Leaving a legacy
Joe Dollard memorial trophy presented in his honour
ST. GEORGE’S, N.L. — Joe Dollard dearly loved the sport of bowling.
After the lanes at St. Stephen’s Bowlarama closed in Stephenville in the spring of 2007, he and two other bowling buddies — John Hutchings and Randy Boyd — made plans to make the 25-minute trek to the bowling alley in St. George’s when the season resumed that fall.
Dollard played most Tuesday and Sunday nights during the fall and winter ever since. The bowling nights were not organized leagues and had no set teams. They were open nights where anyone could come out and enjoy playing the game.
He kept playing in St. George’s until the spring of 2017 when his journey with Alzheimer’s left him too ill to continue.
He died Oct. 14, 2018, at the age of 77.
“I can’t tell you why, but he just enjoyed bowling and hardly missed a night — even taking the drive on those designated nights in the winter,” his wife Rosa Dollard said.
In recognition of his dedication to the sport, sportsmanship awards and a trophy sponsored by Byrnes Shoes and Sportswear have been created for each of the two bowling nights Dollard used to frequent. They were recently presented for the first time and will continue to be presented annually.
The first two deserving players were chosen among the team bowlers through secret ballots.
The award presentation to recipient Kristen Bennett was made by Rosa Dollard. The other recipient, Brian Brake, was unable to attend the presentation of his award.
Dollard is proud her husband has now left a legacy in St. George’s. She remembers how much her husband used to enjoy attending the Christmas and end-of-season celebrations held by the bowling group.
In fact, it was on those celebratory occasions the group played “bingo bowling,” which Dollard had introduced to the alley at St. George’s.
Sherry Bennett, who was bowling alley attendant at the time Dollard, Hutchings and Boyd started coming to St. George’s, said Dollard was the best thing ever for bowling in St. George’s.
She said not only did he introduce bingo bowling but also collected hundreds of dollars worth of prizes for when it took place, increasing the number of people who took part in the special game.
Dollard will always be remembered by bowlers in St. George’s, said Bennett, because he was such a good man and always ready to help.
“We had lots of fun and Joe Dollard certainly made a lot of good memories for us (bowlers),” she said.
While she’s no longer the bowling attendant, Bennett still bowls and said Tuesday and Sunday nights are still open to anyone who wants to come bowl for fun.