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British Columbia History

British Columbia History 2014

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Publication of the British Columbia Historical Federation | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1 | $7.00
The Cinderella Crew
The Underdog story of the UBC—Van
wing Eigh
Wimbledon of the
Demon of
the West
S.D. Schultz
and     Programme    of    Events
First Time
on the Ice
Vancouver Ladies'
Hockey Team
The 1961 Trail
Smoke Eaters
JULY   30   —   AUGUST   7
British Columbia History is published four
times per year (Spring, Summer, Fall,
Winter) by the British Columbia Historical
ISSN: print 1710-7881 online 1710-792X
Subscriptions: $20.00 per year (CDN Funds)
USA: $32.00 (per year (CDN Funds)
International: $44.00 per year (CDN Funds)
British Columbia History welcomes stories,
studies, and news items dealing with any
aspect of the history of British Columbia, and
British Columbians.
Please submit manuscripts for publication
to the Editor, British Columbia History,
Andrea Lister
PO Box 21187, Maple Ridge BC
V2X 1P7
Submission guidelines are available at:
Book reviews for British Columbia History,
K. Jane Watt, Book Review Editor,
BC History,
Box 1053, Fort Langley, BC VIM 2S4
Subscription & subscription information:
BCHF c/o Magazine Association of BC
201-318 Homer Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 2V2
Phone: 604.688.1175
Single copies of recent issues are for sale at:
- Caryall Books, Quesnel, BC
- Gray Creek Store, Gray Creek, BC
- Otter Books, Nelson, BC
- Royal British Columbia Museum Shop,
Victoria, BC
- Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art &
History, Nelson, BC
ISSN: 1710-7881
Printed in Canada.
Production Mail Registration Number
Publications Mail Registration No. 09835
We acknowledge the financial support of
the Governnment of Canada through the
Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of
Canadian Heritage.
British Columbia Historical Federation
A charitable society under the Income Tax Act Organized 31 October 1922
PO Box 5254, Station B., Victoria BC V8R 6N4
Under the Distinguished Patronage of
The Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC
Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
Honorary President: Jacqueline Gresko
Are you an Undergraduate History Student?
Each year, the British Columbia Historical Federation offers two
W. Kaye Lamb Scholarships for student essays relating to the
history of British Columbia.
Prize for a student in the 1st or 2nd year is $750
Prize for a student in the 3rd or 4th year is $1,000
The essay must be written by a student registered in a university
or college in British Columbia.
Candidates must submit their application for this scholarship by
May 15th, 2014.
See full rules and criteria on the BCHF website:
Cover Image: 1954 British Empire Games program.
Read the story on page 5.
Image courtesy of BC Sports Hall of Fame
Canadr  '
Editorial Advisory Committee
Anne Edwards
Catherine Magee
While copyright in the journal as a whole is vested in the British Columbia Historical
Federation, copyright of the individual articles belongs to their respective authors, and
articles may be reproduced for personal use only. For reproduction for other purposes
permission in writing of both author and publisher is required.
 *_StV  WWds
Published by the British Columbia Historical Federation | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
5       The Cinderella Crew
by Jason Beck
Sixty years have passed since the greatest underdog
story in BC sports history involving a group of green
UBC students coached by a hard-nosed hotel owner.
For the Love of Grass
by Shelley Mclvor
The South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club has hosted
iconic matches since 1887. It is among the oldest
grass court clubs in the world, one of the few that
remains in operation today.
2  A  Baseball's Demon of the West
by Sarah H. Tobe
S.D. Schultz, musician, composer, journalist,
barrister-at-law, judge and sportsman. All-round
sportsman, he pitched the first ever shutout baseball
game in British Columbia.
Vancouver Ladies' Hockey Team
by Wayne Norton
The Vancouver Ladies' Hockey Team existed only
from 1914-18, but despite various challenges they
established the foundation for women's hockey in
5 For the Gold and the Glory
,J ,J by Jamie Forbes
The story of the dedication, perseverance, and will to
win of the 1961 Trail Smoke Eaters and their long and
weary path to become the best amateur hockey team
in the world.
O Q Basketball Legend Ken Wright
O 7 Had Big Dreams
by Vern Giesbrecht
Ken Wright had a dream to establish an annual
basketball championship in BC. His dream came true
and he created a legacy that has lasted for 68 years.
42 Archives & Archivists
by Val Billesberger; edited by Sylvia Stopforth
Stories of sport history are documented in the
Mission Community Archives through extensive
holdings donated by individuals, organizations,
businesses and schools.
48 Cabinets of Curiosities
by Val Patenaude
Val Patenaude, Director, Maple Ridge Museum &
Archives, tells the tale of Pete Telosky's joke bat and
Pete's baseball legacy.
3 Editor's Note
Back it Up, Back it Up!
4 Inbox
Letters from Readers
44  From the Book Review Editor's Desk
K. Jane Watt
Making It Happen
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      1
 British Columbia Historical Federation
A charitable society under the Income Tax Act Organized 31 October 1922
PO Box 5254, Station B., Victoria BC V8R 6N4 0 0
Under the Distinguished Patronage of The Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC
Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
Barry Gough
Phone 250.592.0800
Gary Mitchell
Phone 250.387.2992
Derek Hayes
Phone 604.541.7850
Judy Lam Maxwell
Phone 604.418.8560
Kerri Gibson
Phone 250.386.3405
Fax: 250.361.3188
Barb Hynek
Phone 250.535.9090
pas tpres ©
Jacqueline Gresko
Marie Elliott
Maurice Guibord
Ron Hyde
William R. Morrison
Sharron Simpson
K. Jane Watt
Ken Wuschke
Andrea Lister, British Columbia
History Editor
K. Jane Watt, Book Review Editor,
British Columbia History
Sylvia Stopforth, Archives &
Archivists Editor, British Columbia
Andrea Lister, BCHF Newsletter
R.J. (Ron) Welwood, Website Editor
Derek Hayes, Online Encyclopedia
Barb Hynek
K. Jane Watt
William Morrison
Ron Hyde
Marie Elliott
Gary Mitchell
Tom Lymbery
Phone: 250-227-9448
Fax 250-227-9449
For awards and scholarship
information see inside back cover.
The British Columbia Historical Federation has been working since 1922 with historical sites, societies, groups, museums, archives, etc. throughout
British Columbia preserving and promoting British Columbia's history.
The British Columbia Historical Federation is an umbrella organization embracing a variety of membership categories which are interested in the
preservation and promotion of British Columbia's history.
Member Societies: Local and regional historical societies with objectives consistent with those of the Federation. All dues paying members of the local or
regional society shall be ipso facto members of the Federation.
Affiliated Members: Groups, organizations and institutions without dues paying members with specialized interests or objectives of a historical nature.
Associate Members: Individuals may become members of the Federation.
Corporate Members: Companies are entitled to become members of the Federation.
Member Societies: one dollar per member with a minimum membership fee of $30 and a maximum of $75
Affiliated Members: $35
Associate Members: $35
Corporate Members: $100
For further information about memberships, contact Ron Hyde, Membership Chair
The website Book Store now has over 85 books on its shelves from the British Columbia Historical Federation and member societies. Books can be
purchased through using PayPal. Purchase books about BC history:
Federation publications from 1923 - 2007 can be accessed from the main page.
Click on the Publications link from
Or go directly to the university library website at
The archive of BCHF Newsletters can be found at
A comprehensive database of British Columbia history, available free to all online in a "Wikipedia"style format. Submissions will be reviewed for
accuracy. The name of the author will be attached to the entry with links to the author's website. Be a part of this exciting new project today and write a
few words about your area of interest!
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 Editor's Note
Back it Up, Back it Up!
Photo of me playing road hockey when
I am about 6 years old. The photo was
taken by one of my brothers.
It seems as though I grew up to a
soundtrack of hockey games, car
races, and other sporting events
playing in the background. The
medley was comprised of Howard
Cosell's nasally voice, Howie Meeker's
"that kid's got wheels", Jim Robson,
Foster Hewitt, and Jackie Stewart's
Scottish brogue yelling over the
whine of Formula 1 cars. The winter
soundtrack was dominated by hockey
games on TV and radio in English or
French. Summers were filled with
hydroplane races and car races. My
brother Jamea did his own play-by
play and was, and still is, a walking
encyclopaedia of sports facts, which is
why I enlisted him as a subject matter
expert for this issue."
Howard Cosell's nasally voice
has been replaced by Paul Sherwen,
Bob Roll and Phil Liggett on the sports
soundtrack as they comment on the
Tour de France and Howie Meeker's
"back it up, back it up" has been
replaced by the banter of Ron MacLean
and Don Cherry.
Whether an athlete, spectator,
or disinterested party, the stories
of athletes pervade our world; their
triumphs and disappointments make
My brothers debated who were
the best hockey players, car drivers,
and so on. Occasionally my dad would
join the debate and my mom would
throw in a comment here and there.
They continue to debate and my
husband has joined the fray.
Recently, I read an interesting
article by James Turner about how
mobile technology is changing our
world.2 He noted that "people don't
tend to get into bar fights anymore
arguing who has the most touchdown
catches in NFL history. Someone just
looks it up on their phone." How
different my childhood would have
been with Google. I am sure that my
brothers still would have found a way to
debate but Turner poses an interesting
question, "is there a value to having
to think and discuss things, rather than
merely looking up the answer. Does
trying to reason something out lead to
value beyond the answer?.... Is this the
logical end result of the Wikipediafying
of the world, a civilization full of facts
but devoid of meaning?" History is
murky, different parties have different
versions of events and each generation
looks at the past through its own lens.
Here in the pages of British Columbia
History, we go beyond a mere listing
of facts and tell the stories.
Andrea Lister
1.   Jamea is the correct spelling, not James. We
pronounce his name "Jamie".
2.   James Turner, "Upward Mobility: 3
Unanswered Questions About Mobile
Technology," O'Reilly Programming, December 9,
Submission Guidelines
Manuscripts that have been published
elsewhere or are under review for
publication elsewhere, will be considered
at the editor's discretion.
• Word Count 1000 to 5000.
• Electronic version, with file extension
(either .doc or .rtf), will be required
should the article be accepted for
• Endnotes must follow Chicago Manual
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for fact checking are appreciated.
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You agree to grant the BCHF First Rights
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before and this is now a reprint; the
original publisher will be credited at
the time of reprint), and Electronic
Publishing and Multimedia Rights (the
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and to publish that work in British
Columbia History for no payment. Future
online publication of your work and the
right to reprint it in a future publication is
included in your granting of publication
rights to the BCHF.
