Thursday, May 1, 2014
Love of the Lawn
Chilliwack bowling community looks to
add new members
The Chilliwack Lawn Bowling Club's
ceremonial golden bowl sits on the green at the Open House last
Saturday. Below, Doug Fraser throws out the golden bowl.
91-years-old, the Chilliwack Lawn Bowling Club is the oldest
sporting facility in the city. But believe it or not, some people
playing it in town are older. For instance, Don Buchanan is an
active member and he's 93-years-old.
Even though the grass had yet to be manicured, the Chilliwack Lawn
Bowling Club threw open the doors to new members at the clubhouse
located across from the Armouries building at 9350 Edwards Street.
Old friends trickled in and upstairs where they were met with of
hugs and smiles.
the uninitiated, lawn bowling appears to be for crusty old people,
but the sport is actually being played by people all across the age
"Our club is on the cusp of palliative care," quips president Carol
After being hit by a golf
ball, a man in his nineties was looking for a safer sport and ended
up at the Clubhouse on Saturday. A sport that was no harder to play
than walking a dog.
"It's a genteel, cerebral and sociable game that bonds people of any
age," said Bell. "It was a lifeline for me after Dave died."
Bell says members have the freedom to play 7 days a week, days or
The sport is good for retirees giving people an opportunity to
remain active and the club has a flexible schedule. According to
Bell, more younger people are discovering the sport.
"Last year, we had two different batches of kids from Promontory
Church and they absolutely loved it," she said. "We gave them a
quick little tutorial on how to throw the bowl, they're bias so they
just don't go straight."
"We had snacks for them and they ended up having to eat their them
on the way back home because they stayed and stayed to play."
Bells says she expects them back because they had such a good time
"They want to make it an annual thing."
Don't have any bowls? That's fine says Bell.
"We have quite a few sets of club bowls so people don't even have to
have their own. Basically just show up with your tennis shoes on."
Bell says they hope to find partners in the non-profit sector
looking to stage fundraising events modeled on
www.lawnsummernights.com which can help introduce new
participants to the venerable game of bowls.
Chilliwack resident Doug Fraser spends his winters in Mesa Arizona.
In the summer, you can find him on the bowling greens at the club.
"I play every second day, and I cut the lawn," says Fraser.
Fraser says when compared to a sport like golf, lawn bowling is much
All the bowls have a bias on them with a small ring on one side and
a larger ring on the other side. When thrown, the bowls tend to
curve, similar to curling.
The white bowl is call the "jack" and players try to get their bowls
as close to it as possible.
"What happens when you throw the ball, it will run straight for what
you have aimed for and the last one-third of where the bowl's going
to go, it will curve towards the side of the small bowl," explains
Fraser. "So, for instance, when you bowl to the white jack that you
throw out first, that's the object of the game, to get as close to
the jack with the bowl."
Fraser says that if there's dew on the grass, you can see the track
that the bowl will make getting to the jack.
Fraser holds up a bowl and points to its sides.
"If you're bowling to the right, the small circle would come to the
inside, and it will run for the jack but you don't aim for the jack,
you aim to the right or left and the bowl will curve," says Fraser.
Club tournaments include; men's, women's, singles, pairs, triples,
Drop-ins pay $5/game which
consists of 12 ends. Annual memberships are $160 and that covers
everything, including the odd hug or two. The season runs from April
26 until the end of October depending on the weather.
Greens are open 7 days per week as follows:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:30 am - morning bowling
Tuesday, Thursday: 6:45 pm - evening bowling
Saturday: 10:00 am - morning bowling
Sunday: 2:00 pm - evening bowling
For more information, call (604) 795-2637.
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Previous Voice coverage –
The Best Shot - May 9 2013
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