Shane Gibson – Obituary by Lindsay Knight

  • January 10, 2023

      Shane Gibson, who was admired by all in the North Harbour centre for his courage in battling a battery of health issues, passed away last week, aged in his mid 40s.

Shane Gibson

  Despite his many ailments, Shane was something of medical marvel, becoming an excellent bowler who represented North Harbour regularly at junior, development and open levels.

 In 2007 at the age of 30 he underwent both heart and kidney transplants. These came after a virtual lifetime of health struggles which started with a rare blood disorder in his childhood.

 By the age of 11 he had a marrow transplant and his organs were so weakened that before he was 30 he had suffered 12 heart attacks and had had 11 stents inserted.

 As a youngster Shane had been a promising tennis player and because of his health he switched in 2000 to the gentler exercise of bowls.

 Most of his bowls was at the Birkenhead club, where he came under the wing of stalwarts like Keith Burgess, Lionel Drew and especially Rod Mahon.

 He won several club titles, including against a strong field in 2006 the open singles when he was on dialysis. But despite being in six finals a centre open title eluded him. At national level he suffered similar frustration when in 2010 he and Mahon were narrowly beaten in the Trusts New Zealand Open at Henderson in the pairs final. That year Shane also made the singles semi-finals and the triples quarter-finals.

 His bowls feats were matched by his academic achievements: a business studies degree from Massey University and studies and lecturing roles in sports management.

 He worked for a time for Bowls New Zealand and in 2018 was appointed North Harbour’s secretary-manager, only for his health to force him to step down after a brief period.

  It was typical of his spirit that just before Christmas, when he knew his time was up, he posted on Facebook a farewell filled with humour to his many friends. Rest in peace, Shane.