The British Columbia Historical
Federation assumes no responsibility for
statements made by contributors.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      3
Letters from Readers
Fictitious Juan de Fuca
In "Finding Juan de Fuca in
Kefalonia" (Winter 2013 issue),
my friend Alan Twigg regrettably
recirculated the hypothetical
conclusion that has too often
been drawn from a centuries-old
fable: namely, that this intriguing
character was "the first European to
enter British Columbia waters." By
conflating his whimsical travel story
with historical fiction, Twigg misled
readers into thinking this is, or might
be, a documented fact. However,
he hung the validity of his flimsy
analysis on a single piece of "written
evidence" — the unsubstantiated,
highly questionable, third-hand
account of Juan de Fuca's alleged
and probably fictitious tale that was
published in 1625 by Samuel Purchas,
who was an avaricious writer of
historical fiction, not a competent
"maritime historian" as Twigg would
have us believe. Furthermore,
serious researchers have never been
able to find any records of de Fuca's
apparently fabricated expedition in
the Spanish colonial archives.
Twigg's numerous contributions
to understanding and appreciating
BC history have been extremely
valuable, but this one — provocative
or humourous as it may be — was
misleading. In addition, periodicals
like British Columbia History, have an
obligation to distinguish documented
historical accounts from historical
fiction. Both have value, but the
difference is important.
Jim McDowell
Emory Creek: Environmental
Legacy Revisited
Please accept my
congratulations for the publication
of the improved Leech manuscript.
Your addition of photographs and
especially  the   map  of the   Emory
Creek area has improved the account
immensely. The late Geoff Leech
would be pleased, I am sure.
Geoff was a history enthusiast
and enjoyed a thorough reading of
each issue of British Columbia History
I passed to him. He and I were raised in
small-town British Columbia (Salmon
Arm and Kimberley, respectively). He
took very strong objection, commonly
spiced with angry swear words, to
Mr. Alan Long's 2006 paper in British
Columbia History of what seemed to
be a deliberately distorted view of
what was published about gold placer
mining on the lower Fraser. It seemed
that Long sought information to
support a pre-conceived conclusion of
lasting environmental damage. Geoff
was concerned that those researching
early environmental damage caused
by placer mining of the lower Fraser
would become wrongly informed. I
urged Geoff to write an account of
his objections and I worked with him
on the manuscript from start to his
last version. I had to warn Geoff to
drop or at least soften some of his
strong statements in early versions of
the manuscript, lest he be subject to
I do confess that I was concerned
that your editing and reshaping of the
manuscript would result in a Pablum-
like version. But I am pleased with
the result.
Still, Long's paper and Geoff's
effective rebuttal do raise a question:
Should manuscripts passed to you be
read by a generally knowledgeable
person (not necessarily a specialist)
to shield the reader from such
disgraceful distortions as in Long's
paper? The British Columbia
Historical Federation is protected by
your disclaimer, but not the readers.
My good wishes for 2014
W.H. Poole
BCs Past
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personal and engaging
stories in every issue.
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BC's history awaits you.
Subscribe on line:
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c/o Magazine Association of BC,
#201-318 Homer Street,
Vancouver, BC V6B 2V2
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 The Cinderella Crew
by Jason Beck
Sixty years have passed since the greatest underdog story in
BC sports history involving a group of green UBC students
coached by a hard-nosed hotel owner.
Every day thousands of drivers cross the
bridge over the Vedder Canal driving
on Highway 1 between Abbotsford
and Chilliwack. It's a safe bet few, if
any, know the waters drifting calmly below
strewn with scraggly debris were the site of
one of the most unlikely underdog victories in
Canadian sport history.
The only sport that takes place on the
Vedder's waters these days is sport fishing
during the annual sockeye run, but, as
unbelievable as it may seem today, for one
week in the summer of 1954, the canal hosted
the largest rowing regatta this province
had ever seen to that point. Rowers from
Australia, England, New Zealand,
and Canada were here competing
in the 1954 British Empire
and Commonwealth Games
(BECG). In front of 10,000
screaming spectators
lining the Vedder's banks,
before    Miracle    Milers
Roger     Bannister     and
John  Landy   raced  into
history and the collapse
of   English   marathoner
Jim  Peters  shocked  the
world     at     Vancouver's
Empire Stadium, a green
crew    of    University    of
British   Columbia   students
representing  Canada  in  the
heavy eights stole the headlines.
Facing the young Canadians
were eight seasoned men from the
Thames Rowing Club, the largest rowing club
in the world. Boasting oarsmen with ten-plus
years experience and educated at the likes of
Oxford and London University, on paper it
looked like a supreme mismatch. Several of
the UBC boys stealing nervous glances at their
English competition had first picked up an oar
only months earlier.
Later, after a decisive upset victory,
British Empire Games Federation secretary
Sandy Duncan incredulously asked aloud
to anyone within earshot in the Royal Stand:
"How can a green crew of college men beat
England's best eight?" A newsman who
overheard Duncan's comment put it before
long-time Vancouver Rowing Club president
Nelles Stacey for an answer. Without hesitating
Stacey chirped out a reply carried across the
country: "Frank Read and the damndest spirit
you ever saw."1
Hard-nosed Vancouver hotel owner Frank
Read never stepped foot in one of his crew's
rowing shells. The closest Read ever came
was yelling through an oversized tin
megaphone in a trailing 18-foot (5.5
m) runabout powered by outboard
motor. Make no mistake, Read's
will  fuelled  his  crew's  boats
through unbending powers of
motivation   and   persuasion.
Read   had   been   a   rower
himself   back   in   the   early
1930s, part of a Vancouver
fours    crew   that   featured
future   BC   Lions   president
Don Mackenzie. The
foursome   went   undefeated
for over a year and Olympic
aspirations entered their minds,
however   selection  politics   kept
Read and crew at home. Spurned by
Olympic selectors, the feeling of "What
if?" never really left him.
Read redirected it towards his business
pursuits achieving a good measure of success.
With only two years of high school education in
his back pocket, he graduated from labouring
as a journeyman plasterer to the hotel business,
first owning and operating the Woods Hotel in
the Coquitlam neighbourhood of Maillardville
and then managing Vancouver's Castle Hotel
from 1939-1949. On the side, Read became
part-owner of Coastal Freighter and an oilman,
Jason Beck is the
Curator and Facility
Director of the
BC Sports Hall of
Fame. His work
has appeared in
international sports
historical and
sports literature
journals, as well
as BC newspapers
and magazines. His
book on the 1954
British Empire and
Games, entitled
A Week You'll
Remember a
Lifetime, will be
published this year.
Sharing the same
name as the book,
the BC Sports Hall
of Fame plans to
unveil a special
60th anniversary
exhibition on the
1954 Games this
1   Coach Frank Read.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      5
 drilling 13 wells in Saskatchewan, all but one
of which turned into a producer. Showing
remarkably shrewd foresight, in 1949 Read
purchased controlling interest of Chisholm
Industries, a company that manufactured
radio-phonographs and then deftly sold
the company to huge profit as the device's
popularity crested in 1951 with the looming
introduction of television. In spite of his
growing business acumen, as sports writer Eric
Whitehead put it, "Frank never did get the feel
of a finely-feathered blade out of his blood."2
In November 1949, Read received a
phone call that changed the direction of his life
and the history of Canadian rowing forever. An
old friend from the Vancouver Rowing Club
(VRC) asked him out of the blue if he'd take
on a volunteer coaching position with the club.
His first thought was to turn the opportunity
down, but on a lark Read agreed to share
coaching duties of a joint UBC-VRC program.
When his coaching partner fell ill and never
made it to the dock, by default, with no prior
experience Read found himself in charge.
His budget that first year? A shoestring
two hundred dollars.3 Two years later it
doubled. Neither were large sums in their
day; today it barely covers a single oar, let
alone an entire university rowing program. By
1954, the university gave Read $1500 to work
with—better, but still miniscule compared to
the powerful University of Washington rowing
program's annual budget of $90,000."
On one hand, Read very much saw
himself as a father figure to his young rowers,
steering them towards lives as productive
members of society. He felt it his duty to teach
and guide, race results less important than the
learning on the journey itself. At the same time,
there was the harder side to Read. His rowers
called him "Simon Legree" behind his back,
after the brutal slave owner in Harriet Beecher
Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.5 Read coined a
similar image of himself: "the man with the big
black whip." He understood you had to put
yourself through proverbial hell to get to the
top or to accomplish anything good, anything
of consequence, in life. Perhaps no coach drove
his athletes harder.
Today team members inevitably cite
Read as the most significant reason for the
crew's ultimate success.
"No question he's the biggest," said
crew member Phil Kueber. "The only reason.
He had it in his mind's eye that he was going
to do something with us and he did. I mean,
he didn't have a bunch of athletes. We were a
bunch of misfits."6
Some go even farther, expanding on the
effect Read had on their lives in general.
"Read took the raw materials of the
crew—that small-town outdoor ethic, the lack
of fear, the ton of brains, the athleticism—he
took all that and aimed it in one direction,"
said team manager Don Laishley. "Not only
was he the driving force behind the crew,
but his influence on us as individuals was
absolutely enormous. I think half of us could
have been mediocre stumblebums. There was
no question that Read had more influence on
me as a young man moving into adulthood
than any other person."7
The pieces of Read's 1954 crew began
falling into place in early 1950 when stroke
Glen Smith, the cerebral and hard-working
"old man of the sea" as teammates dubbed
him, first turned out for the UBC Thunderbird
crew. Mike Harris, the team's brightest student,
arrived in the fall of 1952. As did gangly 115-
lb (52 kg) cox Ray Sierpina, a sixteen-year-
old boy prodigy. The tiny town of Ganges on
Saltspring Island remarkably provided two
crew members: team captain Tom Toynbee
and seventeen-year-old Doug McDonald. The
fall of 1953 brought team manager Laishley
and spare Kueber into the fold. Herman
Zloklikovits, the best pure athlete on the 1954
crew, and Bob Wilson, nicknamed "Death"
for his skin tone and resemblance to actor Jack
Palance, also joined up. As the calendar flipped
to 1954, the ultra-laidback seventeen-year-old
Laurie West worked himself in. 'Bulldog' Ken
Drummond earned a call-up from the junior
varsity squad just months before the Games.
If you placed a pin on a map of BC for
each boy's hometown, you'd see them scattered
from Prince George in the north to Duncan
in the west and Nelson in the east. Displaced
huge distances from their families, homes, and
ways of life, rowing brought them together
like family, a home away from home, a band
of brothers.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 It's said Read never cut a single athlete in all
the years he coached. The grueling dry land
training regimen took care of weeding out the
pool of prospects until he was left with a dozen
or so rowers fit to hit the water. And were they
ever fit. One time his rowers put themselves
through a US Navy fitness test. A perfect score
was 300 sit-ups. A couple of the boys stopped
after two hours and over 2500 crunches—not
from fatigue, but from scraping the skin of
their buttocks raw.8
Read's daily training grind on
Vancouver's Coal Harbour wasn't any easier.
