About Us

History

A Century in the making and still going strong. The history of the Elmwood Lawn Bowling Club is sketchy, but research done by Norma Grant  for the 80th anniversary of the founding and updated to 2011 by Shan Maxwell does weave an interesting story.

In the beginning, as they say, there were men and women working together to get the club rolling, but alas initially it was a ‘Men Only’ club. But as gender attitudes in the 20th Century evolved so they did at Elmwood. In 1930 women formed a separate club within Elmwood and by 1984 the men and women factors became one.

In 1911 The Club was located on Elmwood Avenue in the vicinity of the present club but the exact location is not known. In October and December of 1910 founding members began assembling land for the present site of the Club.  They leased some of the properties mainly the south green and clubhouse area.

Those original leases provided for bowling, but no ‘spiritous or fermented liquors’ were to be brought on to the property at any time and no bowling or any other pursuit was to be carried out on Sundays.

By 1914 more properties had been acquired to add the present north green area. The next year, 1915 a letter was sent to members inviting subscriptions or donations to build a Clubhouse. Dated November 30, 1915, it read as follows:

Dear Sir:

At a meeting of the Elmwood Bowling Club held Friday, November 26th, it was decided to incorporate the Club to purchase the “old” greens, and to build a clubhouse on property purchased from Mr. A.M. Hunt, being part of the lot on the north side of the present right-of-way. For this purpose subscription lists have been opened and members of the incorporation committee will receive subscriptions of five dollars ($5.00) and upwards, payable on or before March 1, 1916. All members are invited to subscribe. Any further information will be furnished by the committee.

Respectfully yours,

H.A. Kompass,              

Chairman of the committee

They evidently were successful because, in 1916 the original clubhouse was constructed with tongue and groove exterior, later covered with stucco. It was built on brick posts with no exterior perimeter foundation. There was a veranda along the entire length facing the greens. The clubhouse had no heat and was used only in the summer months. Later a kerosene space heater was added and served to inadequately heat the clubhouse for card parties during the less severe winter months. Those people near the heater roasted while those further away had to don their winter attire to be reasonably comfortable. These conditions remained until 1966.

On February 14, 1916, a Charter was issued under the name of ‘Elmwood Club Without Share Capital’. Commencing in 1921, it appears the Club started insisting that elected Directors pay $5.00 for the right to be a Director and even issued a Share Certificate until supplies ran out. Even after that, $5.00 was collected from each new Director and remained in effect until 1966 when the practice was abandoned.

The 1916 Charter provided for the sport of Lawn Bowling, Tennis, Curling, skating, and basketball. Again, no ‘spiritous or intoxicating liquors’ were allowed…and no gambling or betting.

Originally, it was a men-only club, but in 1930 the Ladies ran a parallel organization including election of officers, finances (dues included), tournaments and annual meetings. The Men’s Club had a duplicate organization plus maintenance of, and expenses of, the clubhouse and greens. The Ladies Club made a “cash donation” at the end of the year to the Men’s Club to help cover expenses.  

The Corporation (Elmwood Club) ceased filing returns with the government and the Corporation files were placed in dormant records of the Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Affairs. For the next 58 years, no formal steps were taken to correct the Letters Patent to dissolve the now dormant Corporation. But in December, 1982, the Club filed an annual return and put the Club in good standing again. Annual returns have been filed every year since. The Club still operates under the name “The Elmwood Club” (‘Bowling’ is not part of the Corporate name). To operate under the ‘Elmwood Lawn Bowling Club’ moniker a document was filed in 1983 to update the name. And it was then that the Men’s and Ladies’ clubs amalgamated.

It was an unwritten rule for years that the south end of the clubhouse was Ladies’ territory. In fact, the present folding curtain at the north end of the clubhouse originally separated the “Ladies Parlour” about 12 feet from the south wall. The parlour had an imitation fireplace on the South wall, wicker chairs and an Oriental rug.

In the early days, the kitchen was in about the present location, but the floor was lower than the main room and the walls were not finished…just 2x4s and ceiling rafters.

And in those early segregated days, the annual meetings were held at either Knox Presbyterian Church at the corner of Bruce Street and Wortley Road, or Calvary United on Ridout  Street. Ladies from each church catered the dinners. Each meeting began with a co-ed dinner, followed by separate Ladies’ and Men’s annual meetings. The odd message was exchanged when mutual concerns arose.

One annual August event was the Haskettt  tournament  popular in the 30s, 40s and 50s. It was named for the Haskett family, a Sponsor and major benefactor who lived in the large two-storey brick house at the southeast end of the Club property facing on Elmwood Avenue. A lavish roast turkey meal with all the trimmings was always served at tables set up on the lawn south of the clubhouse.

