Hall Of Fame Inductee
Inducted into: Builder Division in 2004
Marg Morrisey was an outstanding example of success through volunteerism in 5 pin bowling. Arriving from England at the age of twenty, Marg followed her brother, Gerry, from Montreal to Welland and began a series of jobs that eventually led her to Ontario Paper and a career as an employment supervisor.
Margaret had three brothers and they we all good at sports, but especially soccer and cricket, and, all of them, Gerry, Jack and Ernie settled in the United States. Margaret, on the other hand, stayed in Welland and began her bowling involvement by joining a league that was forming through her job placement.
By coincidence, Marg travelled to North Bay in 1964 to watch the Canadian championships and Dot Britton of Grimsby was on the same trip as Joanne Bennet of Fort Erie was the Ontario representative in the singles competition. Marg and Dot would become lifelong friends and also members of 5 pin bowling's Hall of Fame as well.
When Bob Falconer began the Niagara 5 Pin Bowlers' Association in 1965, Marg was involved and, after forty years, she is currently President of the association. Marg has done nearly every job at the zone level from tournaments and fundraising to publicity and event planning. Marg was part of the nucleus when the Ontario 5 Pin Bowlers' Association recognized the Niagara zone as the Association of the Year in 1974 under Kevyn Jones and again in 2000 under the leadership of Suzie Bowles. Individually, Marg was recognized as tournament director of the year in 1993 and 1994 for her efforts in the Niagara zone and has been a finalist on numerous occasions.
But her influence was felt a lot deeper than the recognition offered at the provincial level. In the early days, Marg, with Dot as a willing partner, ran such fundraisers as euchres in Dunnville, midnight bowling tournaments in Welland, rummage sales and numerous raffles. In later years, Marg sold Nevada tickets and the reverse bingo tickets that have become popular. Also, the Niagara zone sells the largest Booster Club in the province with a 300 kit and tickets selling at $40.00 each. The funds earned at the zone level have enabled the Niagara zone to cover expenses for all their bowlers going to the tournaments throughout the year. Overall, said former president, Suzie Bowles, Marg believed in communication with the secretaries, decentralized associations, and house coordinators to both solicit entries and to remind them of deadlines. In retrospect, Marg was extremely proud of the agreements that were signed with each decentralized association in the Niagara zone.
Marg's volunteer efforts did not stop at the adult level. As a certified Level Two coach, Marg was introduced to the Youth Bowling Council program at Bowl-O-Rama Lanes in Welland by Hal of Famer John Scholes and his wife, June. To this day, Marg has the role of Program Director, a position she has held for more than thirty years. Marg received an appreciation award from the zone in 1987 for her efforts.
While this spirit of volunteerism involved Marg on the administrative side, she also excelled on the lanes. At the Provincial Open, Marg bowled on one ladies' team and four mixed teams and, as well, coached on twelve additional occasions. One mixed team, in 1970, won the provincial championship, but was denied a chance at a Canadian title as the national championships were cancelled due to the controversary over the elimination of the counter pin. As well, Marg participated in league play, at one time bowling five leagues a week and was also a Master Bowler, bowling in both tournament and teaching divisions.
Beginning in 1993, Marg began a ten year battle with cancer that she initially beat but eventually lost on September 26th, 2004. Her funeral was attended not only by a large representation for all areas of bowling, but also a group of ladies from the Niagara General Hospital, in recognition of fundraising skills that both Dot and Marg took from bowling. Selling Nevada tickets and coordinating walk-a-thons, the energetic twosome raised over $10,000 for the local health centre.
Marg Morrisey certainly represents the thousands of volunteers that contribute time and effort to our sport and can appreciate that, while the volunteer does not get paid, they will be the driving force that will keep our sport alive and growing.