Canyon ladies off to bowling nationals

Boston Bar team representing B.C. in five-pin championship

Three Boston Bar bowlers are heading to the Canadian championships of Club 55+ triples play

Three Boston Bar bowlers are heading to the Canadian championships of Club 55+ triples play

Last time, they got an all-expense-paid trip to Cambridge, Ontario. This time, they get to drive to Kelowna.

Still, that’s fine with Boston Bar bowler Lillian Forman and her two new teammates – they still get to represent B.C. at the Canadian Championships of Club 55+ women’s five-pin bowling.

Forman went to the national championships last year, along with teammates Julia Boldt and daughter-in-law Eleanor Forman, and the trio came home with the top prize.

This year, Forman emerged again as one of Canyon Lanes’ top four female bowlers, along with Cora Dunlop, Lesley Bowman and Pat Lelland. Dunlop qualified for the top three — and helped the team win the Zone 3 playdowns in Abbotsford — but had to forego the bowling for a trip of a lifetime.

“Cora was supposed to go to the B.C. playoffs in Kelowna — but she was going to the World Curling Championships in Switzerland with her four cousins,” said Forman. “Cora really enjoyed her trip… and, of course, the Canadian men won.

“Pat had the next highest pins over average in our Canyon Lanes playdowns, so she got to go to the Kelowna playoffs and she did very well.”

The Canyon’s Lanes men also went to the Zone 3 playdowns but Sid Hambly, Ken “Soup” Campbell and Forman’s husband Lloyd lost out.

At the B.C. playoffs at Kelowna’s Capri Valley Lanes, April 10, the Canyon women’s team had an outstanding second game.

“Lesley got six strikes in a row in the middle of the game,” said Forman. “We were all very excited. Her average is about 143 and she ended up with a 264. Pat and I got over our average as well, so we were way over our team average, by 175 points.”

Now that the Canyon women have brought the B.C. crown to Boston Bar, they can turn around and go back to Kelowna, as the Canadian championships are back in the same place again.

The bowling centre is in the Mission area, south of downtown Kelowna and it boasts 16 lanes of five-pin bowling. The competition takes place June 20-22.

“We don’t get to fly — but that’s okay. I think we’ll play nine or ten games,” added Forman. “I was fortunate to go to this one. I wasn’t bowling very well, earlier on — but I guess others did worse than I did! It’s nice to win, but we go for fun and we enjoy each other’s company. We meet new people and really enjoy ourselves.”

Forman’s husband Lloyd, who serves as Area A electoral director, figures the just-for-fun attitude may contribute to the Canyon bowlers’ history of success.

“We have cranked out a lot of winners,” he said in an interview last year. “I think it might be because we’re not all tense like the other bowlers. We’re just out there having fun.”

Lloyd said the lanes were built in about 1990 and have since become an important centre for the community.

“It’s owned and operated by the community,” he said. “They’re open every day of the week. We’ve also got the Sears depot, the Greyhound depot and space for a hairdresser who comes to town every month. There are a lot of community functions run through there.

“It was started by a group of guys who got together and wanted to build it without it going on the tax roll,” recalled Forman. “But they ran out of money, so it went to special referendum to raise the $235,000 to finish the job.

“It has really been a great facility for the community,” added Forman, crediting the original group with having the vision to locate it close to the Boston Bar School.

“It turned out to be the best location after all.”