In 1965 the clubhouse underwent a two-year major renovation resulting in basically the present configuration.  It was done in two stages – the rear or east section including the kitchen, washrooms, locker room and furnace room were stage one. The front portion or west section was completed the following year with the official opening in 1967, Canada’s Centennial. Then Alderman Fred Gosnell did the ribbon cutting. The main work force consisted of Ron Jones, Fred Hoskin, Chester Philip, Harold Collins and Bud Grant. Long-time member George Wright, a plumber, installed all the plumbing at a great saving to the Club. Ron Jones was not only a champion bowler, but because of his stature was the ideal person to install the insulation in the tiny attic crawl space.  A bank loan was required to cover the $7,500 tab, a large sum at the time for our membership to underwrite.  All members, especially the Ladies’ Club, got behind the project raising money to pay off the loan a year before the note was due.

The 1980s decade was one of significant growth at great expense through several trusts which were set up to cover the more than $30,000 cost. Money was raised through day-to-day operations, special member contributions and bequests, plus moneys received under the provincial New Horizons Grant system. The improvements included:

·       New garage and equipment storage building

·       Installation of irrigation for both greens

·       Completion of chain-link fencing

·       Installation of entrance laneway lighting

·       Re-roofing the clubhouse

·       Clubhouse air conditioning

·       New windows and vertical blinds

·       Re-modelling bathrooms

 

In the early years the Club hired a full-time greens keeper, but since the turn of the Century, Club volunteers have undertaken the duties. Today major environmental issues facing greens keepers are the trees surrounding the greens and acid rain. And perhaps the biggest concern is the recent ban of pesticides. We cross our fingers.






Club Presidents


1937                  Sam Graham                       

1959-60            Cliff Vick

1938                  Jeff Smith                            

1961-62            Jack Dodds

1944                  Harry Haight                      

1963                 Art Blake           

1945                  Gordon Haines                    

1964                 Chet Philip

1946                  Don Bright                         

1965-66            Bud Grant           

1947                  Ed McMurray                      

1967-68            Ron Jones           

1948                  Syd Belmont                       

1969                 Vern Franks

1949-50             Walter Smith                      

1970-71            Tom Apsey           

1951                   Ab Callaghan                      

1972-73            Charles Ford

1952                   Cliff Robinson                     

1974                 Charles Talbot

1953                   Bill Pollard                           

1975-77          Jake Herman           

1954                   Bill Harding                         

1978                 George Robbins

1955                   Bill Franks                           

1979                 Fred Pascoe           

1956                   Mel Brady                            

1980-81          Ken Gerhard           

1957-58             Fred Reed                            

1982-83            Jerry Hyde

 

 

Women’s Club

1931                        Elizabeth Pegg                  

1955                  “Murph” Wallace

1933                        Molly Haskett                   

1956                   Ella Graham

1934                        Grace Smith                       

1957                   Betty Brown           

1935                        Elva Barr                           

1958-59              Muriel Monture 

1936                        Carm Smith                       

1960-61              Alva Watkins

1937                        Dora Haight

1962-63              Isabel Haley           

1938                        Pearl Stewart                     

1964                   Elsie Philip

1939                        Ainslie College 

1965-66          Norma Grant           

1940-41                Bessie McMurray              

1967-68           Ethel Collins           

1942                        Pearl Stewart                    

1969-70              Connie Newans

1943-44                   Dora Haight                       

1971                   Bertha MacKay

1945               Mrs. Ivan Guildboard           

1972-73              Rose Ford

1946-47                   Rhea Stirling                   

1974-75          Gertie Talbot           

1948                        Ethel Smith                       

1976-77              Marion Dodds

1949                        Agnes Mitchell                 

1978                    Evelyn Egener

1950-51                   Gertie Talbot                    

1979-80              Marion Dodds

1952-53                   Betty Brown                     

1981-82              Isabel Haley

1954                        Agnes Reid                       

1983                   Vera Robbins

 

Elmwood Club Ltd.

1984-85            Jack Paton

2001-04            Marion Fahner

1986-87            Frances Menary

2005-07            Jim Holmes

1988-89            Fred Brown

2008-09            Bob Noble

1990-91            Rose Imrie

2010-14           Jim Holmes

1992-93            Bill Luton

2014-14             Joan Smith

1994-95            Marion Fahner

2014-16              Brian Webb

1996-97            Cathy Proudfoot

2016-                  Roger Pope

1998-99            Lili Turner

2000- 01           Jack Foote

 

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