Rowing ten miles (16 km) to the Second
Narrows Bridge and back by light of a lantern
hanging on the end of the sixteen-man barge,
the crew grew to expect the unexpected. Coal
Harbour proved a rapidly changing obstacle
course that worked against Read's plucky
rowers as much as anything, hardly the
training ground to build a championship crew.
Then again, it certainly hardened them.
One day the tide was up, the next
down; one day the current ran with you, the
next against. Driftwood floated menacingly
everywhere. Tugboats and freighters moved to
and fro sending waves cutting across the shells,
occasionally swamping the fragile vessels or
"We never know when we launch our
shells whether we will get them back in one
piece or in pieces," said Read.9
In the spring, the crew switched to two-a-
day workouts, averaging two-and-a-half hours
on the water daily and covering about 16 miles
(26 km). When the weather cooperated, they
rowed all the way to Port Moody and back.
Every workout finished with a 2000-metre
timed sprint beginning at the CPR docks and
finishing at the VRC. The route became so
familiar, landmarks along the way worked
themselves into the calls delivered by cox
Sierpina and helped the crew to gauge distance.
The important marker was Taconite, a huge 125-
foot (38 m) yacht owned by the Boeing family
always moored at the end of the VRC marina.
At the Taconite's stern, the crew commenced
the final sprint for the finish, usually thirty
strokes or three extra hard 'Big Tens.' Even in
competitions on other waterways, the crew
used these familiar landmarks, a tree or a
barn designated Taconite.  Everywhere they
competed, Coal Harbour's landmarks came
with them.
Once school ended, the boys moved
into the Vancouver Rowing Clubhouse for
the summers. They slept on bunks set up in
a corner of the main dining hall, blankets
hung on clotheslines as makeshift walls for
some privacy while a Friday night dance
roared around them. So exhausted from
their workouts, most still managed to sleep
soundly.10 A wispy English woman named
Mrs. Longmeyer, nicknamed "The Prowl",
cooked for them. To make a call on the house's
crackly payphone cost a nickel. Rats infested
the lower regions of the aging building, which
if not condemned, fast moved in that direction.
Working towards a common goal day
in, day out, and living like family they became
tighter than brothers. They discovered rock and
roll with the release of Rock Around The Clock
by Bill Haley and The Comets. They all walked
down to the neon lights of the Orpheum on
Granville Street and saw Blackboard Jungle
for the first time. They grew to appreciate the
beauty and splendour of Stanley Park, keeping
the VRC's windows open on summer nights to
allow singing of the pretty girls in the Malkin
Bowl's Theatre Under The Stars to drift in on
the breeze.11 Through it all, and remaining to
this day, a remarkable tightness characterized
Read's crews, on and off the water.
"We were encouraged to be together,
to do things together," said Doug McDonald.
"That was the key to our boat. Once our blades
were in the water, everybody was trying to do
exactly the same thing at exactly the same time.
That was how the boat would virtually fly."12
Read and the crew didn't do it all on their
own though. This 'Cinderella team' had
some help getting to the grand ball. When the
boys needed something—funding, equipment,
clothing, food, time off work— if he couldn't
provide it himself, Read located benefactors
who could, some among the most powerful
men in BC and Canada.
Read convinced Colonel Victor Spencer,
who owned Spencer's department store chain
and the Douglas Lake Cattle Company, to
provide the sleek 62-foot (19 m) Pocock racing
shell that bore his name in tribute for $2,500, not
a small sum in 1954 when a brand new Chevy
Corvette could be had for just three hundred
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 In Thunderbird
shirts, the UBC-
VRC Rowing Eights
crew representing
Canada at the
1954 BECG lined
up on the dock.
From left to
right: Colonel
Victor Spencer,
Frank Read,
Bob Wilson, Ken
Drummond, Doug
McDonald, Laurie
West, Herman
Zlokikovits, Tom
Toynbee, Mike
Harris, Glen Smith,
Ray Sierpina.
dollars more. Tong Louie, president of the H.Y.
Louie Company, donated fruits and vegetables,
while horse racing magnate Jack Diamond
provided steaks. Charles 'Chunky' Woodward,
later president of Woodward's department
stores, supplied deep freezers for the crew's
food. Timothy Eaton provided clothing. Future
Lt-Governor Frank Ross, architect Ned Pratt,
'Bimbo' Sweeny, head of the Vancouver Stock
Exchange, and Harley Davidson dealership
owner Fred Deeley all helped out in a pinch.
Perhaps their most important supporter was
Seattle boat builder George Pocock, who built
their racing shell and in the team's most dire
moment saved their bacon.
Two weeks after receiving the new Victor
Spencer and only days from departing for St.
Catherines for the Canadian British Empire
Games trials, the crew was sweating through
one final workout. Approaching the VRC
boathouse at dusk, suddenly a submerged log
rocked the shell, cracking the delicate cedar
nearly its entire length. After months of work
and sacrifice, to the crew it seemed the end of
the world. Describing the incident, a page in
bowman Wilson's meticulously kept scrapbook
bore the simple title: "Tragedy."13 At a phone
call's notice Pocock raced up to Vancouver
that night and using space-age glues from his
friends at Boeing and age-old boatbuilding
tricks, he fixed the damaged craft in time.
Read and the UBC-VRC crew caught a
flight aboard a Trans-Canada Air Lines
Douglas DC-4 Northstar to St. Catharines for
the BEG trials. Since initiation of formal BEG
and Olympic trials, no West Coast team had
ever accomplished anything of note at the St.
Catharines Henley Rowing Centre.
To supporters listening to the play-
by-play of CBC Radio's Ward Cornell back
home, it initially appeared this year would
prove no different for the Thunderbirds.
While UBC stroked away from the field
totally unmentioned by Cornell in his far-off
observation tower, he espoused the histories
and virtues of the eastern crews falling behind,
particularly the Hamilton Leanders, whom
he especially fancied. Nelles Stacey, crouched
over the radio in his Marine Building office
in Vancouver, nearly choked on his coffee
twice. Once when it became clear to him that
no mention of the UBC-VRC boys must have
meant some sort of disqualification, then
a second time when inexplicably Cornell
effectively introduced the Thunderbirds as the
race leader minutes into the contest!
Cornell's biased misdirection added to
the drama on the radio, but in reality
Read's boys walked away with the
race in one of the most dominant
displays in Canadian rowing history,
made all the more impressive being
so unexpected. Eastern papers
conservatively listed the Thunderbird
margin of victory at four boat lengths;
some western papers listed the gap at
over five. The St. Catharines Standard
needed a panoramic photo spanning
over half the width of its sports page
to capture all five crews in the race
at the finish—the four eastern crews
clustered on the far right, the elegant
Thunderbirds alone on the far left
edge, acres of open water and two full
column widths between them.14
To the surprise of everyone
except themselves and their supporters,
the UBC-VRC Thunderbirds would
represent Canada against the
Commonwealth's best on the Vedder
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 Left: Fraser Valley publisher and Fraser
Valley Rowing Committee chairman Cecil
Hacker escorting Prince Philip, The Duke of
Edinburgh to the Royal Box upon his arrival
at the Vedder Canal to watch the 1954 BECG
rowing events.
Due to high cost of transporting a 62-
foot (19 m) rowing shell, only England
and Canada entered eight-man crews in the
1954 BECG competition. Facing the esteemed
Thames Rowing Club eight, virtually everyone
conceded gold to the English. Years later, a
remarkable unpublished newspaper clipping
surfaced proving how little was expected
of Read's Thunderbird crew representing
Canada. To get a jump on deadlines, a
Chilliwack Progress reporter penned a recap of
the eights showdown a day before the race
even took place, based on what he and the
experts thought would occur:
'Old Pros' Win Over Canadians
England's polished and experienced
Thames Rowing club eight proved
too much for Canada's University of
British Columbia's younger and lighter
crew today at Vedder Canal. They won
by lengths. "15
The article continues on in this vein for
several paragraphs with blanks left for details
to be filled in later. As it turned out what really
did occur makes for a much better story.
Wearing scarlet shorts and fancy white
Canadian singlets for the first time, the nine
UBC students waited nervously at the start
Two thousand meters away Read stood
on a bobbing dock watching intently through
binoculars. He had driven his boys through
months of punishing, back-breaking training
to get to this point. They were as prepared
and ready as they could be. Given the
circumstances, it was a miracle they were even
here. And in those first few strokes Read's boys
looked as green as the August grass swishing
lazily in the breeze of neighboring farmers'
After the starting gun's crack, through
his binoculars Read saw an enormous crest
of white water splash up off the oars on the
bow side as one of the crew caught a massive
crab, rowing parlance for when an oar fails to
clear the surface of the water. The force of the
crab wreaked havoc with the rest of the crew's
rhythm, causing one or two additional minor
crabs. Some recalled feeling the boat lurch to
one side, while others felt a sharp sudden stop.
Most remember more of a shuddering halting.
Read's jaw dropped and his heart sank.
Team manager Laishley, standing silently
nearby, remembers hearing Read snarl: "Oh
miiigaaawwdd.. ."u
Water splashed everywhere. They were
all out of sequence. Read shifted his view to
the English, who were stroking away smooth
as silk in the eastern lane. The Canadians were
behind by a full boat length only seconds into
Right: The Royal
Box from where
Prince Philip and
other VIP's watched
the rowing events
at the Vedder
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      9
 "Goin' to 40! Big Ten! Big Ten! No mistakes now, boys!" yelled Sierpina, his tin UBC
megaphone strapped around his head vibrating like a tuning fork.
the race. It should have been all over right
But something remarkable occurred in
the next few moments.
When most would have expected an
inexperienced group to fold in such chaos, the
swift reactions of the crew salvaged the race.
Smith and Sierpina somehow managed to
restart the stroke rhythm and the rest quickly
fell back into sequence.
Maybe Read determined the course of
those moments months ago by his continual
verbal proddings, by the countless hours and
miles logged on Coal Harbour. Maybe the
'man with the big black whip' had hardened
them so they would not—could not—buckle.
Regardless of the reason, one thing was certain:
the Victor Spencer began to move like it never
had in training all year, flew like it never had
"Goin' to 38!" yelled Sierpina, sitting in
the stern of the boat and crowing out the stroke
rhythm. His arms flapped in a wide arc like
an enraged rooster, slapping the sides of the
shell so hard reverberations were felt down its
entire length.
The jitters faded with each passing
stroke as they quickly settled into a brisk
rhythm. By one hundred meters, the English
no longer pulled ahead, but the Canadians
weren't gaining back any ground either.
"Goin' to 40! Big Ten! Big Ten! No
mistakes now, boys!" yelled Sierpina, his tin
UBC megaphone strapped around his head
vibrating like a tuning fork.
It may have been the earliest call
for a 'Big Ten' push ever in a UBC race, but
desperate times called for desperate measures.
