At the age of 77 years and four months, Garry van Wyck became the oldest person in Australia to bowl a reconsigned 300 game.
Or in other words, he had a perfect game.
It was the Hunter-based bowler’s seventh 300 game, and he’s bowled every single one of those at his beloved home centre of Raymond Terrace StrikeZone.
Previously, the oldest person to bowl a recognised 300 game was Robert Harrison on 10 March 2013, at the age of 75 years and four months, at Tenpin City in New South Wales.
Speaking on his behalf, wife Elizabeth van Wyck explained Garry’s first 300 game came nearly two decades ago on 26 January 2004.
“He was over the moon as he had come so close at Maitland Bowl, bowling a 290 game and he continued to bowl at Maitland until it closed,” she said.
Garry considers his 300 achieved earlier this year, as one of his most memorable bowling moments. He was in the zone that game, he heard nothing around him except for the ball hitting the pins and doesn’t even recall talking to his teammate.
But when he rolled the last ball and realised that he had another 300 game he was so excited.
“He was telling everyone that he was good, he even rang me at home to tell me which is very unusual,” Elizabeth recalled.
“He was totally over the moon realising that he still had it in him, as he had been having a few problems of late with his bowling as well as sciatica problem with his right leg, but that all disappeared after that last ball after the game.”
Currently, bowling at Raymond Terrace three times a week, Garry loves everything about bowling from the people he has met to the tactics behind the game.
“What Garry has always enjoyed while bowling was the challenges, and the people,” said Elizabeth.
“Learning to read the lanes, oil patterns, how the ball rolls. For example, Maitland Bowl had wooden lanes and Raymond Terrace had new synthetic lanes so the approaches were a huge learning curve for him.
While Garry has spoken about giving up bowling, Elizabeth doesn’t think that will be happening for quite some time yet.
“Bowling has given him lifelong friendships with loads of fun and laughter along the way,” Elizabeth said. “I can’t see him giving it up any time soon, it’s in his blood now.”