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Profile - Margaret Sumner - Player Legend

Pamela Bryant, Saturday, 25 June 2005


Margaret Terrington was born in the 1940's at Terang hospital to Kath and Bill.  She was followed up by 2 girls (Shirley & Maureen) and 2 boys (Mick & Kevin).  Being the eldest, Margaret was going to be very busy in her early years helping mum and dad.  The family lived at a place called The Sisters (about 13 miles from Terang), and there, Margaret attended school until Grade 6.  She furthered her education at Terang High School until the age of 14 when her parents sought her help, milking cows, on their farm.

Margaret married Allan Sumner in 1966 and set up shop in a hotel at Garvoc (still only 8 miles from Terang).  Four and a half years later they moved even further south (another 4 miles) to Laang, where they settled happily until 2001.  A decision was then made to "go to town", and they did!. Yes, back to Terang!  So, Margaret has always lived in, and around Terang, making her a fair dinkum, born and bred "Terangamite".

Before bowls, Margaret played Tennis, Squash, Basketball,a bit of Golf and social Badminton.  Carpet Bowls crept in at Laang in 1972. She played for Victoria over several years, winning the Victorian State Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours !  She also played for Australia against New Zealand for 3 years winning Pairs and Mixed Fours.  In the Australian Championships, representing Victoria over a 10 year period, she pocketed The Australian Singles (1986) and four Australian Pairs (88,89,90 and 91).  Margaret had also taken up the Outdoor game in 1979 but this wasn't really "nipping at her heels" until 1985.

By 1991 carpet bowls was shoved aside for other commitments, a rollercoaster ride around the world, spawned by a bus trip to Melbourne in 1985 to see World Bowls, the outdoor game. There she was impressed by seeing the best, the flamboyant, the colour and the camaraderie that all countries exhibited. Margaret remembers on the bus trip home thinking: "I will give it a go!"  But,what a long way to go for a country bod! 

Her first attempt was cut short by Clarice Power, after having won her Club and Association Championship,  Margaret had to be content with Runner-up - Country.  Not a bad start though!.  Next year, with the same determination and skill, Margaret made it "all the way" to Victorian Singles "Champion of Champions", beating the renowned Edna Harling in the Country final and Pat Giles in the State final.  Margaret had finally got her Stripes,or should I say "Star"!

At trials in 86/87, Margaret was thrilled to be in the company of that era's greatest: Mavis Meadowcroft; Edna Harling; Dot Jenkinson; Norma Massey and others equally worthy of mention in that year’s invitation.  Mavis Meadowcroft was Margaret's inspiration; at that time, her yard-on shot and her controlled weight was something Margaret would try to emulate.  Margaret came home with an "Armory" of new found skills and knowledge and her 1987 inclusion, as lead for her mentor Mavis, in the State's 16-a-side battle, reaped silver.

State formats change, and Victoria then, opted for a 7 a side crew.  This left Margaret just out of the 7 for 4 years.  In 1991 Betty Herbertson and Margaret were given the Pairs, and away they went, winning the Pairs in '91 and again in '92, followed by the Fours in '94 and 2000!

The 2004 National Round Robin, held in Newcastle, saw the Vic's expand to a 12-a-side assault. With Margaret at the helm, undefeated, and named "skipper of the series", Victoria won GOLD. Next year at Rosny Park in Hobart, the Vic's got silver.  But, by golly, it was a very slim loss to Queensland. Apart from State and National duties Margaret was kept busy winning 3 State Champion of Champions ('86,'96 and 2001), being Runner-up 3 times ('90,'93,'98), winning the State Singles ('97)and being Runner-up ('98 and '99).  All up, Margaret has so far represented Victoria a massive 184 times in Tests and Round Robins!

Margaret added a "GOLD" star to her hatband, about 1992. To date, her tally in representations for her country equals that of her State! Yes 184! She shared the National stage with greats such as: Audrey Rutherford; Daphne Shaw; Melva Pearce; Roma Dunn; Eda Bonutto; Willow Fong; Marylou Peddell; Karen Murphy; Marion Stevens; Lee Poletti and her mate Betty Herbertson.

The Everest in Lawn Bowls is "World Bowls" and our Terangamite plied her trade at 3 of them: Scotland in1992 (a Bronze in the Fours); England in 1996 (Gold in Fours and Silver in the Triples) and Australia in 2000 (Bronze in the Triples and Fours).   

There were no medals for Margaret in the 1994 Canada Commonwealth Games but the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games saw her win a silver in the Fours (alas, it was a one shot loss!).  Margaret won Golds and Silvers in 3 Pacific Games – Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand and kept up with the Golds and Silvers over 5 Trans Tasmans against New Zealand. 

At Terang Bowling Club you will see that Margaret has won their Club Championship 18 times (so far), and her Associations Champion of Champions, 14 times (so far).  The 2003/04 State Triples is also up there.  In addition to her sporting prowess, Margaret has also held the Presidential reins of her Club (Terang 2001-3) and her Association (Warrnambool D.L.B.A. 2003-5). That’s a huge commitment!. 

Margaret's career highlights include: playing with Mavis Meadowcroft; representing her country in the 2000 World Bowls at home (i.e..Moama,up the road and slightly to the right) and of course her many achievements, spanning the last 20 years with her good friend Betty Herbertson.  Betty and Margaret will play together again in August at Kingscliff. They have trekked to this Pairs event 8 times, coming 3rd last year, losing only 1 game.

Margaret is truly" A LEGEND" but never let that get in the way of the fact, that ,to anyone she has met, she's an all round champion person with a big happy smile and a willingness to share her time and experience. She never forgets a name and makes everyone feel her equal (gee, I wish I was that equal!).  GOOD ON YA , MARGARET!! 


Other Links
 Margaret's radio interview with Patrick McErlean in March, 2005