The English continued to plod along at a
36-beat rate. By the 250-metre mark, the
Canadians had nearly eaten up the entire
English cushion. By 400-meters, they actually
pulled one metre into the lead. There would
be a race today after all. The spooked English
upped their rate to forty to match the plucky
Canadians. At the 500-metre mark, both teams
were virtually even, the lead swinging back
and forth like a pendulum as each shell's
bow nosed ahead. Here the superior fitness of
Read's boys began to turn the tide. Somehow
they maintained the forty-stroke pace—even
upping it occasionally to 42 or a sapping 44—
while the English faltered ever so slightly. By
the halfway mark, the Canadians edged ahead
by half a boat-length. The 10,000-strong on the
banks began to roar as the boats came nearer
into view with the Canadians slightly in front.
Most were already on their feet.
They say that in an eight-oar race, most
victories are won in the first 500 metres or lost
in the third 500. If Read's boys miraculously
fought back to give themselves a chance in the
first quarter, then the English failed to step up
from 1000 meters on. Maybe they stubbornly
refused to believe a green bunch of kids could
possibly maintain the effort they grinded
out and must inevitably tire. Whatever the
reason, the English shifted back down to a
steady 36 beat seemingly wanting none of the
brute tempo of this wicked game. Meanwhile,
the Canadians continued to plow ahead at
40. Reaching, straining with every shovel of
muddy water, they were undoubtedly tiring.
Their oars entered the water less smoothly and
sloppy splashes became common. At the three-
quarter mark, the UBC boys built a full two-
length lead. Still they refused to let up. Every
stroke felt like murder, shoulders aching, thighs
burning. Every breath seared the lungs. Smith
and Sierpina allowed no relief. Read instructed
them to take it out hard—and they had—now
their cox and stroke simply wouldn't allow
them to take it down.
The English, finally sensing it was now
or never, upped their rate once more. As they
always did, the Canadians chose landmarks
along the Vedder course that matched up with
familiar points on their Coal Harbour training
rows. They placed the 'Taconite' marker at the
end of the plank seating, which worked fine
when the seating was empty in training, but
when 10,000-plus overflowed past its farthest
extent on race day, it made the marker nearly
impossible to discern. Rather than risk leaving
the final push too late, Sierpina did the only
sensible thing in the circumstances: as soon as
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 the masses on the banks became thick enough,
he began calling for "Taconite! Taconite!" and
then continued calling for another and then
another. Already exhausted, their stroke rate
jumped to at least a frantic 44, maybe higher—a
sustained sprint almost unheard of in rowing
at the time. The Spencer fairly flew those last
few metres. The roar of the crowd seemed
deafening, even drowning out Sierpina.
The English were finished, over two
lengths in arrears. One final stroke and the
Spencer sliced the finish in a time of 6:59.0,
the English nearly 12 seconds behind. As they
crossed the line, an official on the dock fired a
shotgun blast skyward signaling the finish. One
by one, the green UBC kids slumped forward
or fell back exhausted and elated.17 Flashbulbs
snapped like popcorn as they slapped one
another's backs and tried to catch their breath.
Finally they could drift for a bit and relax. It
was done: Canada's first gold medal in eights
rowing in any international Games. The most
unexpected victory in the 1954 Games some
called it. The greatest upset in the history of the
British Empire Games others said.
Outside of Miracle Milers Bannister and
Landy and ill-fated English marathoner Peters,
no other BECG event garnered the amount of
press suddenly accorded the UBC-VRC eight.
Nearly all Lower Mainland papers carried
front-page headlines, photos, and multiple
stories. "UBC's Rowing Crew Scores Stunning
Upset Win in BEG" trumpeted the Sun's page
one headline, while their sports section carried
a headline of '"Twas Mighty Win, Indeed!"18
A Chilliwack Progress article stated "what they
did today was comparable to an unknown
beating Bannister or Landy in the miracle mile
in Vancouver Saturday."19 Other papers across
the country carried similar coverage. Suddenly
celebrities, the names of this "Cinderella
Crew" passed between lips over kitchen tables
and office desks all over BC. A day later, the
Province ran an editorial entitled, "They Did
The Impossible," assuming the public would
immediately identify who "They" were.20
After rowing, members of the 1954 UBC-
VRC crew went on to achieve great things
as well.
Tom Toynbee owned one of the largest
wholesale lumber businesses in Canada and
later invested in the historic Mouat's Store in
his hometown of Ganges on Saltspring Island.
From Burton, a tiny town in the Arrow
Lake District near Nakusp  whose  original
The final stroke
crossing the finish
line to gold for
Rowing Eights
crew representing
Canada at the 1954
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      11
 Coach Frank Read
and the 1954 UBC-
VRC Rowing Eights
crew representing
Canada at the 1954
BECG celebrate
in the boathouse
after their gold
medal upset victory
on the Vedder.
From left to right:
Ken Drummond,
Doug McDonald,
Tom Toynbee, Ray
Sierpina (kneeling),
Mike Harris, Frank
Read, Laurie West
(partially blocked
behind Read), Glen
Smith, Herman
Zloklikovits, Phil
Keuber, Bob Wilson.
location is now underwater after construction
of the Keenleyside Dam in 1968, Ken
Drummond became a geologist. He worked in
the oil business in Alberta for over fifty years
with Mobil Oil and the National Energy Board.
He played a major role bringing the Hibernia
project off Newfoundland to fruition.
Also from Ganges, Doug McDonald
ran a Saltspring sawmill and Alpine Lodge
in the Garibaldi region, before managing a
bulldozing business, which prepared many
of the ski hills during the development of
Prince George's Herman Zloklikovits
graduated in dentistry from Montreal's McGill
University and shortened his name to Dr.
Kovits when he became a family dentist in
Chilliwack, living within sight of the Vedder.
Grand Forks' Glen Smith practiced as a
medical doctor in Prince George and a throat
and neck specialist in Burnaby, while later
managing three hospitals in Saudia Arabia
near the end of his career. He has remained
involved in rowing to this day, still competing
in masters events and travelling to international
regattas all over the world.
A brilliant engineering student,
Vancouver's Laurie West reportedly never
worked a regular job and remained a bit of a
After graduating in engineering physics,
Abbotsford's Mike Harris worked for Canadair
and quickly realized he desired to fly jets.
He worked his way into the United States
Air Force where as a test pilot he flew fighter
planes in Europe including the F-86 Sabre. He
returned to North America and was assigned to
the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico
where he worked for NASA on the precursor
to the space shuttle.
Duncan's Phil Kueber practised
corporate and securities law for 35 years in
Calgary, owned a thoroughbred horse racing
stable, and founded the Calgary Rowing Club.
Kamloops' Bob Wilson became successful
in the oil business running a parts distribution
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 company, which moved him around from
Oxbow, Saskatchewan to Louisiana, Scotland,
and Texas before settling in Calgary.
Originally from Richmond, Ray Sierpina
became a successful chartered accountant in
West Vancouver and still gets on the water in
his sailboat.
Nelson's Don Laishley graduated with
honours in forestry and later went to MIT
before working as CEO of one of the largest
forestry consulting companies in the world
and later managing 2.5 million acres of forest
for Champion International, at one time the
largest paper company in the world.
Vancouver's Frank Read became the first
chair of the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1966, the
same year the 1954 UBC-VRC eight became the
very first team inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The UBC-VRC victory at the 1954 BECG
may have been Canada's first international
rowing gold medal, ultimately though, it
proved just the beginning of a Canadian
rowing dynasty that stretched on for a decade.
A year later, Read's boys heeded an invitation
from Prince Philip himself and traveled to the
Royal Henley Regatta in Britain with largely
the same crew. The first time any BC team
competed at Henley, they drew the defending
champion Russian Krasnoe Znamia crew in
the semi-finals and famously defeated them
by one-and-a-half lengths, capturing the
imagination of the British public. A one-third
length loss to the University of Pennsylvania in
the final notwithstanding, the 1955 regatta was
remembered forever after as "the UBC-VRC
On to Melbourne in 1956 for the Olympics
where the hopes and dreams of generations
of Canadian oarsmen were finally realized,
when a ragtag UBC-VRC foursome comprising
spare members left over from the eights crew
captured Canada's first-ever Olympic gold
medal in rowing. Wilson, McDonald, West,
Kueber, and Smith as a spare were all back as
part of the eights crew that added Olympic
silver. Two years later at the BECG in Cardiff,
Wales, more medals arrived in the form of
a silver in the fours and a gold in the eight,
defending the title captured so dramatically on
the Vedder. The Rome Olympics in 1960 added
an eights silver, Canada's only medal of the
entire Games. Read retired from coaching after
these Games, but success for the program he
assembled continued with another gold medal
at the 1964 Olympics in the pairs.
It marked a remarkable run of success for
a country that knew only fleeting triumph in the
sport previously, all of these new champions
and near-champions emanating out of an aging
wooden boathouse in Stanley Park. Without a
proper waterway in which to train.. .composed
of green students initially unfamiliar with
the oar, trying to find themselves and their
path...aided by some of the most powerful
and influential men in the worlds of business,
politics, and sport...coached by a gruff hotel
manager who became a surrogate father to
his flock and nearly refused the job in the first
Few stories contain such unbelievable
characters and plot, the stuff of which legends
are made. •
1. Vancouver Province, August 5,1954,16.
2. Vancouver Province BC Magazine, February 16,1957, 8.
3. $200 CDN in 1949 converts to approximately $2,000
CDN in 2013 money. "Inflation Calculator," Bank of
Canada, accessed December 13, 2013, http://www.
4. Vancouver Province, August 5,1954, 2.
5. Glen Smith, correspondence with author, 2010.
6. Phil Kueber, personal interview, 2007.
7. Don Laishley, personal interview, 2007.
8. Bob Wilson, personal interview, 2007.
9. UBC Archives, Frank Read fonds, correspondence,
July 14,1956.
10. Glen Smith, personal interview, 2007.
11. Tom Toynbee, personal interview, 2007.
12. Doug McDonald, personal interview, 2007.
13. Bob Wilson scrapbooks.
14. Bob Wilson scrapbooks.
15. Glen Smith scrapbooks.
16. Don Laishley, personal interview, 2007.
17. Race description
details came from a
myriad of sources. Most
important were: All
personal interviews with
crew members, Chilliwack
Progress, August 11,1954,
and, CBC Vancouver,
CBUT archival broadcast
footage, August 4,1954.
18. Vancouver Sun,
August 5,1954,12.
19. Chilliwack Progress,
August 11,1954.
20. Vancouver Province,
August 6,1954, 6.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      13
 For the Love of Grass
by Shelley Mclvor
The South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club has hosted iconic
matches since 1887. It is among the oldest grass court clubs
in the world, one of the few that remains in operation today.
Shelley Mclvor
currently writes,
edits, and
presents technical
freelance pursuit
that spun out of her
career in analytical
chemistry and
marine related
industries. She
recently returned
to Vancouver
Island to finish her
master's degree
in technical
after ten years
living, working, and
exploring overseas.
