Hall Of Fame Inductee

Doris Luke

Inducted into: Builder Division in 2006

Inducted into: Player Division in 1986

Location: Toronto

Deceased: DEC

  • Builder
  • Player

Doris Luke should be recognized as one of the first coaches in our sport. From her background days in softball, Doris developed a bowling style that allowed her average to reach as high as 256.

In the mid-1950s, bowling was beginning to organize and, on the adult side, Doris was an executive member of the Ontario Bowlers Council when this group formed in 1956. Moreover, she recognized that the future of any sport is in the development of the youth and Doris started one of the first youth programs at Beach Bowl, and this effort was truly original as the first youth program, the Canadian Junior Bowling Council, did not begin until 1958. Ten years later, when Doris had settled at New Shamrock Bowl on Coxwell Avenue in Toronto, she started a Young Adult League and this was a forerunner of the successful Young Adult Bowlers Association that continues to this day. The Bowling Proprietors Association of Ontario, the group that eventually formed the Youth Bowling Council, recognized Doriss contribution to bowling in April 1992 with a certificate to acknowledge her volunteerism as well as dedicated and distinguished service to youth bowling in Ontario.

For more than thirty years, Doris served as President, Secretary and Advisor to the Toronto 5 Pin Bowlers Association and Doris received a Life Membership from the Metro Association in 1994. In addition, Doris served as secretary of several leagues including two of the most prestigious of the day, the Olympia Mixed Major League and the Ladies City Major League.

Doris was an integral part of the bowling clinics that were sponsored by the Toronto Star and conducted every day, Monday to Friday, in Toronto bowling centres. Under the leadership of dual Hall of Fame inductee Mabel MacDowell, these clinics visited more than twenty centres and listed for six weeks. As well as Mabel, the instruction crew included fellow inductee Theda Procher, Hall of Famers Marge Bentley and Janet Peel, and Eileen Huston, Tiny Baker, Marg Walford, Vi Warn and Dot Glandfield.

While Doris bowled on several championship teams, she coached several more. Specifically, she coached the Toronto mixed team to a national championship in 1964 and followed with two ladies team titles in 1966 and 1967. Even before Doris retired in 1999 at the age of 85, she was an important contributor to this Hall of Fame program, adding her expertise to the selection of the top bowlers of her era. Be assured, Doris enjoyed an outstanding fifty year career, both on and off the lanes.

DORIS LUKE of Toronto has excelled on the lanes as both a competitor and a coach, and has been involved in the sport’s instruction and coaching programs for more than 30 years. She was a bowler on Toronto Ladies’ Teams that won four Ontario Championships, in 1956, 1958, 1962 and 1965, and coached the Toronto Ladies to the Ontario Championships in 1966 and 1968. Three of those teams she bowled on in 1958, 1962 and 1965 went on to win the Canadian Open Championships. Doris says her most satisfying achievement was taking a Toronto Mixed Team that won the Ontario Championships out west in 1964, and coaching it to victory in the Canadian Championships, “even though, at least on paper, it wasn’t the best team there!” Twice in widely-spaced seasons, in 1955 and again in 1966, she maintained her best average of 256. In 1957 she concluded a season with a 254 average, the best in the house, in a mixed major league at the popular Beach Alleys. In 1962, in the playoffs of the Metro Ladies’ Major League, Doris set a record that still stands, felling 3916 pins in 15 games.