The year was 1902. The mode of transportation to go bowling was streetcar, horse and buggy, or walking. The setting was the Tivoli Alleys on James Street North. A small group of men gathered to form the City Tenpin League and decided to bowl on Mondays at 9 p.m. Two oddities in those early years were the league executive having to check the lanes every week and bang down any protruding nails and the foul-line judge who sat in a high chair at the foul line and switched on a light bulb if you fouled. The late Bill Bailey set a world record for bowling in the league for 72 years in a row, from 1907 to 1979. Starting next season, Phil Morris will enter his 60th consecutive year.
For over 50 years the league has bowled at Skyway Lanes, still on Monday nights. It is the oldest sanctioned league in Canada.
Before year 110 starts, the champions from year 109 were declared. In first place were Bill Lishinski, Roy Ward, Matt Glidden, and Sam Gualtieri. Second place went to Mark Matthews, Randy Latendre, Pete Haveman and Mick Anderer while the Lacroix boys, Brent, Tim, Mike, and Matt were third. High average honours went to Anderer at 211 by two pins over Tim Enoksen. A tight battle for high triple as Gord Fickley’s 759 edged out Tim Gamble’s 756. The race was even tighter for high single as Anderer, Haveman and Glidden tied at 279. The winners in “B” division were Brent Lacroix 737 and 266, John Neskovic, 690, Jerry Cote, 264, and Bill Ralston, 256. Ivan Rudyk improved his average 18 pins to 147.
There were 14 triples of 700 or better with Glidden and Anderer having a pair. In the race for most 600 or better triples – there were 220 – Enoksen edged Anderer 26-25. Of the 58 games above 250, Anderer rolled nine, Enoksen had seven and Randy Bukowski, five.
In the second last week of Skyway VSL action, Ed Margueratt took over high single with a 254 en route to a 622 triple which followed a 638 the previous week. Derek Hannah fired his second 243 of the season and Sylvester Salve tallied a 197 and Brian Cooper, 195. A trio of 11 strikes in a row at Star Lanes were scored by Terry Mees, 290, Mike Garinger, 279, and Deric Curley, 278.
Eight-year-old Brock Martin, with a 93 average, was plus seven at 154. In just over one month, Colton Williams, with a 204 average, blasted triples of 714 (244), 723 (267), 710 (246), and 671 (288). Dylam Williams dealt a 252 for a 654 triple, Adam Henley had a 600 (224), and Martin twice beat his average by over 50 pins with 166 and 157.
Caro Goossens carded a 132 triplicate at Burlington Bowl and Hamilton women surpassing 225 were Sandra Cox, 247, Debbie Fawcett, 239, Michelle Anger and Tamiko Hikida, 233, Lorna Holmes, 232, Susan Scargall, 231, Sandra McKeown, 226, Kathy Kishimoto and Sheila Fiorini, 225, and Kristy Toth, was plus 75 at 235. Kim Feere, 132 average, tossed a 202 and 529 triple. Sue Oxtoby beat her 150 average by 70 pins with a 220 for a 539 triple. Helen Nalborczyk, 132 average, eased over 500 by 12 pins, Wanda Ward scored a 509 and Shirley Morris came in with a 503.
The Canadian Tenpin Federation National Championships is set for this weekend at Classic Bowl. Congratulations to Canada’s Dan MacLelland who won a silver medal in the Masters final at the Pan Am Tournament in Florida. After beating U.S. pro Amleto Monacelli, 279-217, he lost the final match 236-209 to a Colombian.
HAMILTON BOWLING TRIVIA
Brian McKenzie was away from five-pin bowling for 20 years and in his return 23 years ago, fired a perfect 450 game at Sportsman Lanes.
Jerry Ormond in his Hamilton Spectator Diary column asked, “What happened to all the bowling alleys in Hamilton”? He said there was only one, Martin’s Bowling Alley at 929 King St. E. and all the others were called lanes, bowlerama or centres. Forty years before in 1949, of the 15 places to bowl, 10 were called alleys
One hundred and twenty years ago, there was a Mac’s Bowling Emporium on James North. If you look closely, the name is still there.