Explorations closer
to home have
rekindled her
fascination with
local history.
If you find yourself on Vancouver Island,
retracing parts of the old wagon route via
the TransCanada highway between
Victoria and Nanaimo, you might miss the
turnoff to historic Cowichan Bay. Even now,
the village census numbers fewer than 3000
residents.1 Today's eclectic seaside sprawl of
artisan shops and cafes with the surrounding
acreages and vineyards was one of the early
outposts of the Hudson's Bay Company almost
two decades before Canada's Confederation in
1867. Amongst the hunters, trappers,
prospectors, and farmers of the day were a few
adventurous British immigrants who brought
lawn tennis to the bay.
Tennis has origins in multiple European
countries as far back as the 11th century; modern
versions of the sport are credited to a number of
innovative sportsmen from England and Wales
in the mid-1800s. Whether or not you follow
the sport of tennis, the championships at The
All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon
are famous. Their inaugural match was held in
July 1877 and that championship solidified the
rule book for club tennis that remains largely
unaltered to this day. Only a decade later, in
a location described as a remote outpost of
civilization, the inaugural match was held
at the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club
It's a rare privilege these days to play
club tennis on professional grass courts. While
recognizing the economical practicalities
of newer hard courts, aficionados from
generations past lament the loss of grass
club courts that were once so common. The
SCLTC is Canada's last operational grass
court club.2 Founded in 1887, it is one of the
oldest remaining lawn tennis clubs and one
of a dwindling number worldwide.3 In 1992,
the grass courts and grounds were officially
declared a British Columbia Heritage site and
2012 marked the 125th anniversary celebrations
of the Vancouver Island International Grass
Court Championships.
Growth of a Seaside Settlement
The 1881 Canadian Government
Census lists 212 families total in the entire
amalgamated Cowichan Valley and Salt Spring
Island districts. The men of the families were
colloquially referred to as "long stockings,
short stockings, or no stockings" corresponding
to remittance men, working men, and first
nations men.4 Men combined recreation with
subsistence activities like hunting and fishing.
When required, they made the trip into
Victoria. Settler woman ensured the family,
the livestock, the farm, and the settlement
ran smoothly. Purely social or recreational
activities besides church were sporadic and
largely unavailable in the bay.5
By 1887, Cowichan Bay was a rapidly
progressing outpost of civilization. Since the
first settlers disembarked in 1862, families
had grown. Life in the valley included school,
a lending library, church, and access to
supplies on a regular schedule from Victoria.6
Tales of the British sports scene arrived with
every new ship of immigrants to Victoria.
Sporting opportunities were the final missing
ingredients to break up the monotony and
isolation of valley farming life and bind a
settlement into a community. Three immigrant
settlers dreamt and built the club that would
make that happen: Augustus Pimbury, George
T. Corfield, and Frederick Maitland-Dougall.
Lawn tennis would fill the void.
A Tennis Club is Born
Cheap land on Vancouver Island
attracted adventurous immigrants from
across the country and around the world. The
Pimbury bachelors arrived from England and
pre-empted 400 acres in the Cowichan Valley
in the early 1860s; Augustus was the youngest
of the four brothers.7 He grew up farming in
the valley and on Saltspring Island before
finally settling in Cowichan Bay to raise sheep
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 and, in later years, grow
asparagus for the Empress
Hotel in Victoria.8
Augustus must have
keep current on fashionable
trends in the outside world.
The popularity of lawn
tennis in England and the
United States was rapidly
expanding. Even the
growing town of Victoria
had been introduced to lawn
tennis years before by Chief
Justice Sir Mathew Bailie
Begbie. By 1886 there was
still no equipment available
locally so Augustus sent to
England for tennis gear. He
laid out the first grass courts
on his farm by the Pimbury
Bridge over the Cowichan
River on Tzouhalem Road.
On May 9, 1887 he invited
his friends to join him to
knock a few balls. In true 'if
you build it they will come'
fashion, what likely started
as a personal quest soon became a focal point
for an entire community. Augustus' courts,
balls, and racquets quickly bloomed into a
club; the SCLTC was born and Saturday was
designated as club day. Saturday matches and
afternoon teas were held there every summer.
Neighbors arrived to play by rowing skiff,
foot, and horse and buggy. Mr. and Mrs. Jack
Musgrave (for whom Musgrave Landing on
Saltspring Island is named) were known to
row across the channel just for tennis and tea.9
After 1886 traveling to larger, more
prominent tennis clubs in Victoria was possible
by rail but the local tennis club was part of
building a community. Everyone participated:
men watered and rolled the courts with horse
or equivalent people power, women set a fancy
table and served tea. For those early players, the
club provided a social and cultural structure
to settlement life. For women members it
provided an irreplaceable social tie.
The popularity of the sport of lawn tennis
grew steadily as evidenced by the clubs and
private grass courts that sprung up in those
early  decades.10 By  1896,  tennis equipment
was finally in stock locally; the British Colonist
advertisement read "Now in and being offered
at prices to meet the times" at T.N. Hibben &
Co., Victoria.11
Expansion Required
By 1905 the SCLTC was overrunning
the Pimbury courts and looking for options.
George T. Corfield and his large family were
central figures in the growing settlement as
proprietors of the local store, trading post, and
post office.12 They were also active members of
the tennis club. Frederick Maitland-Dougall,
president of the club and part of the local gentry,
was known as a bit of a venture capitalist and
land developer. He hatched a simple plan to
solve the club's real estate problem. Frederick
sent his daughter Edie to pick up the mail and
ask Mr. Corfield if he would permit the club to
expand its courts on the corner of his farm.
George agreed and donated two acres to
the club just down the road from the Pimbury
courts. Club members laid out six new grass
courts the following summer of 1906. League
and tournament play has continued there since
the 1907 summer season.13
The membership of
the South Cowichan
Lawn Tennis Club in
1888 at the original
Pimbury farm
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      15
Tennis match at
the Corfield farm
location (the club's
current location) in
Social graces in the Backwoods
Popularity of the SCLTC was not only
about the sets and matches. From the earliest
competitions at the Pimbury farm courts,
Saturday tennis teas were the weekly social
highlight. No effort was spared to set a proper
table complete with linen and silver tea service,
including the effort of transporting all the
trimmings from home each week by horse and
buggy. The Bachelor's Tea and Tournament
every summer was the highlight of the entire
summer social season. A life-long member
who grew up with the club recalls, "Mothers
and girlfriends of the bachelors were expected
to outdo themselves with an especially lavish
The club served as community recreation
for all ages. Members erected a pavilion on the
Corfield property that served as a club house
from 1906-1962. Women members and hired
help cooked on the wood stove, served tea and
food, and played tennis in their long white
skirts while their children amused themselves
in the giant maple trees surrounding the courts.
Robert William Service was an active
member of the club in the early years. The Bard
of the Yukon worked at the Corfield's store in
1899 and tutored Corfield's seven sons.15 In his
free time he played tennis, read his dictionary,
and with pencils purchased from the store, he
wrote poetry under the massive maples next to
the courts. The VictoriaDaily Colonist published
some of his first works. Service was a regular
at the Saturday tennis teas. In 1905 the women
members embroidered the signatures of the
club members on a tea cloth. Robert Service's
tea cloth signature is displayed at the Cowichan
Museum and Archives.16
A local celebrity, Mrs. Edie Share (nee
Maitland-Dougall — daughter of Frederick
Maitland-Dougall), was one of the earliest
and youngest female members. She was a
bold, vivacious and well-loved member of the
community her whole life. A friend quotes her
as saying, "I was always considered rather
daring. I was accused of showing too much
ankle."17 Revealing skin at the neck or ankles
was not tolerated in her day and had to be
rectified before the match could resume. Over
the years, other club members were much
more nostalgic about keeping up the historic
dress codes. Well into the era of modern tennis
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 shorts on hot summer days,
some male members refused
to give up their long tennis
The Cowichan
Throughout the
early years, the club's
annual Vancouver Island
International Grass court
Championship tournament
was attended by local and
international members plus
a surprising mix of other
famous and prestigious
guests. The championship
has been a regular yearly
feature in the Times Colonist.
By the end of the 19th century,
the Cowichan Valley was an
active sports hub and social
recreation centre not only
with tennis, but also soccer,
cricket, rugby, hockey, polo,
and lacrosse.
'The Cowichan', as the tournament and
club came to be called, was locally famous
by the fifties, and tennis was only part of
the attraction. Cyril Craig, member of the
Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club
wrote to the SCLTC in 1987, "I remember
well...each morning during 'The Cowichan',
cutting the grass, hitching (the players) to the
(formally [sic] horse-drawn) roller and then
trying to walk straight lines with the white
wash...Year after year, close to world-class
tennis was played on court one, world class
fishing was undertaken in the bay, and each
day, as the sun dipped below the horizon,
the day's tensions were dissolved in world-
class liquors dispensed from car trunks...
in world-class paper cups." The club had no
bar in early years but many members recount
that the club's remittance men were known to
generously share their scotch from the sidelines
or the boot of their car in later years.
The Players
The club's contributions to both sport
and community are indisputable. Beginners
learned to play tennis on the grass courts at
the Cowichan and went on to become national
champions. Kay Williams grew up playing
at the SCLTC. She went on to win four U18
National titles between 1934 and 1937 and was
presented the Distinguished Service Award
from Tennis Canada for a lifetime of devotion
and achievement to the sport.19 Frank Kingston
and Norman Corfield (son of George T.
Corfield) were ranking Canadian players from
the SCLTC before WWII.
Ossie Ryall and other ranking Canadian
players who aspired to play at Wimbledon
came to practice and compete on SCLTC
courts.20 Even some who have won matches
at Wimbledon have stated their preference
for the hospitality and atmosphere that graces
the Cowichan courts. Emery Neale, 17 times
US National Seniors Champion told the Times
Colonist, "I've competed all over the world...
[including] at Wimbledon...and I'd rather
go to the South Cowichan's tournament
than any place in the world".21 Jeff Hunter,
the club's longest tenured president (non-
consecutive), executive member, and tireless
volunteer for more than 55 years, was inducted
into the Pacific Northwest Hall of fame for
contributions to the sport of tennis in 2013.
Edie Maitland-
Dougall and Billy
Bundock circa 1910
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      17
 A Legacy Preserved
When George Corfield died in 1928, he
generously willed his two acres to the SCLTC
in a perpetual trust "to permit members of
said Club to enjoy and utilize the said lands
for the purposes of a lawn tennis club only".22
The unique wording of his final sentiments
has ensured the survival of these iconic grass
courts. The club operates under the provisions
of that trust to this day.
