Don Eppler

DON-EPPLER_-MSDon Eppler’s involvement in tenpin bowling began very early in his life, from when he was approximately ten years old.  He used to set pins in the basement of St. Joseph Church on College Avenue, which was only a half a block away from where he lived on Powers Avenue.

St. Joseph Church had four lanes and all of the pin-setters had to try to dodge flying pins, while sitting balanced on top of the dividing pit walls between setting the pins for the next bowler.

From there Don graduated to setting pins for the Mercantile League where his father, uncles and family members bowled on Thursday nights and they dragged Don along to ensure they always had someone to set pins for them that night.

Don started actually bowling tenpin in the Friday Night Mixed League at the Bowl Arena on Edmonton Street in 1956, when he was 21 years old. Then in 1960, after he got married, Don switched to the Mercantile Men’s League to bowl on his family sponsored Dominion Construction team. This league ran on Thursday night, which allowed Don to baby sit his children and let Donna continue to bowl in the Friday Night Mixed League.

Three years later, Don was asked to serve on the league executive board, and eventually became their President.  He also bowled a number of years in the Steel Machinery League on Monday night and served on their executive as well.

Over his years of bowling, the scene continually changed and as one bowling house closed and another one would open, the Mercantile League moved from the Bowl Arena, to the All Star Lanes, to the North Gate Lanes and finally to Empress Lanes.

During those earlier years Don’s team actively participated in tournaments outside of Winnipeg.  Their most favorite tournaments were Brandon Tenpin Bowling Association Annual and their many memorable trips to Fargo.

Three times Don’s Mercantile Men’s team participated in ABC tournaments; one at Vegas, one at Reno and the other in Louisville, Kentucky.

In the early 1990’s, Don’s good friend and fellow team bowler, Ted Odaguchi, suggested he become part of the Winnipeg Bowling Association Board of Directors.  Don always believed, one should always try to give something back to the things that have treated you well throughout your life and since tenpin bowling had played such an important role in both Donna and his life, he tried to serve tenpin bowling as best he could and wherever he could.

Don continued to serve on the WBA’s Board of Director’s for many years and worked his way up the ladder to become their President. While serving there, he also became President of the Men’s Provincial Tenpin Bowling Association. During these periods, Don attended a number of ABC’s annual conventions serving as the delegate on behalf of the local or provincial association.

As President of the Winnipeg Bowling Association, Don created their first fundraiser event with a city-wide raffle to raise money for all our different Tenpin Bowling Associations and Leagues.

Don was involved as a member of Manitoba’s tenpin bowling volunteer team in the hosting the 1999 Pan-American Games in Winnipeg.

Don’s greatest and most enjoyable experience as a tenpin bowler leader was when he served as President of the Manitoba Tenpin Federation and became part of that great transformation from being three separate associations of Men, Women and Youth Provincial Associations into one and affiliated under the Canadian Tenpin Federation, rather than the ABC, WIBC or YABA.  Don credits this magnificent and progressive change to the hard-working steering committee, who gave so graciously of their valuable time.

Don appreciates that he was fortunate in his twilight years of tenpin bowling, to have had the opportunity to compete three times as a member of the MTF Senior Provincial Team at the USBC Senior National Championships in Reno, Nevada.

2002 – 10th

2003 – 10th

2009 – Silver

Don is currently Past President of the Manitoba Tenpin Federation and Manitoba Bowling Association and has been an active tenpin bowler for the past 54 years.  He has found his 45 years of volunteer contributions to the sport of tenpin bowling to have been very socially rewarding and challenging.

Don has been married to wife Donna for 51 years.  They have two grown children, Wendy & Tim and three grandchildren, all of whom currently reside in the United States.

Winnipeg Bowling Association

1992-95                Director

1995-97                3rd Vice-President

1997-98                2nd Vice-President

1998-99                1st Vice-President

1999-2001            President

2001-03                Past President

2003-04                Director

*Numerous Committees *

Manitoba Provincial Tenpin Bowling Association

1998-99                 3rd Vice-President

1999-2000            2nd Vice-President

2000-01                1st Vice-President

2001-02                President

2002-04                Director

*Numerous Committees *

Manitoba Bowling Association

2004-06 President

*Numerous Committees *

Manitoba Tenpin Federation

2004-06 President

2006-07 Past President

*Numerous Committees *

CTF – Level II Official

1956 – 1961
Friday Night Mixed League at the Bowl Arena.

WBA Annual Tournament – Champion

1961 – 1990
Mercantile Men’s League on the Dominion
Construction team (1961-85) and then Diversified
Construction team (1986-90) starting at the Bowl
Arena, then All Star Lanes, Northgate Bowl & ending at Empress Lanes.
– Won several Leagues Championships

1965 – 1975
Steel Machinery League on Monday at Bowl Arena  & then All Star Lanes.

1990 – present
Northern Mixed League- CGS
Perfect Attendance Award

Career High Average – 181
Career High Single – 237
Career High Series – 647 (2001-2)
Northern Mixed League – Canadian German Society

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