Honours Board

Legend of Bowls North Harbour – Carole Fredrick

Carole Fredrick was one North Harbour’s most illustrious women’s bowlers who was widely respected throughout the centre and elsewhere in New Zealand.

Originally from Wellington, she started bowling with her husband, Noel, also a competent player and solid administrator, at the Titahi Bay club in 1973.

But it was on the North Shore where she and Noel achieved most of their bowling success. Firstly as part of the old Waitemata women’s centre and then with what eventually became Bowls North Harbour, Carole played for the Stanley club, then Sunnybrae, Glenfield and finally for many seasons with Birkenhead.

In all, she won 27 centre titles, two national titles and two Taranaki fours.

In her teenage years she had played representative cricket and netball and her sporting pedigree included a father, Eddie Barton, who played association football for New Zealand, and an older brother, Paul Barton, who was a lovely test batsman for New Zealand cricket sides in the 1960s. Among his deeds was a test century against South Africa in 1961-62 when New Zealand toured that country under the captaincy of John Reid.

Little wonder, with such a sporting background that Carole soon established herself as an accomplished bowler, who went on to win in all 27 centre titles, two national titles and two Taranaki fours.

Her first national title came in 1999 in the fours when she was in a Harbour composite skipped by the great Marlene Castle and which also included a close friend, and another Harbour legend, Mary Gulbrandsen, as well as Paulette Mytton.

But her most satisfying feat came with her second fours national success with her close friend, Ruth Lynch, Gayle Melrose and Lisa Helming.

This was in 2012 and it was especially precious for Carole in that it was achieved, in an age dominated by “dream team” composites, by an entirely club combination. Noel, who pre-deceased her by some years, was ailing at the time and Carole dedicated the win to him.

Lynch, another with many Harbour centre titles, many of them won with Carole, has recalled her bowling buddy with unqualified affection.

While they had many wins together, they were not what Ruth has treasured most from her friendship with Carole. “What I cherish most is that we played for fun and what I remember most is the laughs we had together,” she says.

Though highly competitive, Carole was always a gracious opponent. She continued to play into her final years or so, passing away aged 80 in January, 2020.