Thunder Bay has produced a number of outstanding 5-pin bowlers over the years, but it was Fort William born Richard (Dick) Thompson who set the standard for others to follow.
Dick began his record of success during the 1950s. In 1955 he, along with a strong contingent of bowlers from Fort William and Port Arthur, travelled to Winnipeg to compete in the Western Canada Five Pin Bowling Championships. Just 25 years of age at the time, he bowled a 2228 total for 8 games to claim the first Western Canada Five Pin title for the Lakehead.
Earning a spot in the Canadian Championships he advanced to the finals where he defeated Joe Baird of Hamilton to claim the national title. So proud was the Lakehead of his accomplishments that he was jointly honoured with the presentation of an engraved silver tray by both cities to commemorate his outstanding accomplishment.
Advancing again to the Western Canadian Championships in Singles in 1963, he claimed the title that year in Edmonton, becoming only the second bowler to earn two Singles championships. Trying for his second national title, a feat which had never been accomplished before, he made it to the finals, narrowly missing out on the title in a match up against Cee Crance of Ingersoll.
Throughout his bowling career, this exceptional bowler claimed numerous titles in the Lakehead Five-Pin Bowling Association. Included in his victories were the Ted Deakin Trophy as the men's Singles Champion in 1956, 1957, 1960 and 1961. In 1965, he claimed the Badanai Trophy for the Men's High Average for the league.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the sport of bowling, the Dick Thompson Trophy was introduced in 1974 to be awarded to the winner of the Men's Classic Closed Event in the 5-pin league. A fitting tribute to this pioneer of 5-pin bowling in northwestern Ontario.
Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 25, 1982