REMEMBERING THE 'ROSE BOWL'
( A Charlottetown Trap & Skeet Club Memory)
By the end of the 1970s, skeet shooting in Atlantic Canada was making a big comeback following a decade of limited participation. Strong, and growing, clubs were situated in Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, Pictou, Sydney, Dartmouth, Kentville and Yarmouth in Nova Scotia, and Moncton, Fredericton and Pennfield in New Brunswick. Inter-club participation was growing and administering it all was a strong Atlantic Skeet Shooting Association (ATSA).
When the Charlottetown Trap and Skeet Club made a proposal to ATSA for an Atlantic trophy that would be competed for annually between Maritime clubs, they listened. The format was that individual clubs throughout the Maritimes annually select a five-man team, plus one alternate, to shoot 150 targets each and the best five - 750 targets - would claim the Atlantic club skeet championship, and win a prestegious trophy to be called the 'ROSE BOWL'. Although individual contributing results would be recorded, there would be no individual awards. Individual clubs would host a competition, in whatever manner deemed, to select their best six shooters.
1979 - The Charlottetown Trap & Skeet Club was selected by ATSA to host the initial 'Rose Bowl', mainly because it was their idea and the Island was a popular stop on the Maritime skeet circuit. The first 'Rose Bowl' was held on September 26, 1979 on a cool and windy day. Charlottetown held two shoots to pick their team, and there was little doubt about the popularity as everyone wanted to "make the team". The first Island team consisted of Owen MacLean, Harley Ings, George Carson, Bill Morrell, Ron Atkinson and his son Ron Jr. The first event was a huge success and when the targetdust settled Ron(Jr.) Atkinson's 145 x 150 and the Bill Morrell's 143 x 150 led the Island team to 690 x 750 victory, only one target ahead of a strong Pictou
County Trap and Skeet Club, led by veteran Jim Rhyno's 141 x 150, who broke a team total of 689 x 750. Third place went to the Moncton Gun Club who scored 683 x 750. A large sterling silver bowl had arrived from ATSA with a large silver plaque on the base that simply said Atlantic ROSE BOWL TROPHY - Emblematic of Atlantic Club 5-Man Team Skeet Supremacy. 1980 - The Rose Bowl competition was held in Moncton, New Brunswick, and the Charlottetown team, led by a perfect 150 x 150 by Bill Morrell, and two 145 x 150 scores by both Ron and Ronnie Atkinson, successfully defended their title dropping only 25 targets for a team 725 x 750. Other winning team members were Don Stapleton, Harley Ings and Roger Giddings. runner up in 1980 was the Dartmouth Trap and Skeet Club led by husband & wife Mike and Dale Craig who only missed 8 targets all day. The Dartmouth score was 708 x 750.
Third was the Moncton Gun Club with 686 x 750. Rules and format for the Rose Bowl club tournament were now well established. Each five man club team would shoot as a squad, three rounds in the am and three more after lunch. The team alternate members would shoot as a squad and their scores would count for their team if it was better than a regular team member, and it often happened. Apart from the Rose Bowl trophy, which went to the winning club, each team member would receive a red rose patch for their shooting jacket. Runner-up club team members received a pink rose patch, and thirty plus years later, if you look closely, you still might see one
of these extremely popular patches on display. After only two years, representing one's club in the 'Rose Bowl' became an important skeet challenge, and honour.
The Atlantic Rose Bowl trophy sat on the shelf at the Charlottetown Trap & Skeet Club for two years until someone suddenly found the silver plate on the base of the trophy, in large engraving, said 'ROSE BOWEL TROPHY'. The Atlantic Trap & Skeet Association were notified and were not long replacing the plate with the correct spelling. It was a great source of humour and the actual "bowel" plate was placed in the Island skeet history scrapbook, which is now in the Robertson Library at UPEI, has been digitized and will soon be available for viewing on the internet.
1981 - Charlottetown hosted the 1981 Rose Bowl on a warm September weekend and once again the Island team came out on top, breaking 714 of the 750 targets thrown. The runner-up team was Pictou County with 693 x 750. There were no prizes for individual performances, but to be in the running for a Rose Bowl Championship a team needed at least one shooter breaking over 140 targets and the rest to be close to that mark. This year it was Bill Morrell (147) and the Atkinsons(145 each) setting the pace for the Charlottetown Trap & Skeet Club. The only shooters over 140 were David Ross(145), Mack Kohout(143) and Lloyd Mattinson(141) of Pictou County; Rollie Atwood(145) of the Yarmouth Skeet Club team, and Ray Woodill(144) of
the Moncton Gun Club. Charlottetown had won three straight titles and other Maritime clubs were looking to former high average shooters to re-join to strengthen their clubs for the next challenge. The Rose Bowl had become very popular and was now attracting a larger entry of shooters than the Atlantic Skeet Championships.
1982 - Stellarton (home of the Pictou County Trap & Skeet Club) were the hosts in 1882 and stronger club teams showed up from Pictou and Sydney, who added former Maritime skeet champions, brothers Barry and Todd Hardy. The Charlottetown Trap & Skeet Club though were not to be denied as every team member was 142 x 150 or better. Ron Atkinson Jr.(148) and Dr. Ralph Kennedy(146) led the way as the Island team broke 724 x 750 to win the Rose Bowl for the fourth straight year. Runner up was Pictou County with 700 x 750, and a great performance by Todd(146) and Barry Hardy(144) got the Cape Breton team in 3rd place.
