THE lawn bowls fraternity is in mourning at the passing of one of the sport’s greatest trailblazers, Bruce Hensell, chairman and former managing director of Henselite, the world’s largest bowls manufacturer.

Grandson of Henselite’s founder William Hensell, who mastered the art of turning materials into uniform bowls shapes, and son of Raymond Hensell, who introduced hard plastic phenyl formaldahyde as the material to produce bowls from; Bruce joined the company in 1956, adding his engineering prowess to operations and developing overseas markets to forge Henselite as a global brand.

‘I first met Bruce and Jenny during the 1980 World Championships in Melbourne at the Henselite tent,’ said World Bowls president John Bell. ‘We shared many enjoyable conversations during the tournament which continued wherever we met during my long career on the world circuit.

‘Bruce was a marvellous man – a pioneer and an icon in the development of our sport. The ‘Henselite bowl’ – his unique legacy – has endured the test of time and achieved global acclaim.

‘It was always a pleasure and privilege to enjoy Bruce’s company and listen to him proudly share his views and experience about our sport. He has earned a special place in bowls history and his contribution to our sport will never be forgotten.’

Bruce Hensell is survived by his wife Jennifer and sons Alistair and Mark – the current managing director of Henselite.