History of Club Tournaments

Researched and compiled by Honorary Life Member and former webmaster JoAnn Allan

Challenge Trophy – Every year on Opening Day since 2005, the Mayor of Victoria and 2 aldermen are invited to join 3 club members in a friendly 4 end game of triples after which they all enjoy some tea and strawberry shortcake with ice cream. All participants are commemorated on the trophy, win or lose.

Joan Turner Mixed Triples  Joan Turner was a long time member. She and her sister, Marjory Speed, were a formidable pairs team on the circuit. Over her playing career, she won many trophys. In 1970 she was the secretary/treasurer of the Greater Victoria Ladies Lawn Bowling Association (the forerunner of BSI) She was the Ladies Gold Medal singles champion of the 1980 summer games held in Kelowna. She became one of the first lady umpires and a member of the Provincial Committee in charge of umpire training, headed by Tom McKeachie. The club established the tournament to honor her in 2004.

Civil Service Peace Trophy –  donated by the Civil Service bowlers in 1919 in commemoration of the peace with Germany. Originally named the Civil Service Peace Bowl, it was considered emblematic of the men’s singles championship of Vancouver Island. Anywhere between 50 – 100 players from Nanaimo, Duncan, and local clubs would participate and as many as 200 spectators would watch the final game. Those knocked out in the preliminary 1st & 2nd rounds would bowl in a pairs or triples consolation game.

Around 1931, the winner took possession of the cup and was also presented with a gold medal. Alec McKeachie, father of Tom McKeachie (see McKeachie  Mixed Triples below), won the Cup 3 times.

Findlay Memorial Trophy – in memoriam for Archibald B Findlay for men’s singles. This tournament is played in conjunction with the Civil Service Peace Trophy and the Coast Capital Shield. It was inaugurated in 1968.

The following is taken from the Vic West Club in Esquimalt: Archie and Nellie Findlay were long time members of the (Vic West) club who, while they declined to hold office, worked tirelessly doing the many tasks on the green and in the clubhouse that make a club successful.

Coast Capital Shield – Donated by Coast Capital Savings Credit Union for Men’s Singles.

Richard Mermer Quaddie – This plaque was presented to the club by Jean Wright in 1996 to honor Richard Mermer, a retired Physical Education teacher from Ontario. Richard was a top bowler and a highly respected coach before he passed away.

Lloyd Cup Mixed Scotch Pairs – retired in 2018 and replaced by the Honorary President’s Trophy.

Jean Wright Mixed Triples
Jean Travis Wright was born in Davidson SK in 1917 and grew up in Vancouver.  She was a top singles player and a long time member and passionate supporterof the club. She served as Honorary President.  She donated the trophy in memory of her husband. It was first awarded in 2002. She passed away at her home in Victoria Dec 29, 2008.

Veterans Cup 70+ Singles
This cup was started in honor of the WW1 Veterans, It was first awarded to the men’s singles in 1933 but in recent years has become the trophy for the 70+ Singles tournament.


Dewar Cup Women’s Pairs
David Dewar was born in Ontario, Nov 26, 1865. He moved to Victoria in 1893 and worked as a tram motorman and later as chief clerk customs  BC Electric. In 1928, He was the auditor for the women’s club. It was about this time that he started generously donating  $5 towards prize money for their tournaments. ($5.00 in 1920 had the same buying power as $65.22 in 2018).  After his death on Jan 2, 1946 from brain cancer, his brother, R.A.C. Dewar, a past president of the club, donated this cup in his memory. David is buried in Royal Oak Burial Park. He lived at 1240 Oxford St.

totem-trophies-001Totem Mixed Pairs – This tournament has a long and interesting past.   Originally, the winners were presented with a pair of authentic miniature totems. The winners could keep one each for a year and then return them for the next year’s winners. The totems were carved in the 1920’s by Charlie James, a carver from Port Townsend, Washington, at the request of club member, William Halliwell. Charles James died in 1938. There are beautiful pictures in a binder in the club.  In 1984 the executive committee decided that due to the value of these totems ($3000 each) plus the need for safe-keeping, restoration etc. they should be donated to the Royal BC Museum who now holds them in their collection.