1983 - The Charlottetown Trap and Skeet Club team were becoming legendary and there was some rumblings that they were perhaps too strong for the good of the competition. The 1983 'Rose Bowl' was in Charlottetown and there was keen local competition to make the team. To add to the Island club image the team outfitted themselves in dark brown team vests with matching caps - being champions was one thing, looking like one was another! The fact that the 'Rose Bowl' was shot on a cool and very windy day made little difference as Lou Daley's 147 x 150 and Ronnie Akinson's 146 x 150 led the Island team to a 716 x 750 championship win.
Moncton Gun Club and Sydney Skeet Club tied with a runner-up score of 679 x 750. As per Rose Bowl rules, ties were decided by first round totals and Moncton club won by one target. 1984 - The Sydney Trap & Skeet Club wanted, for a couple of years, to host the 'Rose Bowl'. It was the winner's call where the tournament was next held and Charlotteetown agreed to the Cape Breton request. Only two club teams competed in 1984, Charlottetown and Sydney. It was obvious Charlottetown's annual domination of the event and the distance to Sydney played a role in the low entry. For the second time in the event, every shooter on the winning Charlottetown club team was over 140 x 150 and their total of 714 x 750 won the Atlantic Rose Bowl for the sixth straight year. Despite Bob Schurman's great 148 x 150 the Sydney Skeet Club could only
muster a 694 x 750 to earn the pink rose patches.
1985 - In an effort to overcome the negative affect their dominence was causing, for 1985 the Charlottetown Trap & Skeet Club club provided extra incentive by offering all members of the highest visiting club team a king-sized lobster dinner at the New Glasgow Lobster Suppers. It was an extremely wet Rose Bowl competition and even the torrential downpour didn't prevent the local club making it seven straight wins with a 717 x 750 performance, led by Bill Morrell's 148 x 150 and Ron Atkinson's 147 x 150. The Fredericton Gun Club earned the lobster dinners with a 667 x 750. An interesting side story to the 1985 Rose Bowl was the fact that Ray Woodill, who led the Moncton Gun Club team, also shot, being a member, with the Fredericton Skeet
Club when one of their five team members became ill and unable to compete. He shot 274 x 300 targets in the downpour and someone humorously suggested he might not get dried out for Christmas? There was no question the Charlottetown domination was affecting team attendance, and there were concerns expressed that, despite the enjoyable fun and competition, unless other clubs could field stronger teams the Rose Bowl tournament concept might be seriously affected.
1986 - Some good PR prevailed and a good entry of club teams in 1986 renewed hopes for the future of the Rose Bowl competition. Both the Pennfield Gun Club and the Annapolis Valley Trap and Skeet Club entered their first team and, although the Charlottetown club team would win their eighth straight Championship, there was a new kid on the block that could become a major contender. A new skeet club had emerged at the Canadian Forces Base at Slemon Park in Summerside and, led by airmen Ron Lancaster and Don Bailey, were attracting a number of new high-average shooters as members. Charlottetown retained the Rose Bowl with a 715 x 750
performance but Summerside, led by Don Boulter(143) and four others at 141 or better, were runners-up with a 704 x 750 performance. Ray Woodill's 147 x150 led Moncton, Larry Ingalls 145 x 150 was tops for Pennfield and Dan Petitpas' 142 x 150 for Annapolis were top scores in other team efforts.
1987 - The Charlottetown Trap and Skeet Club's dominance as the top Atlantic Canadian 5-man skeet team came to an end in 1987. Although they recorded a fine 714 x 750, and for the third time became the only Maritime club team to have every team member over 140 x 150. They could not match the CFB Summerside Skeet club's 720 x 750, led by Don Bailey(148), Don Boulter(146) and Austin Johnston(146). Other members of the winning team were Brian Lewis, Dale Small and Harley Ings. Mike Lyriotokis and Bill Morrell had 144s for Charlottetown. The Annapolis Valley Skeet Club finished third with 700 x 750.
1988 - The original rules for the Rose Bowl competition stated that the winning club would host the following year's event. In a number of cases other clubs had indicated a desire to host and, considering the dominance, Charlottetown usually conceded to keep interest alive around the Maritimes. By August of 1988 no indication of an event was evident from CFB Summerside. Some of the organizers had transferred and a rushed effort was planned for early September. Thanks to the PEI domination there was little interest and, on short notice, only a Charlottetown team showed up to compete. CFB Summerside won again with 711 x 750, three targets ahead of
Charlottetown's 708 x 750. Don Bailey(147) led the winning Summerside effort and Ron Atkinson and Bill Morrell, with 146s, were the best for Charlottetown.
It was the end of a 10 year competition that, at its heighth, was by far the most popular skeet shooting tournament in the Maritimes. Picking the teams annually initiated great club activity and the Rose Bowl itself created challenge and excitement. Through the decade of its existance over 100 different skeet shooters had participated and most Maritime skeet clubs attempted to capture the title, but it never left Prince Edward Island - Charlottetown won eight titles and Summerside two. There were no indiviual awards, but only Bill Morrell and Ron Atkinson of Charlottetown made their club team annually and shot in every event, Morrell dropping only 44 targets in 10
years and Atkinson 49. The best average performance was 146 x 150 by Ron Atkinson Jr., earned in the first 6 years of competition until he entered university. The Charlottetown Trap & Skeet Club domination was the major cause of decline in enthusiasm and when the CTSC team was finally defeated the die had been cast and the annual 5-Man team Rose Bowl challenge became a part of Canadian skeet shooting history.