family

Lucky number: Karen Goward with her late husband Col's membership badge to the Telarah Bowling Club. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
Lucky number: Karen Goward with her late husband Col's membership badge to the Telarah Bowling Club. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

To Karen Goward, six is more than just a number. 

It’s something that represents her family’s long association with the Telarah Bowling Club, starting with her father-in-law Pat Goward, one of the club’s founding members.

When he died, Pat’s number six badge was passed on to his son Col, Karen’s husband. 

When Col died in October, their son Chris signed up as a member at his father’s wake, which was held at the bowling club. 

After applying to the club’s board of directors for the number six to be transferred over to Chris late last year, Karen said she was “so disappointed” to see the request knocked back. 

“It’s a family thing we want to keep going,” she said. 

The carrying-on of members’ numbers is something of a tradition in the Goward family. Karen has Col’s mother’s number, 272, and said her daughter would ask for it if to be passed on to her.

Telarah Bowling Club representatives declined to comment on the matter, but detailed in a letter that the application was knocked back because of a motion passed several years ago to preserve badge numbers from 1 to 200. The letter said that, as Chris had not previously been a member, it would not be appropriate to overturn the motion.

Karen said she hoped there was still a chance the ruling could be changed, keeping the number in the family. 

“There’s a big connection between Telarah Bowling Club and our family. It’s important to us,” she said. “We just wanted to keep the number in the family.”