Lionel Raymond Dowling born to Joyce Melvina and Percival Hilton Dowling. He was the third of four siblings. They originally lived in Union Street Hamilton. He received his early education at Jones Kinder- garden school. Lionel moved to North Shore Pembroke at the age of five . He than attended Northlands Primary School there he excelled in sports becoming Captain of his school house team and football team captain. He later attended Berkeley Institute. He remained in the sport of football but also became in charge of the Berkeley Cadet Corps. He was a platoon Sergeant. Lionel sang in the school choir under Mr. Joseph Richards. Upon graduation from Berkeley he was invited by Colonel Brownlowe Tucker to become an N.C.O. in the Bermuda Militia but because of the status of the Militia at that time it did not appeal to him and he declined the invitation. He instead joined the Scout movement under the guidance of Captain Robert Kennedy, the Island Scout Commissioner, Mr. Stewart(Teddy) Brangman, Mr. Mansfield Brock and Mr. Russell Leverock. He became a Scout in the St Albans Sea Scout Troop and became assistant Scout Master in a short period of time. He worked at the Bermuda Air Terminal as a store man for Bermuda Aviation Services. He later worked for Gibbons Company at the Medical Hall. Lionel advanced to the post of Customs Clearance Clerk and is believed to be the first person of colour to hold a clerical position in that office. He later received an offer of a scholarship to study photography which he loved as a hobby. He accepted and became a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography. On returning to Bermuda he opened and operated the Dowling Portrait Studio on Burnaby Street for several years. He continued to hold a position with Gibbons Company as a road salesman for their wholesale Department Manager at A.J.Gorham Ltd. in Hamilton. He readily mastered the merchandising business. In 1969 he joined a group of ambitious young men and opened the Imperial store in the Imperial Hotel Building. The business flourished for a while and closed some nine years later. It was here Lionel had to face the reality that he had to find some stability in his life and was successful in securing a Government post as Inspector for Social Insurance Department. He later achieved the position of Assistant Registrar General and that included the position of Assistant Parliamentary Registrar. Lionel was preparing to retire in 2000 when Government asked him to operate and organize the first Independent Parliamentary Registration Office this came about due to the amendment to the Parliamentary Election Act under the Progressive Labour Party. As Parliamentary Registrar he Supervised the decorating of Bermuda’s first Parliamentary Office. Lionel worked in that post for two years and ran several bye elections while holding that position and officially retired in 2002.
Lionel’s other hobbies were singing and music. He sang with the St. Monica’s choirs , the Hi-Y Glee Club, St Paul A.M.E. Senior Choir , the Ensemble Singers and the Bermuda Philharmonic Choir. One of his greatest loves was ten-pin bowling. He started in this sport in 1962 and held the post of league Secretary-President of the Association. In 1976 he formed the Bermuda Bowling Senate an entity of the National Bowling Association in the United States. It remained the only entity of that organization outside of the U.S.A. Lionel was appointed the International Field Representative for the organization in Bermuda’s local bowlers. He created the ‘American Airline Bowling Spectacular bowling Tournament and the Cup match Tournament. He ran the Tournament for 28 years. He received a special achievement award from the Bermuda Government in 1989 and was honoured by the Bermuda Bowling Federation in 1998. One of his other enjoyments was travel. Lionel lived a production and full life and will be well remembered.