The Bendigo lawn bowls community is mourning the passing of Don Sherman.
Sherman passed away on Thursday after a battle with illness. He was 82.
Sherman will be remembered as one of Bendigo’s finest sportsmen.
He created history in 1982 in Brisbane when he was part of the fours team which won Australia’s first lawn bowls Commonwealth Games gold medal. Sherman represented Australia in 58 matches and played for Victoria a remarkable 321 times.
Sherman went on to coach in the Bowls Australia high performance program and was national coach/manager for four years.
Sherman’s glittering lawn bowls career might not have happened if not for a workplace accident.
A fast bowler with Bendigo in the BDCA and footballer with Golden Square in the BFL, Sherman won the BDCA A-grade bowling average in 1957-58.
“When he was 19 he was an apprentice builder and he cut two of his fingers off on his right hand,’’ Sherman’s son, Don Jr, said on Friday.
“The injury put an end to his cricket and footy. He was a member of the Master Builders Association and he went along to a bowls night the association ran and (his love of the sport) grew from there.
“With his competitive nature he became quite good at it and that led to Victorian selection and then Australian selection.”
Sherman joined the South Bendigo Bowls Club where he spent all his career except for two years with Eaglehawk in the early 2000s.
“He won 21 club championships at South Bendigo, 13 club pairs championships, he was president and he was greens director for 40 years,’’ Don Jr said.
Sherman was one of the inaugural inductees to the then Bendigo Advertiser Sports Star Hall Of Fame in 1994.
“As much as he loved playing, he also loved coaching and helping people,’’ Don Jr said.
“He coached the Wilson boys in Bendigo who have gone to have some great success.
“He was always actively involved in sport. He was president of Golden Square Football Club in the 1970s as well. He was a very competitive man when it came to sport and business and that’s probably why he achieved what he did.”
The Commonwealth Games gold medal and a gold medal at a World Cup in Scotland were Sherman’s career highlights at international level.
A Bendigo Bowls Division premiership with his sons Don Jr and Greg also held a special place in Sherman’s career.
“Dad joined Greg and myself out at Eaglehawk and we all played in a grand final together,’’ Don Jr said.
“We went on to win what was called then the Group Five country grand final and then we were runners-up in the state pennant.
“Dad always considered playing in a grand final with two sons just as big a highlight as everything else.”
Sherman is survived by his wife Judy and their sons Bill, Greg and Don Jr.
A funeral service will be held at South Bendigo Bowls Club on August 4 at 1.30pm.