Hall Of Fame Inductee

Ian Cameron

Inducted into: Builder Division in 2015

Inducted into: Player Division in 1996

Location: London

  • Builder
  • Player

In 1996, Ian Cameron was inducted into the Players Division of the Ontario 5 Pin Bowlers’ Hall of Fame. In a bowling career that spanned close to 50 years, Ian was a two time Canadian Open singles champion under the banner of the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association. As well, in the Master Bowlers’ Association, he won 15 provincial tournaments, the highest total ever at the time of his induction and to this date, second only to another Hall of Famer, Nick Pagniello. In addition, in the year 2000, Ian was named as the second ranked bowler in the first 90 years of our sport.
But, Ian also contributed off the lanes as well. As early as his days in the Youth Bowling Council in Richmond Hill, Ian was a coach and instructor. At ABC Bowl, two of his students were youngsters, John Cresswell and Heather Porter. As well, he was recognized as Press Secretary of the Year by the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of Ontario and the Youth Bowling Council. Moving to the adult ranks Hall of Famer, Al Richardson, invited Ian to join the York Simcoe 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association and as early as 1972, Ian won the provincial publicity award as part of the annual incentive program. With his coaching background and also his bowling ability, Ian became an integral part of the team that developed the instructor and coaching program in Ontario. With Theda Procher and Walter Heeney, courses were delivered across Ontario and with Hall of Famer, Henry Pachulec, Ian was part of the national writing team that developed the Level 2 Technical program.
In 1976, Ian joined the board of the Master Bowlers’ Association of Ontario and stayed for 30 years. He assumed the role of Vice-President in 1981 and advanced to the presidency following the passing of Hall of Famer, Tom Horton in 1996. While handling this transition, he also co-ordinated the office staff change in 1999 and the hosting of the Master Bowlers’ Association of Canada national championships in London in 2000.
In August of 1978, Ian married Lynn and they had hoped to settle in Burlington. However, Ian’s government job re-located them to London and Ian took his administrative talents with him. In London, Ian was involved with the YBC, first at Bowl-A-Rama and then at Fleetway. Both Ian and Lynn held positions with the decentralized association at Bowl-A-Rama and from 1981 to 1988, they developed a successful disc jockey business that not only played for private parties, but also several bowling leagues and associations. In 1991, Ian was elected President of the London 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association and in only two years, the association rose to become the association of the year for 1993-94. This honour led to the “Flintstones” presentation at the 1995 convention, one of our most memorable theme nights.
With his local success, Ian was also a figure on the national stage. As part of television series on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Ian was asked to present instruction tips or “pin pointers” as part of the television show. In addition, following his victory as the Canadian singles champion in 1988, Ian was selected to do an instruction video, “How to Improve Your 5 Pin Bowling” and the finished product was distributed across Canada.
With the arrival of the O5PBA bowling school in 1991, Ian was one of the first instructors and then participated as a pro. He also did several presentations to the student group. With the Ontario Special Olympics, Ian was a celebrity for several years and participated with the likes of Darryl Sittler in a variety of activities around the annual breakfast held each December. Ian accepted an invitation to contribute to Jesse’s Journey, a charitable initiative to raise awareness for Muscular Dystrophy. Over a three-year period, from 1997 to 1999, Ian completed three 24 hour bowlathons and raised not only awareness but also $14,000.00.
Ian touched every level of our sport, from top to bottom, from the youngest to the oldest, and he did it with class and always supported by his wife Lynn. For this accomplishment he joins a select group as the 13th dual inductee in the multi-year history of our Hall of Fame program.

Ian Cameron was labeled a champion from the first game he bowled at Allencourt Lanes in Richmond Hill. His 199 score, at 10 years old, caught the eye of Hall of Famers, Jim Hoult and Doug Miller and the rest is history.

Born in Leeds, England in 1950, Ian and his parents, Gordon and Eunice, moved to Richmond Hill in 1956. In a new country, Gord Cameron was employed as a draftsman on the ill-fated Avro Arrow project.