While the land was secure, the
management of the club was not. In the lean
membership years following WWII Jeff Hunter
took the job of president when no one else
wanted it — or any of the other jobs for that
matter. While Mr. Hunter had experience
tending lawn courts in his native England, the
condition of the club after the war years was
"the worst he had ever seen anywhere". When
he joined in 1956, the club was down to only 18
members, the original 1906 club house pavilion
had not been updated to include electricity or
running water for toilets or showers and was
dilapidated to a rat-infested shed. Fences were
Mrs. Edith Share
(nee Maitland-
Dougall) in 1962 at
a tennis tea.
down and the courts needed tending. The
nearby Koksilah River was known to jump
its banks in winter flooding the property,
polluting the well water, and toppling the
outhouse. Visitors to the annual tournaments
in those years describe the club as a rustic
summer camp atmosphere in contrast to
the country clubs they were accustomed to.
Something had to be done.
With the help of volunteers and fundraisers, Jeff ordered, commandeered, cajoled
and wrestled the club and the courts back in
order over his many decades of service. He
started by coaching high school tennis to boost
the membership, soliciting local businesses
for donations of materials for the clubhouse,
and traveling to the Pacific Northwest Tennis
Association meetings in Portland, Seattle, or
Vancouver to talk up the club. By the club's 75th
anniversary in 1962 a new clubhouse complete
with men's and women's change and shower
facilities, a full kitchen, and even a fireplace
in the main room upgraded the club's image.
British Columbia's Lt. Governor George
Pearkes and his wife attended the celebrations
that year. Despite the fancy new bar facilities
in the clubhouse, old habits die hard: the club's
famous and now elderly remittance man,
Jimmy Longbourne, plied the honoured guests
with shots of scotch from the bottle always
kept in the trunk of his car. The Pearkes were
reported to be very gracious about the less than
sparkling glassware pulled from the trunk and
enjoyed the novel experience of parking lot bar
service immensely.
Centennial Celebrations in 1987
The executive solicited histories from
the past and present membership to mark the
centennial. People wrote in from far and wide to
share their story of joining the SCLTC, anecdotes
of club events and memories of everything the
club had meant to them and their families over
the past century. The celebrations lasted for a
week and were attended by competitors from
five continents. The Centennial celebrations
were a great success marked by attendance
of local dignitaries and representatives from
Wimbledon itself.
In 1996 a Reader's Digest article actually
described the club as the "Wimbledon of
the Backwoods".23 It has been described as
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 "the hub of the social sports scene". It is a
club that has inspired players to reach their
highest potential and lovers of the game to
donate land and funds and sweat equity so the
South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club retains its
standing in the tennis community just a decade
behind the illustrious Wimbledon itself.
Nostalgia, a Powerful Motivator
In 1887, the modern version of tennis
found a following and made a permanent
home in Cowichan Bay, British Columbia in
the relative wilderness on the southeast coast
of Vancouver Island. The SCLTC was dreamed
into existence by a few neighbors, an order
of racquets from England, and a small plot of
donated land. A farmer, a storekeeper, and
a gentleman seeded and grew the idea, and
others did come: to play, and learn, and build a
tennis community that survives today.
The SCLTC is an amazing example of
the resilient attitude of immigrant settlers in
remote outposts. As the wilds of Vancouver
Island became their home, they filled their new
lands with crops and families and community
ties that included novel new sports like lawn
tennis. One hundred and twenty seven years
after those first sets were played; members and
guests still celebrate the original dedication
and vision for a lawn tennis club. Those who
have come after work hard to maintain that
dream. Times change: the horse-drawn roller
for packing the courts was adapted for a team
of people, and today a heavy road-paving
machine speeds the process with modern
efficiency. Irrigation has been perfected with
automatic sprinklers compared to the labour
intensive earlier versions involving the well
and later combinations of hoses and pumps.
What has not changed is the spirit
of camaraderie that makes the club such a
memorable experience. The SCLTC welcomes
visitors, players, and competitors to share the
rare privilege of experiencing tennis on their
carefully manicured grass courts. For players
who will not rank for a chance at Wimbledon,
the opportunity to feel grass beneath their feet
on the tennis court is not lost. •
Jeff Hunter is a self-described benevolent dictator when
discussing his role with the SCLTC. In 1986, the year before
the club's centennial celebrations, Jeff flew to England
expressly to visit the All England Lawn Tennis Club at
Wimbledon. With the boldness of a visionary, he marched
right in to request a representative attend the Cowichan
celebrations the following summer. Jeff was received with
British decorum and granted a tour of the freshly dressed
courts. His faux-pas of actually stepping onto the famous
green grass court was met with an urgent, "Mr. Hunter,
please", by the club secretary. Despite his small gaff,
Wimbledon did send a representative for the centennial
celebrations the following summer. James Cochrane,
member of the International Tennis Federation, and his
family flew in to attend the ceremonies. Unfamiliar with the
laid-back, unassuming west coast atmosphere in Cowichan
Bay, Mr. Cochrane phoned ahead to ask, "Would evening
dress be required?" Jeff Hunter receives Christmas cards
from the Cochrane family to this day
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      19
1. 2011 Canada census online
2. Lawn tennis clubs in Ottawa
and Toronto were founded in 1881,
Victoria Lawn Tennis Club was
founded in 1886, and Vancouver
Lawn Tennis and Badminton
Club was founded in 1897. None
maintain grass courts today.
3. The UK is the home of the
oldest tennis clubs: Leamington
Spa 1872, Edgbaston Archery and
Lawn Tennis Society 1877, and All
England Lawn Tennis and Croquet
Club 1877 are considered the
oldest. Leamington Spa does not
have grass courts.Of the clubs still
playing on grass today, the SCLTC
is the 9th oldest. It is also one of
the only ones that allow visitors
to play. Home of the International
Tennis Hall of Fame, the Newport
Casino Lawn Tennis Club, in
Rhode Island is another.
4. Elizabeth Blanche Norcross, The
Warm Land: A History of Cowichan
Bay, (Duncan, BC: Island Books,
1959), 50.
5. Ibid., 20-22.
6. "Mary Louisa Marriner",
Memories Never Lost: Stories of the
Pioneer Women of the Cowichan
Valley and a Brief History of the Valley
1850 - 1920, diary comp. Pioneer
Bay Researchers (Altona, MB: D.W.
Friesen and Sons, Ltd.) Altona, MB,
7. N.P. Dougan, "Pioneer Settlers
Of Cowichan: The Pimbury
Brothers", Cowichan Leader, January
8. The Empress Hotel opened in
January 1908.
9. Geraldine Weld, "South
Cowichan Lawn Tennis Courts"
Memories Never Lost, 148.
10. Nearby Duncan had a club,
Victoria had many private lawn
courts and their club started the
year before the SCLTC in 1886.
Vancouver opened their Lawn
Tennis and Badminton Club in
11. British Colonist, May 12,1896, 6.
12. The address for the area was
formally registered as Corfield,
BC until around 1920. Cowichan
Valley Citizen, October 13, 2010,11;
Memories Never Lost, 77.
13. Daphne Ralphs quoting Mary
Marriner's Diary, Memories Never
Lost, 77.
14. Weld, Memories Never Lost, 150.
15. Don Corfield, telephone
interview, Dec. 4, 2013.
16. In 1959, a memorial stone
bench in honor of his time in the
area was erected on Cowichan Bay
Road. Robert Service departed to
work for the Canadian Bank of
17. Jeffery Hunter, former SCLTC
president and personal friend of
Edith Share, personal interview
with the author, December 4, 2013.
18. Dick Christmas fondly
remembered by Louise Dwyer,
SCLTC executive member, Nov.
13, 2013.
19. A memorial to Kay Williams'
dedication and achievement in
tennis hangs in the Cowichan
Sports Complex in Duncan, BC.
20. Ossie Ryall played at the
Cowichan before WWI. Other
ranking Canadian players from BC
who practiced on the SCLTC courts
were Jack Brawn, Ron Sidaway,
Phil Pearson, Paul Willey, and Don
21. Emery Neale, winner of 17
national US seniors championships,
as quoted in the Times Colonist,
July 31,1990. Also from the US,
national ranking players Sam Lee,
Tom Gorman, Bradshaw Harrison,
Mel Dranga, Ross Hughes, the
Cleggs, The Jacksons, Doris
Popple, Jack Lowe, Bill Quillian,
Dodo Cheney, and Merwyn Miller
played at the Cowichan over the
22. Beverly Cooper, former club
president, telephone interview and
email with the author regarding
her copy of page 5 and 6 of George
Treffrey Corfield's Last Will and
Testament, Dec 4, 2013.
23. David MacDonald, "
Wimbledon of the Backwoods",
Reader's Digest, September 1996,
89 - 93.
A tournament at
the Cowichan Club
in the 1890s (still
at the Pimbury
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 Baseball's Demon of the West
by Sarah H. Tobe
S.D. Schultz, musician, composer, journalist, barrister-at-law,
judge and sportsman. All-round sportsman, he pitched the
first ever shutout baseball game in British Columbia.
orn in 1865 in Victoria, Samuel Davies
Schultz, was the son and grandson of
pioneers.1 Tombstones in Victoria's
historic Cedar Hill Road Cemetery
mark their passing.2 Sam left his own mark in
the sports world.
In his youth, Schultz excelled at sports
such as lacrosse, rowing, tennis, and especially
baseball. From his earliest years in Victoria,
he "captained teams at the Central and High
schools" and "figured prominently in all the
Mayflower games".3 An outstanding student,
Samuel attended Victoria High School where
he received the Governor General's Medal of
1883.4 When he graduated at the head of his
class, he was presented with the silver medal
for scholastic achievement.5 January of 1885,
he left for Ontario to attend the University of
While residing in Toronto, he wrote for
the Mail and Empire and the World of Toronto on
music, drama, and sports. And throughout his
four years of undergraduate studies, Schultz
was a star pitcher for the University of Toronto
(U of T) baseball team. He pitched them to
victory in the Toronto City Championship
against the Parkdale Beavers and again when
they triumphed over such "crack aggregations
as the Kingston Park nine". Furthermore, the
U of T baseball team competed south of the
border. Their victory over Cornell University's
team was ostensibly the first Canadian-
American inter-varsity game. As their ace
pitcher on the mound, they won all the games
Schultz pitched.6
After receiving his BA in 1888, Schultz
returned to Victoria. Back home that summer,
he played for the Amity baseball team. A
sports journalist for the Colonist recounted the
achievements of the Amity team, in particular
Schultz who "pitched the first shut-out game in
British Columbia, the Vancouver teams being
the victims".7
The Amities competed in a tournament at
Kamloops, September 1888. The last day of the
tournament, September 18th, Schultz played
third base for the Amities against Westminster.
But the team was struggling, so they called in
Schultz to take over as their finishing pitcher,
a closer in baseball jargon. He pitched them
to a win, and the Amities were declared the
"Champions of British Columbia and the
Northwest". Westminster took second place.
