Don Gillett (1932 – 1999)

Sport: Bowling
Year of Induction: 2000

About

Don was born in Chatham in 1932 and became enthusiastic about many sports but became highly proficient in 10-pin bowling. He was probably the best bowler Chatham has ever produced and he went on to compete regionally, nationally, and internationally from 1950 to 1980. He passed away in April of 1999.

Career Highlights
  • 1953 – 1954 – competed in 3 leagues in Chatham – had high average in all 3 leagues and high single in one
  • 1954 – 1959 – continued to excel in Kent County and City Leagues by taking top honours in team and individual events – consistently averaged in high 180’s and 190’s – began to compete throughout Ontario
  • 1954 – 1965 – achieved 8 sanctioned high single games and 3-game totals, highlighted by a perfect 300 game (1962), a 299 game (1961), a 290 game (1962), a 737 3-game total (1960), and a 718 3-game total (1965) 
  • 1965 – 1967 – while bowling in Canadian Legion Provincial Championships, received awards for singles events (1965), doubles events (1965), team events (1966 & 1967), and all events (1965 & 1966)
  • 1960 – 1965 – won Kent County Molson’s Tournament in 1960, 1962, and 1964 – won Essex County Molson’s Tournament in 1965 – as result of these wins, competed in Ontario Molson’s Tournament in each of those years – was also runner-up on 6 other occasions in Kent or Essex Molson’s Tournaments
  • In addition, bowled in Windsor, which was then the 10-pin capital of Canada, in 3 Classic Leagues weekly which led him to compete in singles and team competitions in places such as Detroit, Toledo, and Chicago
  • 1960 – 1980 – was President of Chatham-Kent Area American Bowling Congress Association, was member of Professional Bowlers of Canada, and was a Brunswick Certified Bowling Instructor
  • 1999 – died in Chatham, Ontario at age 66
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