Irene Madeline Osburn

Portrait by Robert Howson

Irene was one of Guelph’s top bowlers for three decades. She began bowling competitively in 1963 and didn’t retire until 1993, when they tore down the old Sportsmens Bowlerama on Woolwich Street to build the Seniors Centre. She competed for 27 years in the Ladies Intercity Travelling League winning many individual and team championships while bowling for Joy Bond Real Estate, Guelph Redi-Rad and Wellington Motors Chrysler Dodge. She qualified for the Provincial Open Championships 12 times with a lifetime average of 225. In tournament competition that average rose slightly to 226.

Osburn was also a very good left fielder in softball playing for the Guelph Coronets in the early 40s, then after serving her country in World War II, she returned to win the Intercounty Ladies Softball Championship as a member of the Guelph Royals in 1953.

But it was bowling that turned out to be her pride and joy. While playing, she also coached both women’s and men’s teams and while a Supervisor of the Guelph Youth Bowling Leagues, she taught many young people to embrace the game that had brought her so much enjoyment. In 1994 she was named an honoured member of the Lifetime Bowlers Association.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – April 21, 1997