Oral tradition tells us there were a few avid lawn bowlers in Osoyoos during the late 1940s and they needed a green on which to play. The story goes that one of them had a flat grassy area at the back of his house so he turned it into a one-rink green.
By the mid 1950s one rink had become two and a dozen people were regularly meeting in their friend’s back yard for friendly competition. The group eventually outgrew the two rinks and sometime prior to 1984, with the cooperation of the town and the Osoyoos Seniors’ Centre Association (OSCA), the present location on town property in Gyro Park was developed into a three-rink green. At that time, lawn bowling was included in the OSCA activities but had its own organizational structure. In 1989, the club had outgrown the three rinks and a fourth rink was added to accommodate thirty-two members.
Club membership kept growing until, by the end of the 1992 season, the roster listed forty-five members and it was obvious that a full-size green was needed. Early in 1993, a formal proposal was made to the town of Osoyoos to double the size of the green to eight rinks. The proposal was approved and the expanded green was ready for play at the start of the 1994 season. A direct result of the expansion was the honour of hosting the lawn bowling event during the 1995 BC Seniors’ Games held in Oliver and Osoyoos.
In 1994, the lawn bowlers separated from the seniors’ centre and the Osoyoos Lawn Bowling Club became a registered society. Over the years, members of the club enjoyed tournaments and league play with other Okanagan Valley clubs. The social aspect of the sport was evident, with many pot lucks and other social events held on a continuing basis throughout the years.
However, as with many sports, club membership went through a period of decline after 2000, until only twenty-five names were on the roster in 2015. An aggressive marketing campaign during 2015 and 2016 showed there is renewed local interest in the sport. Thirty-one active adult members and five junior associates now regularly enjoy lawn bowling on The Green at Gyro Park.