OLBA Legacy Hall of Fame Inductee 2019
Shirley Ruth Otis Jones (nee Kipp 1934 – 2005) was a member of both Woodstock LBC and London Elmwood playing often with June Bell, Player Member of the OLBA Hall of Fame. Her Ontario Hall of Fame credentials include 6 District Titles, 3 Ontario Provincial Championships, and 3 Canadian Gold Medals in Pairs and Triples from 1972 to 1982. Shirley has also represented Canada in the Women’s World Bowls in 1977 for a qualifying total of 66 points. Shirley’s win at the 1972 Nationals was the initial time women had played at the National Level within Canada. Later in life, Shirley found love again in marrying Ron Jones, one of our 2018 Player Inductees. The OLBA is proud to induct Shirley Otis as a Legacy Player into the OLBA Hall of Fame, 2019

BOWLS for Wee Ones

We now have a set of lawn bowls for little ones to use!

OLBA Hall of Fame Inductee 2018
Ron Jones was inducted into the Ontario Lawn Bowls Hall of Fame at the Oakville Holiday Inn on Friday April 20 2018.
There is a press release about this event on the OLBA web site.
Ron is one of 4 men bowlers being inducted along with 4 women, 3 men’s legacy and 3 women’s legacy.
This is quite an honor for Ron as it is the Inaugural Year of the Hall of Fame. Ron has been a member of Elmwood from the time he immigrated to Canada in 1952.

Our 2014 Commonwealth Games Member

Kevin Jones, a member of Elmwood LBC, was one of the 12 Canadian Lawn Bowling Team at the July, 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. He participated in the Men's Triples and Fours. Kevin has represented Canada numerous times internationally since 1987 and is a two-time medalist at the Asia Pacific Games. Glasgow is his third Commonwealth Games. He also competed at the Commonwealth Games in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur and in 1994 in Victoria.
Medalists Revisit Elmwood, July 2014

1966 Canadian Pairs Champions George Robbins and Ron Jones revisited Elmwood, along with George's daughter, Lynda Robbins, a 1982 Canadian Triples Champion. They enjoyed seeing their championship photos on the clubhouse walls. Ron is still an active Elmwood member and Lynda is a member of the Canadian Pacific Lawn Bowling Club in Victoria BC and recently rejoined Elmwood as an associate member.
Kompass Presentation, May 2014

Paul Kompass and his sister Elizabeth Flett, great nephew/niece of Herman Kompass, one of the founding members of Elmwood LBC, presented his collection of Canadian and international pins from the 1920 and 30s to Elmwood via Sue Hessey, treasurer. Herman's picture and pins will be proudly displayed in the clubhouse.
City Honours Elmwood
On June 25, 2013, the City of London, at the Mayor's Featured Community Organization ceremony, honoured Elmwood Lawn Bowling Club for "striving to make London a caring and compassionate city through dedicated and valuable contributions to the community". Mayor Joe Fontana read a history of the club prepared by Shan Maxwell, congratulated Elmwood and then presented a plaque to President Jim Holmes, life member Shan Maxwell and Communications Director Mary Dale Matchett. Nicole St. John of Pillar Nonprofit Network introduced the Elmwood representatives.

Dale Carruthers of the London Free Press
visited ELBC on July 11/12 and produced this video:
Hidden gem

LAWN BOWLING: Century-old Elmwood is a tucked-away oasis of sport and socializing
By DALE CARRUTHERS, The London Free Press, Sat. July 14, 2012

It's easy to miss the discrete entrance off of Edward St. in London's Old South neighbourhood. Surrounded by heritage homes and century-old trees, passersby often don't even know they're walking past a hidden slice of London history. The only thing indicating the existence of the Elmwood Lawn Bowling Club is a small wooden sign. But if you follow the narrow path for 20 metres -- the only way in and out of the club -- you'll stumble upon a hidden oasis of sport and socializing. Some call it London's best-kept secret. It's hard to believe the lawn bowling club has been here for more than a century. "There's people in this neighbourhood that don't even know we exist," club president Jim Holmes said. Walking into the lush, green club is like setting foot in another world.With two grass pitches, known as greens, covering nearly 2,000 square metres, the abundance of greenery seems slightly out of place plopped down in the highly residential area. A perimeter of tall trees surrounds the club's sprawling property, insulating it from the rest of the world, and giving it a far-away feeling. Elmwood has a long and rich history in the Forest City, dating back to 1911, when the club was founded using land bought -- and in some cases donated -- from nearby properties on Elmwood Ave. and Bruce St. At the time, only men were allowed to join the club. Members' wives were given permission to form a separate club in 1930, but it wasn't until 1984 that the men's and women's clubs became one.

