Indoor winter activities of bridge and darts make way for warm summer days of lawn bowling on the greens and a cozying up to the bar for a post-game beer at Oak Bay Lawn Bowling Club.
All winter the 200-odd membership fills the social space with card games and table tennis but their namesake sport officially launches April 30.
Anne Payne actually came to the sport two years ago by spending a winter of bridge in the clubhouse.
“It just looked very interesting so I gave it a chance and never looked back,” Payne said. “It’s very social and you meet a lot of people.”
That’s the winning combination, she said – the coffee’s always on, camaraderie is incomparable and there’s a little exercise thrown in.
“It’s not too strenuous,” said fellow two-year member Marcia Thorneycroft. “It’s not as hard on the body as some of the activities you might do when you’re younger.”
The greens are getting an overhaul in preparation for the summer season on spring opening events.
“We work closely with Oak Bay Parks and Rec. They’re working on our greens to get them in shape,” said Garry Anderson.
The 10-year veteran discovered lawn bowling while overlooking the majestic greens of Stanley Park for a year. It was the first thing he sought upon leaving Vancouver for the Island. “It’s a wonderful chance to meet people. It works well as social recreation,” said the avid winter table-tennis player.
“It’s a warm, friendly club in a budget seniors can afford.”
Club bowlers head out to the greens officially with an opening April 30 but host an open house April 17 from 1 to 3 p.m.
“It’s open to anybody who thinks they might like to learn about lawn bowling,” Thorneycroft said. They’ll even offer a few weeks of lessons before a new member needs to commit to purchasing equipment.
“We also have Friday night open house through the summer,” Anderson added.
Opening day is April 30 at 2190 Harlow Dr.
Free open houses are Friday evenings starting at 6 p.m. mid-May through September starting at 6 p.m.
“Most of our members are seniors … but Friday nights are popular with younger people,” Thorneycroft said.