Life in the bowling lane
Patricia Mallory really loves to bowl.
Twice a week she is at Warwick Lanes with the Continental League. At home she keeps three balls: one for a dry lane, another for an oily surface and another to knock down spares.
Frustrated when Covid-19 closed Bermuda’s alleys in March, she set up a makeshift lane in a hall in her house, and placed a mirror at the end to make sure she kept proper form.
“I put a pillow in front of the mirror so the ball wouldn’t break it,” she laughed. “Warwick Lanes open again on Friday and I want to be ready.”
Two signs in her dining room detail her bowling achievements. One has the words: “It’s not over until God says it’s over.”
She turns 80 tomorrow and doesn’t plan to give bowling a rest.
“I pulled a muscle in my leg two years ago so that brought my average down but I still bowl.”
She started playing as a member of the Dial Tones in 1963 when her employer, the Bermuda Telephone Company, set up a Friday night league.
Warwick Lanes had just opened and she had never bowled before.
“It seemed like it was a part of me,” she said. “I went into bowling and I just took right to it.”
She started winning tournaments here and soon after, represented Bermuda overseas, at the Torch of Friendship in Miami, Florida, the Bowling World Cup Tournament in Le Mans, France and the American Zone Championships FIQ in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic among others.
Overseas camps helped with her training as did her local coaches, Quinton Hayward and Antoine Jones, the manager at Warwick Lanes.
While playing she made some lifelong friendships but she is pretty clear about what she likes about the game: winning. She believes the secret to being a good bowler is simply loving the sport.
“I’ve won two watches over the years,” Mrs Mallory said. “If you love something you have to put everything into it.”
She was the youngest of four children. Her sister, Rosemarie Brangman, loved cricket and, because she tended to follow what her sister did, Mrs Mallory played also.
“I liked cricket and netball and sports like ping-pong,” she said. She grew up in the same house she now lives in on the North Shore in Devonshire. Her father, James Ming, was a carpenter and her mother, Alice, worked at the Hamilton Princess.
When Mrs Mallory left school her future husband, Quinton Mallory, suggested she apply for a job at BTC.
They had been neighbours as children and were friends as adults.
“He worked at BTC,” Mrs Mallory said. “I will be forever grateful to him that he found me a post at BTC.”
She started off cleaning machines and worked her way up over the years.
One of her favourite areas to work in was the Answering Service Department.
“I had 12 people I used to work for,” she said. “I would plug in and take their messages. Then they would call in and ask for their messages. I was there for 13 years.”
When she was moved to the Long Distance Department, she was a little nervous, but soon learnt her new post.
Later she became a supervisor and helped train young women to answer telephones correctly.
“I never went to high school,” she said. “But I learnt a lot working for the telephone company.”
She said BTC was good to her, and gave her time off when she needed to go overseas to compete in bowling championships.
She retired in 1999. Her son, Edward Albuoy, has now worked there for more than 20 years.
When Mrs Mallory is not bowling she likes to help out at St John’s Church in Pembroke.
“We just started going in again on Sunday since this virus happened,” she said. “Things are not like they used to be.”
She stays fit by going to the gym and walking regularly.
She hadn’t seen Mr Mallory for a while and then, a few years ago bumped into him at Warwick Lanes. “We loved competing against one another. We had so much fun together. We started dating after a year.”
Mondays and Tuesdays at the bowling alley are particularly interesting.
“On Mondays my team bowls against Quinton’s team,” she said. “On Tuesdays, Quinton and I bowl on the same team. On the way home we love to argue about who should have done what.”
Her sister, Rosemarie, also bowls on Mondays. Things are usually arranged so that the sisters bowl against each other, to the amusement of both teams.
The Mallorys married in 2015, on Mrs Mallory’s birthday. To celebrate, tomorrow they are going to the Fairmont Southampton “to cool out”.
“Other people have given us certificates to go to two other places. I want to invite my friends to my church on Sunday coming.”
She has two grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and another great-grandchild on the way.
• Lifestyle profiles senior citizens in the community every Wednesday. To suggest an outstanding senior contact Jessie Moniz Hardy: 278-0150 or email@example.com. Have on hand the senior’s full name, contact details and the reason you are suggesting them
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