The Amity club received a $300 prize and was
"formally presented with the cup which is an
exquisite piece of workmanship".8
Tlio Amities Secure the Championship and the $800.
Westminster Takes Second  Place—
Full Description of Yesterday's
Kvents—The Amity* Getn
K'Uisiiiff SpiuI-oH*.
il-'riini Our own L*orrespondtait,l
KvMi.uni-, Sept. 18.—A1J   hail   to   the
Amity a '.    They finished the .series to-day
l>y knoukhiir  nut   the   Westminster  and
]_>nu;tMs ami iiiv  iinw    111
The following day, the team left Kamloops
to return to Victoria. When they arrived at 8:30
that night, a large number of citizens were
waiting at the wharf to welcome them back.
As the steamer Yosemite was being docked,
"the band played 'Three Cheers for the Red,
White and Blue' and the crowd cheered lustily.
As soon as the members of the nine stepped
ashore they were given a warm welcome" —
the procession, the band, the crowd, escorted
the Amities through the streets. Victoria was
proud of their team and particularly Schultz:
"There is no doubt the fine pitching of Schultz
saved the game for the Amities."9
Sarah H. Tobe is a
talented chronicler
of life in Pacific
Northwest America.
Sarah is a past
president of The
Jewish Historical
Society of British
Columbia and has
written and edited
a number of its
historical journals,
The Scribe. As
well, she has
contributed articles
to Western States
Jewish History, a
California based
journal. It
was in doing a
comprehensive life
biography of Judge
Samuel Davies
Schultz that Sarah
discovered his
baseball prowess,
which she is
pleased to record
The Victoria
Daily Colonist
article about
Amities winning
the Kamloops
tournament in
September 1888.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      21
 Samuel Schultz's,
undergrad photo,
The excitement and the glory of the 1888
baseball season waned. In the fall, Schultz
returned to Toronto to attend lectures at
Osgoode Hall Law School. After the requisite
years of study, he was called to the Ontario Bar
in 1893. For a brief duration, Samuel Schultz
resided in Nelson, where he articled and was
called to the BC Bar. An official document,
under the Seal of the Supreme Court of British
Columbia at Victoria was issued to Samuel
Davies Schultz, Barrister-at-law, of the town
of Nelson, 26 June 1893 signed by "Matt. B.
Begbie, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court".10
Baseball season began in May, on the
muddy Caledonia Grounds, when Victoria
played against Seattle, and won.11 Thereafter
regular games occurred when Schultz would
manage, participate, or umpire.
Play at Words
The journalists of the Daily Colonist
enjoyed the play on words that reporting on
baseball teams comprised of lawyers allowed.
A humorous quote inserted in the September
newspaper informs that Schultz would be
playing for his other home team. "The Victoria
lawyers will arrest Vancouver lawyers stealing
second in Saturday's baseball game. So
manager Schultz says."12
More reports on Schultz's pitching
capabilities on the Lawyers vs. Lawyers
upcoming game were in the papers.
There are seven first class pitchers in
the Victoria nine, and one of these,
Schultz is undoubtedly the star. This
reputation dates back to his college
days when he was known as the Demon
of the West. His speed at that time was
wonderful, and his after legal training
taught him many curves, which made
him practically invincible in the
pitcher's box.13
The Lawyers vs. Lawyers 1901 game
was played at the Oak Bay Grounds, a fenced
ballpark constructed by B.C. Railway with a
grandstand that seated 2000 people.
Thirteen to
Eight Runs
Lawyers   Discard    Gowns    and
Wigs and Take to Bats
and Balls.
Victoria Team Too Strong
the Visitors From Vancouver.
The August 25, 1901 Colonist reported
"lots of farce comedy in the match between the
legal lights of Victoria and Vancouver.. .Schultz
pitched in his old-time form, despite a sore
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 He scored three base hits, threw two
wild pitches and struck out 13. Victoria beat
Vancouver.14 The Vancouver lawyers paid their
own travelling expenses so that the proceeds
from the game could be "handed to the
Women's Auxiliary of the Jubilee Hospital".15
Victoria lawyers would be doing "the
same thing when they go to Vancouver next
Tuesday evening to play their Vancouver
brothern [sic] for the benefit of the Vancouver
Nurse's Home."16 The baseball game was
delayed, but when they did play, it ran to ten
innings, with a win for Vancouver scoring 11
and Victoria 10.
Baseball fans watched another charity
game played on the Oak Bay Grounds in
1902. Schultz was one of three pitchers for the
Amity Team when they played a match against
Victoria's team. Proceeds were contributed
to the Royal Jubilee Hospital. The game was
under the joint patronage of the Directors and
the Ladies' Auxiliary. Schultz's uncle Joshua
Davies, a past director and president of the
hospital, and his aunt Cecelia Davies Sylvester,
a long time board member, were constant in
their support of the hospital.17
Schultz left the maze of relatives and his
legal practice in Victoria when he moved to the
mainland the latter part of 1902. Early into the
New Year, he notified the Colonist newspaper
that he was now on the Ledger staff in
Vancouver. Besides covering the field of sports,
he was their music and drama critic. Shortly
afterward, the Colonist informed readers that
S.D. Schultz had also obtained a position with
Samuel Davies Schultz married Maude
Dunwell Squarebriggs in 1904.19 Maude, a
member of Vancouver General Hospital's first
nursing class of 1899, was one of five registered
nurses that graduated in 1902. After their
marriage, they settled in the District of North
Vancouver on the north shore of Burrard Inlet.20
Schultz re-established a law practice
and was associated with other principals in
the coming years.21 Meanwhile, he continued
his newspaper journalism for Vancouver's
Province, The World, and Victoria's Colonist,
reporting on sports, drama and music. His
own musical dossier: tenor voice, pianist,
composer of merit, performer with the first
British Columbia Military Band,  clarinettist
for Amateur Orchestras in Victoria and then
As he was no longer living in Victoria,
Sam's loyalties were now with the Vancouver
Lawyers baseball team. He pitched for them
when they won their annual game against their
counterparts from Seattle. But the Lawyers
were not successful when they competed
against the Vancouver Doctors in 1907.
Medicos Chloroform Lawyers In Pain-
Killing Game
The Vancouver doctors administered an
anaesthetic to the Vancouver lawyers
Saturday afternoon at Recreation Park
after the first inning and the fumes
held good in their effect until the eighth
inning, when the patients revived,
came up strong and kicking and
became troublesome but it was too late.
... Doctors 9 -Lawyers 5. ... And thus
passed into history a game that will be
long-remembered by the hundreds of
players and lovers of baseball. Despite
the number of errors, the playing
was fast, so fast that many repeatedly
expressed the wish that the Canucks of
the North-western League had played
such a calibre of the American national
game on numerous occasions. The
pitching was really clever... "2i
The report was further embellished
with two outlined sidebars, both referring to
Schultz, one written using medical jargon and
the other using legal jargon.
"Sam" Schultz's
Baseball Bats and
Leather Case.
Courtesy: Robert
Schultz Jr.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      23
 Diagnosis by the Doctors
After the fourth, Schultz's delivery was
completely dissected. When Schultz
tried a "spit ball" the medicos declared
it "most unsanitary." At the autopsy
after the tenth the united medical
council came to the conclusion that
the legal lights must improve before
another game.
Briefs for the Lawyers
Schultz got a writ of attachment on
third and came up for a sentence on the
bench. Pitcher Schultz served notice
on McDairmid to vacate with three
strikes — "yer out!" The doctors made
so long a stay in the tenth that Senkler
threatened injunction proceedings for
wrongful detention of property and
To Play Or Not To Play
Schultz became a North Vancouver
Alderman in 1909 and was quickly embroiled
in the controversy over a baseball game played
at North Vancouver's Recreation Park, on
Sunday, 02 May 1909. The Vancouver Beavers
won 4-3 against the Aberdeen Black Cats of
the Northwestern League, after ten innings.
The game may have ended, but newspaper
headlines brought the question to the readers,
"Should pro baseball on the Sabbath be legal in
North Vancouver?"
The North Shore Express was
inundated with letters to the editor
decrying the desecration of the Sabbath,
and printed the entire prohibitions
of the Lord's Day Act including 'to
engage in any public game or contest
for gain ... or tobe present there
which any fee is charged'. Editorials
abounded in the Vancouver dailies.25
A delegation confronted the B.C. Electric
Railway Co. because they had leased the park
to the North Vancouver Athletic Association
who in turn had leased it to game promoter A.J.
Picton-Warlow. This irate group contended the
game was unlawful and therefore breached
and nullified the lease contract. Soon, various
church and community organizations held
meetings and passed resolutions condemning
Sunday baseball.
The day after the game, city council held
a meeting, which was the most disorderly ever
held in North Vancouver, according to the
Province. Mayor William May proposed that
if promoter Picton-Warlow "would agree to
desist from future infractions, he would not
push the prosecution." However, he would not
agree nor back down, announcing there would
be another game the very next Sunday. To his
mind, "the city was practically solid in favour
of Sunday baseball". It rained the next Sunday.
Nevertheless, a debate heated up when
real estate broker Russell MacNaughton
claimed that 80% of the taxpayers were against
Sunday baseball. He contended that the
whole matter revolved around the question of
whether outsiders should be allowed to exploit
North Vancouver for personal gain. The debate
became personal when Macnaughton stated
he had been to Cambridge University with
Picton-Warlow and was as good a sportsman as
he, having obtained a half-blue athletic award.
But Picton-Warlow went one better, declaring
that he had a full blue.26
Alderman Samuel Schultz, "a loquacious
speaker" then entered the fray putting
their Cambridge athletic accomplishments
completely in the shadows. A veritable torrent
of sport awards were unleashed, and a Sabbath
explication, until an exasperated Alderman
George McRae rose exclaiming, "What can we
do to stop this man?"
Schultz proceeded to "write a 1,482-
word letter that appeared in The Province".
Expounding on Christianity "quoting every
one from Jesus to Martin Luther" and the
observances of other religions, he contended
that the Sabbath day was actually the seventh
day — a Saturday. Each person should decide
for himself whether to observe either.
For those opposing Sunday baseball,
Schultz became a lightening rod. He was
charged with advocating the breaking of
the law and even challenged to resign as an
alderman. Of course, he refused to resign.
