First perfect game bowled at Langford Lanes

After 12 strikes at Langford Lanes, John Durika, is the first person to bowl at perfect game on the West Shore. - Charla Huber/News staff
After 12 strikes at Langford Lanes, John Durika, is the first person to bowl at perfect game on the West Shore.
— image credit: Charla Huber/News staff

Sidney bowler John Durika is engaged to be married, but there is another ring he’s been waiting for his whole life — his perfect game ring.

The Canadian Tenpin Federation offers one lifetime award to each of its members, the coveted is the 300 ring. “This is my first perfect game, I didn’t expect it,” Durika said.

On Jan. 29 during league play at Langford Lanes, Durika bowled 12 crashing strikes in a row finishing with a score of 300.

After the first few strikes Durika figured he wouldn’t keep it up.

“I kept thinking it’s over, but then on the ninth frame it started to kick in,” he said. “I just started focusing on the lane and ignored everyone else. It was just me and the pins.  On the 11th strike I didn’t see anyone else.”

The lanes were full for the Sunday night Weekender’s league.

After he successfully knocked down all 10 pins in his twelfth frame, that’s when the bowling centre erupted with clapping and congratulations. The first thing out his mouth was, “I got my ring.”

Durika has ordered his ring and should have it on his finger in a couple months. He upgraded it to 10 carat gold with a diamond.

“Most bowlers will go their entire lifetime without bowling a perfect game,” said Su Brock, league and tournament manager at Langford Lanes and Xcalibur Bowling Centre in Surrey.

On average, bowling centres will see about a handful of perfect games each year, Brock explained. Last year Xcalibur only had one perfect game, but this season since September, the Surrey facility has had nine perfect games.

For Durika, bowling the first perfect game at the Langford Lanes means he will be first bowler added to its wall of fame.

The notariety from the 300 game has been a bit overwhelming for the humble man, who just wanted a ring.

He noted his first game of the night he finished with a score of 160. “I couldn’t strike, I couldn’t do anything,” he said.

While warming up he was chewing gum and doing well. He spit the gum out for the first game and decided he needed some more gum for the second. He asked his father for some more gum, and then played a perfect game. He thinks the 300 score was a mix of talent and gum.

Either way, he’s accomplished a lifelong goal.

Durika, 45, started bowling when he was 10 living in Connecticut.  After moving to Greater Victoria in the late 1990s he joined a league at Mayfair Lanes.

In between Mayfair Lanes closing in 2006 and Langford Lanes opening, “I basically went on vacation,” Durika said.

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