HISTORY OF THE OSHAWA LAWN BOWLING CLUB
Credit for the advent of lawn bowling in Oshawa is attributed to Fredrick Bull, a newcomer to Oshawa, who was associated with the Williams Piano Works. He made his home with Eli Edmondson for some time. Eli’s home was known as Prospect House. In 1904, the first lawn bowling took place in Oshawa on his property which was known as Prospect Park. Later, it became the property of Colonel and Mrs. R.S. McLaughlin. It was given the name Parkwood, by which it is still known today.
Mr. Bull was an ardent lawn bowler. He persuaded his friend Eli to utilize a portion of his property for a bowling green, consisting of four rinks. Twenty-two charter members formed the first Oshawa Lawn Bowling Club, including R. Babbit, J. Beck, F. Bull, H. Carswell, L. Cassells, E. Edmondson, J.R, Mackie, N. McAdie, J. Schofield, L. Stevenson, A. Sykes and R. Williams.
In 1907, Oshawa lawn bowlers were enjoying their sport on a green with seven rinks, located on the property of the Williams Piano Works on the corner of Simcoe and Richmond Streets. However, with the rapid growth of the city of Oshawa, this property was required for business interests.
In 1923, a municipal lot on the southwest corner of Alexander and Simcoe Streets, adjoining the Oshawa General Hospital grounds, was secured. Through the efforts of J.L. Whattam, A.J. Salter and A.G. Lambert in particular, ten rinks were made available to Oshawa lawn bowlers.
Many enjoyable games were played on these greens.
On August 1st, 1939, the club once again moved, this time to city property on the northeast corner of Colborne Street West and McMillan Drive (now Kaiser Crescent). Dr. W.J. Langmaid was president at the time. The club was given a fifty year lease. There were sixteen greens at this location.
The Oshawa Lawn Bowling Club hosted the first General Motors 'Gold Cup' Tournament in 1939. Colonel R.S. McLaughlin, past president of General Motors of Canada Limited, donated the trophy for this event, honouring his company. Altogether, fifty-two 'Gold Cup' tournaments were held here.
Many members were very sad to leave this lovely old club when, on the July 1st weekend in 1990, the club moved to its present quarters at the Northview Community Centre at 150 Beatrice St. in Oshawa. There are sixteen greens at this location and a very active membership.
During the first part of the 20th century, lawn bowling was a gentleman’s sport, but in 1930, women were invited to become bowlers.
In the mid 1970s, a junior program was established to encourage young people to play the sport.
In 1993, a program was initiated to make the sport available to the visually impaired.
The Oshawa Lawn Bowling Club is a remarkable club, with keen competitors, memorable tournaments, caring members, and the best possible environment in which to play the sport of lawn bowling.
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