Tribute to John Wills – Lindsay Knight
Bowls North Harbour, and the Kaukapakapa, Helensville and Orewa clubs in particular, have all lost a remarkable character of the game, John Wills, who died on Wednesday at the grand old age of 103.
John won a centre-wide reputation as a specialist lead who was an impeccable draw bowler. He won four centre titles and continued playing well into his 90s.
He was in three Kaukapakapa teams which won Harbour titles, the first in the 1988-89 season in the champion of champions fours, in the same event again in 1990-91 and then the Dick Bree triples in 1992-93.
Ten years later, aged 85, he led for a Helensville four skipped by the legendary Ivan Kostanich which won the centre title.
When he turned 100 in September, 2017, the Orewa club staged a special tournament in his honour. This attracted a bumper entry of 34 teams who competed for total prize money of $1000.