This past weekend in Ontario featured a look at some future stars of the game, as well as honouring some bowling greats.
On Saturday night in Hamilton, the 37th O5PBA Hall-of-Fame dinner was held to induct seven new members. The event was hosted by new O5 President, John Cresswell with Walter Heeney handling the presentation duties.
As per tradition, Walter began the presentations (accompanied by a slide show) with his Bowling Dream, a look at what those legends who have left us might be doing up in heaven. As always, it was a wonderful trip down memory lane and tribute to those who have passed on.
This year’s class of inductees included one Legend, two Builders, 3 Players and one Dual Inductee (Players Division).
Joining the Legends division was Ken Roy. Ken grew up in Nova Scotia and started his bowling career playing Candlepins where he excelled, including bowling a single game record of 180. When his job brought him to Ontario, he adapted his style to compete in 5-Pin and went on to an illustrious career in our game, including 3 Master Bowlers Association victories in the 1965-66 season.
Inducted as a Builder, Gerry James has spent sixty-five years in the bowling industry. He started out manufacturing lanes with Brunswick and then got into the installation part of the business, putting in lanes from Saskatoon to Ottawa. An expert on the subject, Gerry gave a seminar in 1953 on lane maintenance that still holds much relevance. Gerry went on to become a proprietor, and a leader in the community.
Also inducted as a builder, Henry Pachulec was a leader who, at the age of twenty-two, became an executive member of the Hamilton 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association. He spent many successful years with the Hamilton Association, seeing membership peak at 12,000 members in 1968. His coaching career included being instrumental in the course creation for the National Coaching Certification Program as well as mentoring scores of YBC bowlers. Henry and his guitar also entertained folks at events everywhere.
Already inducted as a Builder in 1989, Don Walker was honoured as a Player. In addition to a fantastic career competing on the lanes, which included a lifetime 254 Masters’ average, Don also served as “Chief Instructor” for the MBAO from 1965-1970. Don still serves the game well and currently sponsors a yearly event at Pla-Mor Lanes.
Inducted as a Player, Ian Wilson has been a huge part of the Hamilton zone, representing them for nearly 30 years at the Open, as a bowler or as a coach. With a fine MBAO career and 2 perfect games to his credit, Ian has also shared his expertise by coaching in the YBC for 36 years. A Level 2 coach and Certified Judge of Play, Ian continues to volunteer and compete in the game.
Joining Ian in the Players Division was Oshawa’s Roger Davies. A 2-time Ontario Open team Champion, and 3-time Masters Winner, Roger’s shining moment came in 1982 as he won both Provincial and National Singles Gold. Roger credits long-time coach, the late Bert Harding with harnessing his technique, and his temper! (Incidentally, Bert was also the biggest influence on my own career). An intense competitor in his prime, Roger has mellowed (somewhat) over the years and continues to battle knee and back woes to compete in the game he loves.
The final inductee of the evening was Claudina Sula. Claudina’s incredible career on the lanes includes a phenomenal record in the Open and 9 Masters wins in Ontario. She has also won the aggregate on four occasions and in 2000, was selected 4th on Ontario’s Top 90 list of all-time female bowlers. After serving as an instructor at a bowling school out west run by Tom Paterson, Claudina, along with Cathy Daku, was instrumental in developing the first Ontario Bowling School in 1991. That program continues to the day and awards “All-Star” plaques in her name. In speaking to bowlers for my “23 Questions” segment or just in passing, no one’s name is mentioned as a “role model”, “idol” or “mentor” as much as Claudina’s! A fact that speaks greatly for her talent, her leadership and her class!
Once again, congratulations to all the Inductees and kudos to the organizing committee for putting on such a first-class event!
The complete bios, compiled by Walter Heeney, can be viewed at o5pba.ca.
For those who have never attended the dinner, it is a tremendous celebration of our game!!
While Saturday night was a celebration of the game’s veteran stars, Sunday featured a bright look into the future as a whopping 105 teenagers participated in the Stellar Youth Fall Classic in Newmarket.
This event consisted of a 5 game qualifying round, with handicaps based on 80% of the difference of the bowler’s average and 250. Bowlers aged 13-19 paid a $50 entry for a chance to win the $1000 first prize. The top 30 bowlers cashed, with the top 24 making the single elimination match play round in which handicaps were still used.
In the qualifying round, Shania Neddo of Liberty Bowl in Bowmanville dominated the field, finishing 84 pins ahead of 2nd place qualifier DJ Villeneuve of Orleans. With an average in the 170s, Shania bowled games of 309, 242, 242, 217 and 256 for a terrific 1266 scratch score which totaled 1571 with handicap.
The top 8 qualifiers earned a first round bye and following Shania and DJ were Jennifer Kingsland, Matthew Beesak, Johnny Coulton, Jason Davidson, Michael Walley and Brendan Schroder.
While Shania would lose a tough match in the second round, DJ didn’t cool off as he built upon his 1487 (1447 scratch!) qualifying round by shooting 247, 332 and 313 scratch for his next 3 games to reach the final. The Championship match was best 2 out of 3, with DJ facing hometown bowler, Thomas Scott. Thomas was a member of last year’s Stellar Lanes Senior Boys team, who won the Southern Ontario 4-Steps Provincials.
DJ would dominate the first game with a 294 (286 flat) score. The second game went right down to the tenth, but when Thomas left a corner on the first ball, the Championship and the $1000 first prize was DJ’s. DJ’s 307 (299 flat) gave him the title and a whopping 2924 ten game scratch total!!
Congratulations to DJ and all of the bowlers for an impressive turnout and display!
Also, a tremendous job by Cathy Lamontagne who put in countless hours in organizing the event, and thanks to sponsors Sid Morris and Steve Phipps as well as Gord MacLeod from Stellar.
Tournament season is heating up around the country, including a big event in Edmonton this weekend. Don’t forget to send us your event info and results.
Here in Ontario, the inaugural Club Tour event (clubtour.ca) at Stellar Lanes is almost here and Youth Challenge and Open qualifying is only weeks away as well.