In place of the totems, a plaque is presented to the winner. The design for the plaque was created by Richard Hunt, a world famous carver, and was commissioned by Peter McNair, Curator of Ethnology at RBCM, for the club. Club member, Sam Fawcett made the plaque.

Challenge Cup – Men’s Singles – was presented to VLBC by Shortt, Hills, & Duncan Ltd. The first winner was John A. Turner in 1912. He was president of VLBC and mayor of Victoria in 1913 and premier of BC  in 1908. The cup was not presented again until 1930.

McDonald  Cup Women’s Singles –
was presented to the Victoria Ladies Lawn Bowling Club by Mrs. J. C. McDonald in 1932. She was among the original members of the women’s club and a very active member. In 1930, she was the Secretary-Treasurer and in 1932 she became vice-president. Also in that year she played in the Butchart Cup as 2nd on Mrs. McKeachie’s fours team.

Simmons Cup – Mrs T.A. (Florence Frances Lee)Simmons, presented this cup to the Victoria Ladies Lawn Bowling Club in 1937. She was born on Aug 30 1884 in London England.   In 1934, she was elected the 1st president of the Greater Victoria Ladies Lawn Bowling Association. She was the club secretary from 1931 – 1945. 2  years later in 1947, she was again president of the GVLLBA. She was very active in all aspects of club activities. This interclub fours tournament was originally held on 2 different days about a week apart. It changed to a triples tournament in 1953. Florence Simmons died on May 14 1974 at the age of 89 and is buried in Royal Oak Cemetery.

Knut Berg Charity Cup – Knut Berg
is an honorary life member of the club. He has contributed to the club in so many ways over the years, most notably in the past, taking care of the greens  In 1994, the club decided to honor him with this tournament. Knut wanted it to be a charity tournament so there are 4 different charities that are on rotation plus one other of the club’s choice.

mckeachieMcKeachie Mixed Triples – Tom was a well-respected rugby, football, basketball and lacrosse player in the 1940’s on fields and in gyms all over Victoria and British Columbia.  He turned to cricket in the 1950’s and exchanged his many sporting jerseys for a whistle. He also officiated in basketball and lacrosse. It was in his final sport that Tom McKeachie turned his hand and mind to and left his greatest legacy. From the 1960’s to 1985, Tom was a keen and important lawn bowler, administrator and builder on the city, provincial and national scene.  His pinnacle as a player came in 1973 when he won the Walt Disney Masters in Hollywood, California. Tom was president of the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club, the B.C. Lawn Bowling Association and vice-president of the Canadian Lawn Bowling Council.

(from the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame where he is listed as a builder)
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Tolmie Trophy – This trophy was presented to the Ladies section of VLBC in 1929 by the Hon. Simon Fraser Tolmie and Mrs. Tolmie for annual competition. From 1929-1945, the competition included teams from Pt. Grey, Kerrisdale, Terminal, Vancouver South, Stanley Park, CPR Vancouver, Burnaby, and North Vancouver. Since 1988, it has been the trophy for the Women’s League at VLBC

The Tolmie family have a long history in Victoria beginning in the early 1800’s. At the time of presentation, the Hon. S.F. Tolmie was premier of BC.

Novice Women’s Trophy – This trophy was first presented in 1984 by Jessie Thomson. It was replaced by a second trophy presented by Jackie MacLean, a former president,  in 2012 shown here.

The O * O Cup for Novice Men – The cup was presented to VLBC by Duncan & Gray Ltd. The first winner was George Roberts in 1914. He was a former ship’s captain and at the time he won the cup, he was employed by E.B. Marvin & Co., Ship’s Chandlers. The cup was not presented again until 1931.

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