Remembering Dale Hoadley

Dale and her husband Bruce took up lawn bowling in 2004 at the Courtenay Lawn Bowling Club, on Vancouver Island. When they relocated to Vancouver’s West End in 2006, they joined the Stanley Park Lawn Bowling Club and immediately pitched in, volunteering countless hours over the years. In short order, Dale was elected to the club Board as secretary and Bruce became President. Always one who enjoyed a good party, Dale could also be counted on to join the hospitality team for holiday socials and tournaments.

Most members first met Dale because she and Marion North looked after membership for a number of years – greeting new members as they came for coaching lessons, ensuring that any late arriving members were connected with coaches for makeup lessons, and even contacting new members to survey them about what we did well and might do better to make them feel welcome and part of the club.

Dale was a fine bowler; in fact, Bruce says she was probably a better bowler than he was and she often skipped when they played in tournaments. Those who remember Dale will remember well her deep crouch delivery and how effective it was! Dale played in the West Point Grey Ladies League for many years, and she enjoyed “playing the circuit” – the ladies triples tournaments hosted by V&D clubs.

She was always on the lookout for club members to take into tournaments, often introducing new bowlers to their very first taste of competition outside the club. Christine Beaulieu remembers that when she and Ray moved into Vancouver from White Rock and joined our club in 2011, Dale asked her to join Marion North and her at the women’s triples in North Vancouver – on this occasion Dale surrendered the skip position to Christine who Dale knew was more experienced in that role. That led to a few more tournaments where the three of them played very well and had a lot of fun bowling together.

Dale and Bruce enjoyed returning to the Island to visit with their families, including Dale’s Mom and Dale’s twin grandchildren, and, of course, they entered bowling tournaments while they were there. In fact, for a few years Michael and Marion North joined Dale and Bruce on the island as a fine mixed fours team! Perhaps her most memorable bowling tournament was when she and Bruce won the Club mixed pairs in 2007 – the picture at the top of this article is of the two of them after they’d won the final game.

Dale loved life and lived it fully. She was a sharp dresser, known for her wide brimmed hat and colourful scarves. She had a big laugh and when you heard it you couldn’t help but join in. She was a warm and generous friend, much loved by club members. She and Bruce spent many winters in Honolulu where they enjoyed the warmth and sun away from Vancouver’s grey and cold and, of course, they were known to play a game or three of bowls there. It was there that she died suddenly in January 2014. Her passing was a shock to Bruce, her family, friends, and all at the club. It was shortly after the news of it, that the club paid tribute to Dale by renaming the English Bay Ladies Triples to the Dale Hoadley Triples.

- Submitted by Mary Ann Gillies, friend and fellow bowler