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Park Board partner celebrates 100 years of lawn bowling in Stanley Park

June 16 2017

“It’s great to see lawn bowling gain new popularity and I look forward to celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Stanley Park Lawn Bowling Club,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe.

SPLBC opening day 1919

The Stanley Park Lawn Bowling Club (SPLBC) is celebrating its 100th anniversary just as it is undergoing a youthful transformation.

Recently, a youngish LGBT group with a curling club decided to adopt the sport of lawn bowling and pushed membership up. The club now has more evening and weekend leagues, which has attracted a younger membership.

Sport growing in popularity

“We were inspired to join because it’s such a beautiful location in the West End where the community can come together and play a sport,” said Chris Chapman, SPLBC Games Director.

He’s also a member of the LGBT group and encouraged members to join SPLBC.

 “It’s great to see lawn bowling gain new popularity and I look forward to celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Stanley Park Lawn Bowling Club, which is an important part of Stanley Park’s 129-year storied sport history,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe.

Club opens in May 1919

The club officially opened in May 1919 with men bowling in suits, ties and hats.

SPLBC signed a lease with the Park Board and had a bowling green built in the area known as the elk paddock at the Beach Avenue entrance—the present location of the club. For many years it was segregated by sex and only became integrated in 1986. More information about the club’s history can be found at splbc.com.

Membership in the club is growing every year. Currently, there are 270 bowlers and 80 social members making it the largest lawn bowling club in Canada.

 “There has been quite a resurgence of younger members in the last few years and now, for the first time ever, half of our bowlers are under the age of 65,” said Chair of the SPLBC Gala Centennial Weekend Lois Goodeve.

Two SPLBC bowlers received their 50-year pins last year making them the longest playing members in the club.

Gala weekend June 16 - 18

The 100th anniversary gala weekend is June 16 – 18 and includes music, dancing, a BBQ, card tournaments, a club history presentation, and a bowling event—a 100-end game starting June 16 at 11 am and continuing throughout the weekend.

Sporting facilities in Stanley Park, which opened in 1888, include Second Beach Pool, tennis courts, pitch & putt, track, rugby and cricket fields.