Today, the club has 87 full-time members and 13 part-time members, ranging in age from 12 to 93. Some have been lawn bowling for decades, like Ron Jones, a member since 1952. Inducted into the London Sports Hall of Fame in 2011, Jones, 82, represented Canada six times at the Commonwealth Games, winning a silver medal in 1986. Other members at are newer to the sport. Mary Dale Matchett, 59, got into lawn bowling by accident a year ago when she came to Elmwood to see if anyone wanted her deceased father's old bowls. "They were so old nobody wanted them, so I stayed and played," Matchett said in between a game. Lawn bowling, she said, is a good way to stay active physically and mentally -- and it's not as easy as some people think. "It's not hard to learn, but it's not easy to master," Matchett said.

One of four lawn bowling clubs in London, Elmwood is the only club that owns its own land. While that makes it unique, it also means the club -- occupying a large piece of land in one of London's poshest neighbourhoods -- has to pay a hefty property tax bill. That's a big expense for the self-funded organization that generates revenue through membership fees, tournament sponsorships and fundraising. "We have to pay taxes and the other clubs don't," Holmes said. "And we all charge the same membership across London." Luckily, the club's lack of frontage lowers the tax bill a bit, Holmes added.

A clubhouse, originally built in 1916, allows members to bowl all year long. The single-storey wood structure serves as an air-conditioned refuge from the blistering sun during the summer months. For the winter, a carpet is laid down on the floor, turning the clubhouse into a make-shift green.

"The challenge is you don't go out the wall and over to Elmwood Ave.," joked club board member Shan Maxwell.
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Lawn bowling 101
Can be played in singles, pairs, threes or fours
Players roll balls, known as bowls, as close as possible to a marker called a jack
Hitting away an opponent's bowl, or bumping the jack, is allowed
Team or player with a bowl closest to the jack gets one point for each bowl landing nearer than the opponent's best throw
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1911: Year club started
87: Full-time members
12: Age of youngest member
93: Age of oldest member
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Fun facts
In 1967 a convicted thief sent $10 to the club as compensation for a theft 38 years earlier
Alcohol has never been allowed in the club
Only men were allowed in the club until 1930, when members’ wives got permission to form a females club
Martha Mockler was the first female greenskeeper at Elmwood
The club hosted two days of lawn bowling for the 2005 World Transplant Games
Ron Jones inducted into London Sports Hall Of Fame
Former Canadian international champion, Ron Jones, has been inducted into the London (Ontario) Sports Hall of Fame. Jones is a life member of Elmwood Lawn Bowling Club. Ronnie Jones was born in England and came to Canada in 1952. As a lawn bowler who represented Canada from 1974-1994, he has captured 12 Ontario titles, seven national championships, three Pacific Rim gold medals and won a silver medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games. He participated in five Commonwealth Games over his career. He has also won a Western Ontario Bowling Association (WOBA) lifetime achievement award. Ron Jones was inducted along with 8 other individuals. The formal induction took place November 3, 2011 at the Western Fair.

Elmwood Lawn Bowling Club celebrates a Centennial birthday, 2011
By Don Biggs, of the Londoner

The best kept secret in Old South is perhaps the Elmwood Lawn Bowling Club. For the past 100 years it has been neatly tucked away behind Edward Street, a shining emerald piece of land, where members can enjoy a game of lawn bowling on the finely manicured pitches.

There are four lawn bowling clubs in London, but the difference between Elmwood and the others is that the Edward St. club owns its land.

"In 1911, people in that area thought they would like a bowling club so they donated parts of their backyards," said Shan Maxwell, who is a convenor for the 100th anniversary celebrations. Eventually, a clubhouse was built on the site and additional land was donated in order to expand the facility.

This month, the club is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a trip down memory lane, inviting former members to a gala celebration.

Presently there are more than 100 members, more than 80 of them are active. "We have an indoor program where we can bowl all winter, every day of the week except Saturdays," said Maxwell. "The indoor program is more of a social thing, not competitive, and keeps the older members involved from October through until April. Then in May we move outside."

She said that the club will host an open house for former members on Saturday, and will have an official season opener on May 21 when they will also celebrate the birthdays of three 90 year-old members. A grand centennial celebration will be held in July.

"There is a misconception that lawn bowling is for old people," she said. "I started 22 years ago and I wished I had started 10 years earlier because I enjoy it so much."

Although the average age for the Elmwood Club is between 65-70, they do have two teenage bowlers.

That is the challenge to all lawn bowling clubs— to get younger members out to play. "I know what it is like, I have four children. People are busy bringing their kids to the arena and other events, so they don't have a lot of time," said Maxwell. "We are trying to get people in their 40s to join, but it is a challenge."

The sport is social in nature, but some, like Maxwell, love competition. Elmwood members have done extremely well in national and international events. Ron Jones, who is being inducted into the London Sports Hall of Fame, won Canada's first gold medals in international play. Jones still bowls at the Elmwood club.