History

The Beacon Hill Bowling Club was established in Beacon Hill Park in 1909 and was incorporated by the Societies Act on January 13, 1909. In 1914, the name was changed to the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club. It remains one of the longest standing members of the Act and has occupied the same corner at Park Blvd. and Cook St. ever since. Bowling started on June 14, 1909 and we have operated continuously since that time with the Women’s Club, incorporated in 1921, being amalgamated with the Men’s Club in 1981.

More early History

In 2009 the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club was inducted into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame.

View the YouTube video about the history of the Club:

https://youtu.be/-05Li2fN4gY
(In the video, Alexander McKeachie’s wife, Jeannie, is incorrectly identified as Mary.)

Read about the McKeachie Legacy here

Read about our Founders:

William Oliphant,   John Arbuthnot,   Joseph Austin Sayward,
David Dickson England,   George Henry Barnard,
Noah Shakespeare
, Dr. Lewis Hall, and other founders, of the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club.
written by Jo Ann Allan.

Read the article about Lawn Bowling and Literature from page 8 in the March 2014 edition of the James Bay Beacon

1909 – Membership fees were $10.00 plus $1.00 for a locker. Today, that $10 is equivalent to approximately $220

1923 – Twenty six rinks took part in an international 4 day tournament. There were visiting skips from England, Duncan, and the mainland. The surplus proceeds of the tournament were turned over to the newly formed Burnside Club, then under construction.

September 19, 1928 – Victoria hosts 35 bowlers from New Zealand on the last lap of an Empire tour. They were taken on a tour of Victoria and Butchart Gardens. City Council hosted a dinner at the Hudson’s Bay Dining Room and H. Despard Twigg, MPP,  welcomed them on behalf of the province.

August 19,  1936 – The Daily Colonist
Victoria Lawn Bowling Club greens presented an animated as well as a beautiful scene yesterday afternoon when the women bowlers of the city and district gathered for the official presentation of the Butchart Cup to the women of the Victoria Club who had succeeded in overcoming all opposition during the season’s play.

The afternoon opened with a spirited contest on the greens, in which about one hundred women participated and the scene presented was one long to be remembered, the beautiful setting of the club grounds being enlivened by the variegated costumes of the contestants.

At the conclusion of the bowling, those present assembled in front of the clubhouse where the ceremony of presenting the trophy was carried out.  Mr. and Mrs. Butchart were introduced by Fred Davey who expressed the appreciation of all at the interest in lawn bowling manifested by the donors of the trophy.

 In handing over the cup to Mrs. Fred Mackenzie, president of the Victoria Club, Mr. Butchart congratulated the victors upon their success: also referring to the splendid reputation which Victoria had attained as the fine centre for good sportsmanship.  Mrs. Butchart also added her share of appreciation for the pleasure afforded the donors in being present at the annual function, one in which they hoped to participate many times in the future.

In acknowledging the receipt of the trophy as president of the club, Mrs. Mackenzie stated she considered it a very proud moment to have present the honorary president of the club in the person of Mrs. Butchart. Victorians were always proud to be associated with Mr. and Mrs. Butchart and family, those who had done so much, not only for the advancement of the city, but also to set an example in the cultivation of beautiful gardens. In concluding her remarks, Mrs. Mackenzie voiced her pleasure at taking charge of the trophy until better bowlers succeeded in taking it elsewhere.

At the conclusion of the ceremonies, afternoon tea was served by the members of the Victoria Women’s Lawn Bowling Club in the clubrooms.

The Butchart Trophy is competed for annually among the women bowlers of the Greater Victoria District and is considered the premier prize offered to the devotees of the game.

June 4, 1939 – The Daily Colonist

Women Lawn Bowlers to Compete in Butchart Cup Series
Opening match of the Butchart Cup women’s series in the Greater Victoria Ladies’ Lawn Bowling Association will open on the Lake Hill greens on Tuesday afternoon at 2:15 with the Canadian Pacific facing Victoria West and the home club entertaining Victoria.

Other league games follow:
June 13 –Burnside vs Victoria West;  Victoria vs Lake Hill; at Canadian Pacific greens.
June 20 – Burnside vs Canadian Pacific; Victoria West vs Lake Hill; at Burnside greens.
June 27 – Lake Hill vs Canadian Pacific; Victoria West vs Victoria; at Burnside greens.
July 4 – Lake Hill vs Burnside; Victoria vs Canadian Pacific; at Victoria West greens.

 1946 – Champ of Champ Singles tournament inaugurated. It was first played as a 16 end game and later changed to 15 points and a round robin.

August 1947, the club entertained 19 men and 8 women from Ontario who were on a “Goodwill Tour of the Prairie Provinces and BC”. The ladies were given a souvenir spoon.

1981 – The Women’s and Men’s  clubs amalgamated because one of the conditions of Civic and Provincial funding was amalgamation.

October 28, 1981 – Official Opening of the new Clubhouse. Bill Lipsey designed the building and Herman Rebneris was the construction manager. The cost estimate came in at $10,000 over budget so the members kicked in and did some exterior staining, cleaned up the construction site, assembled the lockers. helped to take down the old building, leveled the grounds around the building, and prepared the base for new sidewalks.