It is with deep sadness that the SCCA notes the passing of one of our Life Members, Rex Bowden in his 79th year.
Rex was born in Timaru in 1930 and attended Timaru Preparatory School and Timaru Boys High School. There he played in the First XI and for South Canterbury in four matches during the 1947/48 season including one match against Fiji in 1947.
During the winter months he played hockey, representing South Canterbury first as a player and later as Captain.
He attended Dunedin Teachers College and played for the Albion-YMCA Cricket Club before returning to teach at primary school level in Timaru. Here he coached and played for the Old Boys Cricket Club.
Rex served on the South Canterbury Cricket Association for many years and was elected a life-member in 1976. In 1976 he was presented with the Rothmans National Cricket Coaching Scheme Award for Outstanding Service to Coaching.
In 1957 he was elected Secretary of the South Canterbury Cricket Umpires Association holding the position twice from 1957 – 1960 and 1961 – 1964. To the great regret of many, he retired in 1973 – but not from cricket.
Rex then spent the next years researching the Timaru Herald newspaper archives, sometimes spending up to four days a week in the basement of the Timaru Public Library. He recorded every report of cricket from 1864 until 1993; his efforts were completed in 1993 with the publication of his book, GREEN FIELDS OF YESTERYEARS.
It is from his original and ongoing research that many of the published and previously unpublished score sheets that now appear in the most recent publication called Seasons of Cricket. Rex was one of the three authors of this publication.