WHANGANUI'S Peter Belliss has carved out a remarkable career in lawn bowls, built largely on a string of successes he achieved.

Born and bred in the River City, he was the first bowler in New Zealand to turn professional in 1982 while in his early 30s. It was a bold move but one taken because he had the foresight to see where the game was headed.

Born in 1951, Belliss did his secondary schooling at Wanganui Boys' College. He was a very good sportsman and excelled at rugby. On leaving school he started his working life with the railways as a fitter.

He played club rugby for Kaierau and later played representative rugby for the Wanganui team. But bowls was his true calling, and he was soon showing his talent.


Over time he won 19 centre titles and, with six world championship medals including three titles, he was the mainstay of New Zealand men's teams for more than 20 years.

Belliss won the world singles at Aberdeen in 1984, the pairs at Auckland in 1988 and the triples in Johannesburg in 2000. He was also runner-up in the triples at Adelaide in 1996 and third in the fours at Adelaide and again in Johannesburg.

He went to four Commonwealth Games — Brisbane in 1982 (bronze in the singles); Victoria in Canada in 1994 (bronze with the fours) and then Kuala Lumpur 1998 and Manchester 2002. He travelled as coach to Melbourne in 2006.

His national titles included six won with his home club Aramoho — singles in 1980-85-91, pairs in 1991-94 and the Superbowls in 1992, plus he won the fours in 2009.

Belliss' performances were recognised in the 1988 Queen's Birthday Honours when he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, for services to bowls.

Inducted into Whanganui's Sports Hall of Fame in 2008, five years later Belliss was an inaugural inductee into the Bowls New Zealand Hall of Fame.

Belliss was named as Whanganui sportsperson of the year in 1981, 1982 and 1983.