Ian, on the other hand attended public school and eventually ended up at Allencourt Lanes where Doug Miller was the proprietor and Jim Hoult, the star bowler and instructor.

Ian was an instant success and, with the birth of the Youth Bowling Council imminent, there was ample opportunity to display his talents. In 1962, at just 12 years old, Ian appeared at O’Connor Bowl and was the Ontario Bantam singles champion under the banner of the Canadian Junior Bowling Congress, the forerunner of the YBC. Challenge matches of youth groups were arranged throughout Ontario and Ian and his Allencourt group defeated an Aprile Lanes team, under the leadership of George Smith in Hull, Quebec.

Doug Miller also contributed to establishing Ian’s practice ethic, something he still believes in today. With lanes at a premium and money tight, Doug gave Ian five pins and balls to set up at home and Ian rolled for hours in his basement, perfecting his three step approach.

The Youth Bowling Council began with the 1963-64 season and Ian was a rising star and dominant bowler from Zone G. In 1966 Ian was Ontario Junior Singles Champion and second at the Canadian finals. He bowled in the first Master Junior tournament and also participated in the YBC travelling league from 1967-69.

In 1970, Ian, now 20, moved to the adult ranks and in 25 years, has been a dominant bowler in both the Open and Masters.

In the Open, Ian has qualified 24 years, bowling in York Simcoe, Hamilton and London. As well, in these 24 appearances, 20 are on the men’s team, and, of those, an amazing seventeen were also as a singles player. His first success came in 1975 when Ian won the singles crown in Ontario only to finish fourth in the national finals in Regina. However, Ian again won the singles title in 1988 and traveled to Hull, Quebec to win Canadian honours. Following this national title, Ian was selected to star in his own video and the finished product "How to Improve Your Five Pin Bowling" was produced and sold across Canada.

In the Master Bowlers Association, Ian joined in 1971, and to the start of 1996/97 season, won fifteen events, an achievement greater than any other bowler in the thirty-two year history of the Association. Ian’s wins, in a period from 1973 to 1995, covered every type of tournament. Whether double or triples, from television events such as the Hiram Walker Special Old, from single knockout to double knockout, from the Holiday Classic to the Bowlerama Classic to the Spring Classic to Brampton to the Special Olympics, Ian beat the best bowlers in Ontario. In addition, Ian was Bowler of the Year three times, in 1975, 1980 and 1989 and won the national title in 1975 in Vancouver. Ian qualified for the Ontario team on nine other occasions and even coached at the national level on three occasions. This national participation produced two gold medals and four silver.

While this bowling participation allowed Ian to cross Canada and become a major force on the lanes, he also recognized his obligation to give something back to the sport. Al Richardson of York Simcoe was the catalyst for this phase of Ian’s career as he brought Ian to the York Simcoe Board in 1972. Ian immediately showed his administrative talents by winning the zone publicity award in 1973. His leadership ability would be further tested in later years as currently Ian is President of both the London 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association and the Master Bowlers’ Association of Ontario.

Ian has been a success in both jobs as the London Association took Zone of the Year honours for 1993/94 and, in the Masters Ian has followed in the footsteps of the late Tom Horton in guiding the affairs of the Master Bowlers.

Along the way, Ian has shared his successes with his wife Lynn. A bachelor until 27, Ian met Lynn rather appropriately at a Master Bantam tournament at Thorncliffe Bowlerama and following their wedding moved to London in 1979. From that base, along with their bowling involvement, Ian and Lynn raised two children, Michael and Tracey, and both are quickly becoming established in the adult world.

While Hall of Fame induction for most people comes near the end of their careers, Ian will be an exception. At only 46, and with his strong work ethic, for both his personal life and his bowling, more victories lie ahead. Be assured Ian Cameron will be both a player and giver in our sport for years to come.