by Bill Gladding, Tavistock Gazette - May 11, 2016

The Stratford man who brought the World Crokinole Championship to Tavistock has passed away at the age of 68.

Wayne Kelly, better known as 'Mr. Crokinole' died suddenly, but peacefully, at his home in Stratford on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Back in April of 1999, Wayne approached local service clubs to pitch the idea of a crokinole tournament to be held here. In his 1988 publication 'The Crokinole Book', he had suggested that the oldest known crokinole board documented in Canada was built by Eckhardt Wettlaufer of Sebastopol in 1875. It was a fifth birthday present for his son, Adam. As Sebastopol is a suburb of Tavistock, it was thought Tavistock was the most likely place to hold such a prestigious event. As well, Tavistock residents had some experience with crokinole as a tournament was held each year at the Tavistock Public School.

As a result, the first World Crokinole Champ-ionship was held on June 5, 1999 and has been an annual event the first Saturday of June. Now in its 18th year, the tournament has drawn competitors from all across Canada, the U.S. and even some from Europe.

In his book, Wayne maintained that "crokinole is among those very few, since it is a game that can be learned in five minutes (yet may take a lifetime to master), a game that is not shackled by age, gender, skill or cultural barriers, and a game that a six-year-old and his 96-year-old great-grandmother can play together, and both have fun!"

"It has been Wayne's privilege to have assisted with the establishment of crokinole tournaments and events in five Canadian provinces, seven US states, as well as events across Europe, in Asia and Australia. He has been a designer and consultant to twenty-two game board companies in eight countries. And in 1999, he helped establish the World Crokinole Championship that is held annually in Tavistock, Ontario. He is also the designer of the international-standard, competition crokinole board used in that tournament, and by the more serious crokinole players around the world."



"For a day in your courtyards is better than a thousand anywhere else." - Psalm 84:10

Wayne Stewart Kelly, 68, died suddenly but peacefully in his sleep at home in Stratford on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Born on June 15, 1947, in London, Ontario, Wayne is mourned by his devoted parents Stewart and Ruth Kelly, his three younger sisters Sharon Kelly, Nancy McGill and Pat D’Agostino, his loving wife Jean Kelly, whom he married on September 6, 1969, his five children Susan (Van) Montgomery, Sarah (Steven) Schweller, Caleb (Tameka) Kelly, Jessica (John) Soares, and Elizabeth Kelly, and his four grandchildren, Seamus Kelly, Lachlan Montgomery, Jasper Soares and Daisy Kelly.

Wayne was a dedicated member of the Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Stratford, and was happiest when serving his God, his family, his Christian brothers and sisters, and his community. Known internationally as “Mr. Crokinole”, he was an enthusiastic historian, reviving the well-loved Canadian family game of crokinole, having published many works on the subject, as well as several other Canadian history books. An avid Bible reader and researcher, Wayne firmly believed in the hope of an earthly resurrection, and is now resting safely in the memory of his God Jehovah.

Family and friends are invited to a service to commemorate Wayne’s life at Francis Funeral Home, 77 Woodstock Street North, Tavistock, on Friday, May 13, with visitation beginning at 6 pm, a service talk to commence at 7 pm, followed by a reception with opportunity to take refreshments and share memories and comfort with each other.

"A good name is better than good oil, and the day of death is better than the day of birth." - Ecclesiastes 7:1



World Crokinole Championship™ Box 988, Tavistock, ON, Canada NOB 2RO
Telephone 519-655-2102 - Fax 519-655-3560 - e-mail:

© 2016 World Crokinole Championship™ Tavistock, Ontario, Canada