Beaufort’s Ethel Glenister dies in hospital; second victim of Avoca bowls bus trip crash

Beaufort’s Ethel Glenister has died in hospital after a bus she was on rolled near Avoca on Saturday last week.

The 87-year-old’s death followed the death of Carmel Mitchell, 71, who died at the scene.

Ethel was remembered as a stalwart of the Beaufort Golf and Bowls Club, where she has been president, secretary and club champion.

Beaufort Golf and Bowls Club president Lester Harris said she was a popular member and bowler.

“She will be missed because of good humour and good sportsmanship,” he said.

“Ethel has been an absolutely lovely lady.

“We will sorely miss for her cheery personality.”

Ethel’s bowling spanned 27 years at the club, which hosted a candlelight vigil from 6pm on Sunday, to remember her contribution.

The long-time Beaufort resident was a great-grandmother and mother of four.

Ballarat division president Sandra Chapman said bowlers across the region had been devastated by the death of another player.

“It brings it all back and people are dealing with the grief and trauma again,” she said.

“Games will go ahead this week, we thought people need to be together – the bowling doesn’t matter – people have to get that social contact for support.”

Ethel was one of 29 people on the bus, which was driving back to Ballarat from Mildura following a bowls tournament. 

The passengers were from 12 of the 24 clubs across the Ballarat division.

Games were cancelled for competitions on the Monday after the crash.

Rohan Quinton, who oversees the bowls arm of the club, said he expected a lot of people to attend the vigil on Sunday night.

“We played pennant bowls yesterday because that is what Ethel would have wanted,” he said.

“We expect a lot of people here from Beaufort.

“I would imagine a lot of people will come down tonight.”

Emergency services, including Ambulance helicopters attended the crash about 500 metres north of Stawell-Avoca Road about 3pm on October 14. 

Police said the bus was travelling south when the driver lost control of the vehicle.

It left the highway and rolled down an embankment, snapping nearby tree branches and flipping the vehicle on its side.