History of the Cowichan Lawn Bowling Club
The British introduced several sports to the Cowichan Valley during the 19th century. These include rugby, field hockey, cricket, polo, rowing, sailing, tennis and, of course, lawn bowling. In fact, the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club, which has been in operation for more than 120 years, is the second oldest in the world, surpassed only by Wimbledon.
These sports were played in the Valley by British naval personnel, retired Indian Army officers and “gentlemen” immigrants from the “mother” country. There have been at least three bowling greens in the vicinity of Duncan over the past century and a half. The present green is located in Centennial Park at the end of First Street, where visitors and spectators are always welcome. Prior to the establishment of this green another green was located near the present location of the Royal Bank on Trunk Road, across the street from the Duncan Mall.
The current Cowichan Lawn Bowling Club was established in 1997 and by August, 1998, members were on the green and learning to play the venerable game of lawn bowls. An ATCO trailer was purchased which served as the clubhouse for several years. It sported a very small kitchen, a fridge and one bathroom for almost 100 members. Because it could not accommodate all the members, the annual general meetings and Spring meetings were held at the Duncan Fire Hall. Finally, with some assistance from the Government of British Columbia, the new clubhouse became a reality in 2007. The new clubhouse is large enough to accommodate carpet bowls during the off-season.
CLBC Structure and Organization
The Cowichan Lawn Bowling Club is affiliated with Bowls South Island, Bowls B.C. and Bowls Canada. In addition to CLBC, Bowls South Island includes about ten clubs from Victoria and the Saanich peninsula. Our association with these organizations allows our bowlers to compete in tournaments anywhere in British Columbia. In addition, our affiliation with Bowls Canada allows our bowlers to play in national and international tournaments. If you visit other countries, you are often welcome to bowl as a guest on their greens.
The CLBC Board consists of a President, Vice President, Past President, Secretary and Treasurer. In addition, individual members of the Board take on responsibility for Games, Greens, Clubhouse, Membership, Grounds and Garden, Maintenance and Publicity.
The CLBC Board and contacts for the period October, 2020 - October, 2021 are:
President: Stephen Rikley (778) 677-4964
Vice President: Vacant
Secretary: Bonnie Younger (250) 743-5738
Treasurer: Gord Hamilton (250) 743-2828
Past President: Ross Bulley (250) 246-9958
Membership & Communications: Jude Cahoon (250) 246-9128
Games: Sue Higbie (250) 746-0180
Coaching: Betty Locke (250) 748-6542 and Joyce Gammie (250) 246-2484
Greens: Steve Lundahl (250) 748-2135
Property & Landscaping:
Hospitality & Clubhouse: Reen Lloyd (250) 748-8690
Publicity: Gordon Brownbridge (250) 748-2681
Planning Committee Chair: Joan Wilson (250) 748-2415
Current annual dues are $180. A portion of the fee goes to Bowls B.C. and Bowls Canada to support lawn bowling activities throughout the country.
Each year, members receive a Bowls B.C. affiliation card which entitles members to visit other clubs around the world and to compete in competitions (subject to local arrangements). Usually, clubs will allow our members to play about three games free of charge. This reciprocal arrangement makes it a pleasure to visit greens in other cities and countries.