Public steps up to the alley
Memberships in bowling leagues improving at Glace Bay facility
The public has stepped up to help a local bowling facility.
Several months ago the Glace Bay Y’s Men’s and Women’s Club issued an appeal for more people to use the bowling alley and to join bowling leagues, or the facility would close.
And the public has responded, including the Convergys call centre in Glace Bay that organized its own Saturday night league.
“We’ve never had a Saturday night league before, we always closed at 6 p.m.,” said club treasurer Bobby Donovan. “Because of this league we’ve been able to hire an extra person as it covers his salary.”
The Y’s Men’s and Y’s Women’s Club purchased the former Town Bowling Lanes and Knox Hall about nine years ago in order to preserve the facility as well as create jobs and raise money for community projects.
However Donovan said they had been losing upwards of 40 bowlers each year and needed to revive the leagues to continue.
Among the successes, is a Sunday youth league that has doubled in size this year.
“The mixed league lost a few players but worked hard at getting new teams.”
He said Gary Chant of Meco Construction added a team to the Monday night men’s league.
“Gary Chant is such a good guy. He put a whole new team in and paid for the whole year.”
Donovan said Tuesday is the busiest day with a women’s CWL league and a teachers league which both have good numbers.
On Wednesday mornings, a women’s group bowls.
“No matter if it rains, snows, it doesn’t matter they get here.”
He said the Devco Pensioners League continues to have difficulty attracting bowlers and club members will sometime fill out the spots.
A Wednesday evening mixed league landed a few new players and although the Thursday afternoon women’s league lost teams, Donovan said they have gone above and beyond to help.
“They use to finish early in February but told us they’d finish in May this year, staying a couple of extra months to help us out.”
He said a Thursday youth league includes 20 children and could use more.
On Fridays, a Special Olympics league bowls at 5 p.m.
“At one time they used four lanes and now use all eight,” he said. “They are a great group and have no problem if a group wants to come in and bowl with them.”
A mixed league starts at 6:30 p.m.
“They have been together a long time, they come and have a lot of fun.”
Donovan said the club appreciates those who have helped out whether by joining a league or keeping a current league going. He said the money goes toward maintaining and renovating the bowling alley and the adjoining community hall, which is utilized by a number of community groups.
Diana MacLean, a member of the Thursday Afternoon Women’s League, said some members have been bowling for more than 50 years.
“We started at the St. Anne’s bowling alley and when it closed went to the Heather Bowling Lanes and then here.”
She said their league use to end in February but they added another round of competition so they will be bowling and extra two months this year.
She said they were aware of the need for more leagues.
“That was one of the reasons we expanded (the season),” she said. “It is about getting out and meeting people, I think that’s what keeps everyone coming back.”
back left, Mary McInnis and Marilyn Sutherland, both of Glace Bay and Diane Bauder of Black Brook. League play usually ends in February but it will be extended for two months, partly because the bowling lanes need to be used. %JBOB .BD-FBO GSPOU B NFNCFS PG UIF 5IVSTEBZ "GUFSOPPO 8PNFO T #PXMJOH -FBHVF BU UIF 5PXO -BOFT JO (MBDF #BZ JT DIFFSFE PO CZ UFBNNBUFT