A special meeting was held; the local
three-man police commission with Mayor May
having to break the tie vote. In response to
May's vote to enforce the Lord's Day Act and
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 prohibit Sunday games, citizens gathered for a
public meeting at city hall where "interruption,
altercations, personalities and general
rowdiness" ensued — as reported by The
Province. But council voted overwhelmingly to
condemn Sunday baseball and almost called
for a plebiscite. A meeting was to be held at
Larson's Pavilion to consider a referendum
but this was abruptly adjourned, since the
legality of the game was going to be decided
by the court the very next day. May 18, 1909,
Magistrate Kealy (the former mayor) accepted
Picton-Warlow's guilty plea and fined him five
No more Sunday games. It would be
another sixty years, before a referendum was
passed, December 6, 1969, with 80% in the
City and 84% in the District approving Sunday
games. By then, almost everyone involved in
that infamous game had gone to their final
resting place.27
Judiciary and Tributes
Politically a staunch Conservative,
Schultz was president of the North Vancouver
Conservative Association in 1912. Biographers
describe him as "a consistent and enthusiastic
worker in the ranks of the party for the past
eighteen years during which time he served on
the executive of various associations in Victoria
and North Vancouver." He was "concerned
with promoting the best and higher interests
of the party [rather] than seeking personal
reward and recognition."28
Schultz continued to play baseball for
most of his life; a 1913 photograph of the
Lawyers Team, clipped from a newspaper, was
found amongst his memorabilia; so he was still
playing baseball at age 48,29
December 4,1913, Samuel Davies Schultz,
Barrister-at-Law, was appointed a Judge of the
County Court of Vancouver, and a Local Judge
of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.30 He
was the first Jew appointed in the province of
British Columbia and the "first Hebrew in the
Dominion named to the judiciary".31
Vancouver Lawyers
Baseball Team 1913
or 1915. Schultz is
second from the
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BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      25
 A keen tennis player, his Honour Justice
Schultz was on the tennis courts at his residence
when he collapsed and died 25 August 1917.
He was not yet 52 years of age. Burial services
were under the auspices of the Ancient Free
and Accepted Masons.32 He was interred in the
cemetery of his ancestors.
Victoria's newspapers chronicled Samuel
Davies Schultz's birth and his death; noted his
many accomplishments and achievements,
published his writings and his march The Charge
at Dawn.33 The Victoria Times commemorated
"Victoria's Native Son" ... "His Honour Judge
Samuel Davies Schultz ...was the only Hebrew
on the bench in this Dominion."34
North Vancouver newspaper articles
honoured Judge S.D. Schultz's participation
in the community; a prominent citizen and
respected pioneer of the North Shore. "A
Native Son" who witnessed the growth and
development of British Columbia and took
pride in what had been accomplished.35
A baseball tribute emanated from
an interview with an old-time star of The
Royals, the New Westminster baseball team.
As he reminisced, he emphasized Schultz's
baseball prowess: "those were the days of
real sport, and Vancouver never produced a
team capable of whipping us in three years.
Victoria occasionally did, though, aided by the
muscular arm of the late Judge Schultz, who
was just back from college with an assortment
of stuff that, at times, had the Royals begging
for mercy."36 •
Cloverdale BIA Surrey British Columbia Canada      •••••«
BCHF Annual Conference
June 6-7, 2014
Cloverdale: Surrey's Historic Centre
1. His father, Herman
Schultz immigrated to the
colonies in 1858.
2. His grandfather, J.P.
Davies and his mother,
Elizabeth Davies Schultz
arrived in 1863.
3. Ibid.
4. Colonist 18 November
1884. North Vancouver
Museum Archives.
5. Victoria Daily Standard
13 January 1885, 3.
6. Ibid.
7. Colonist 15 September
1900, 6.
8. Colonist 20 September
1888, 4.
9. Ibid.
10. Judge Matthew Baillie
Begbie, first Chief Justice
of the province when
the united colony of
British Columbia entered
Confederation in 1871.
11. Colonist 5 May 1895.
12. Colonist 14 September
13. Ibid.
14. Colonist 25 August 1901.
15. Colonist 18 August 1901.
16. Ibid.
17. Colonist 6 September
18. Colonist 12 March 1903.
19. GR 2962 Vol. 050 BC
Div. of Vital Statistics.
Marriage Reg. 017416 to
017837 1904. Van. Registry
Office 05 Apr. 1904.
20. District: Deep Cove to
Horseshoe Bay. Residence:
1900 Lonsdale Avenue.
21. Henderson's Greater
Vancouver Directories.
22. Howay & Scholefield.
B.C. From Earliest Times.
Biog. Vol. IV, 456-459.
23. Province 8 July 1907.
25. North Shore Citizen.
"Never on a Sunday" 12
May 2000, 22.
26. Sportsmen and
women at the University
of Cambridge may be
awarded a Full Blue (or
simply a Blue), Half Blue,
First Team Colours or
Second Team Colours for
competing at the highest
level of university sport,
which must include being
in a Varsity match or race
against the University of
Oxford. A Full Blue is the
highest honour that may be
bestowed on a Cambridge
sportsman or woman, and
is a much-coveted and
prestigious prize.
27. Corben, Len. Sports
columnist. North Shore
Citizen. May 12, 2000. 22.
28. B.C. From Earliest Times,
29. NVMA: clippings, no
source, no date.
30. B.C. Reports Vol. XVIII
1914 Memoranda, 4.
31. After WWII, not until
1950s before another Jew
32. Charter member of
the Connaught Masonic
33. Colonist Printing and
Publishing Company,
Victoria, BC. First
34. Victoria Times 27 August
1917, 7.
35. NVMA: clippings, no
source, no date.
36. How Well Do You Know
Joe Baker? By A.G.L. NVA
File 9: clippings, no date.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 Vancouver Ladies' Hockey Team 1914-1918
by Wayne Norton
The Vancouver Ladies' Hockey Team existed only from
1914-18, but despite various challenges they established the
foundation for women's hockey in Vancouver.
One hundred years ago this month,
in February 1914, a dozen women
gathered at the Vancouver arena
hoping to form a women's hockey
team. It is unlikely any of them knew that British
Columbia's first recorded women's game had
taken place at Sandon before the turn of the
century. It is equally unlikely they had heard of
the women's ice hockey tournament that was a
well-established feature of the annual Rossland
winter carnivals. Although they were about to
make history, the aspiring hockey players were
motivated as much by an appeal to their civic
pride as by awareness of the historic moment.
Fundamentally, they were responding to the
formation of a team in New Westminster—a
community that was Vancouver's traditional
sports rival, particularly in lacrosse. If the
Queen City was to have a women's hockey
team, then Vancouver must have one as well.
Residents of Vancouver in the early 1900s
would don their rarely used skates and flock
to frozen ponds at every opportunity, but such
occasions were brief and infrequent. It took the
arrival of Frank and Lester Patrick and their
introduction of artificial ice to enable organized
hockey to come to the Coast in the years just
before the First World War. Their new arenas
and their Pacific Coast Hockey Association
(PCHA) brought professional hockey to
appreciative audiences in Victoria and
Vancouver beginning in January 1912.x A third
artificial ice surface, at the original Queen's
Park arena, opened in New Westminster at the
end of January 1913. And just one year later
a group of young women in the Royal City
combined to form a hockey team. Finding no
opponent locally, the team issued an "intercity challenge" and arranged a trip to Victoria
in early February 1914 to play the novice
women's team that had just formed there.2
When Vancouver's hockey circles heard of
the planned contest between New Westminster
and Victoria, the process of organizing a
team was  quickly undertaken.  Millionaires'
trainer Peter Muldoon offered to coach and
the twelve hopeful players assembled for a
first practice on February 9 at the Vancouver
arena.3 According to rules at that time, a team
was made up of seven positions and when the
practice ended, the coach made his selection.
The Vancouver Sun informed its readers that
Muldoon's defensive corps was composed of
women who had all "taken the plunge into
the sea of matrimony."4 In goal was Mrs. L.N.
McKechnie; Mrs. Per aval was at point and
Mrs. French at cover-point. (The terms point
and cover-point have not been used in hockey
for decades; in modern parlance, players taking
these positions are simply "on defense.") The
four single women selected for offense were
identified by The Sun as "debutantes." At
centre was Nellie Haddon, with Connie Smith
on right wing and Miss Matheson on left wing.
Taking the position of rover—the name of the
position describes its role fully—was fifteen-
year-old Elizabeth Hinds. Two substitutes
were also selected: Miss A.M. Hutchinson and
Miss Stewart.5
And so was born the Vancouver Ladies'
Hockey Team (VLHT). Muldoon immediately
issued a challenge to New Westminster
and Victoria for a three-cornered contest to
determine what he described as the "provincial
championship of British Columbia."6 He had
little time to waste. The typical amateur hockey
season was brief, beginning just after New
Year and ending no later than early March.
Moreover, the New Westminster and Victoria
teams had already played to a draw in Victoria
on 7 February and were making plans for a
return engagement in New Westminster to
settle the original inter-city challenge. Both
teams found the idea of a provincial title
appealing, and quickly abandoned the intercity plan to accept the new challenge. Victoria
was then scheduled to be Vancouver's first
opponent—just eleven days after the team's
first practice—at the Vancouver arena on 20
Wayne Norton
is an occasional
writer now living
in Victoria. His
most recent book,
Women on Ice:
The Early Years of
Women's Hockey in
Western Canada,
was published by
Ronsdale Press.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      27
 Ready to play: The
original team on
the steps of the
Vancouver Arena in
February 1914.
From left to right
back row: Connie
Smith (right wing),
Elizabeth "Betty"
Hinds (rover), Peter
Muldoon (team
manager), Nellie
Haddon (centre),
Miss Matheson
(left wing); front
row: Mrs. French
(coverpoint), Mrs.
L.N. McKechnie
(goal), Mrs.
Percival (point).
The game was scheduled as a bonus
feature for patrons of the regular Friday
evening skate at the arena. Following an eight
o'clock face-off, two 25-minute periods were to
be played before the skating session began. The
sports pages of Vancouver's daily newspapers
were pleased to give the contest extensive
coverage, especially as Fred "Cyclone" Taylor
and Sibby Nichols, two popular Vancouver
Millionaires players, were to act as referees.
Not all the coverage was positive. Although The
Province approved of the arrival of "something
new and novel" on the local winter sports
scene, The Sun found the game with Victoria
"highly amusing at times" and couldn't resist
reporting on the "laughter which emanated
from the sidelines."7 Given the lack of time
for preparation, it is not surprising that the
performance by novice players would be poor
with shooting that was "generally wide of the
mark." Rover Elizabeth Hinds achieved the
distinction of scoring the team's first goal in a
1-0 victory for the home squad.
If the first game did not quite achieve
excellence on the ice, it did result in a truly
splendid photograph.8 Probably taken on
the steps of the Vancouver arena during the
afternoon the day of the game, the striking
image captured by Vancouver photographer
Stuart Thomson is also highly informative.
The players' faces show both optimism
and uncertainty, while the sweaters of the
Millionaires indicate the involvement of
Frank Patrick in the proposed provincial
championship. The Province described the skirts
as white and "abbreviated."9 Although the
skirts rose to just a couple of inches above the
ankle, that small lift represented a significant
advance from the floor-length skirts required
of women players earlier in the century.
No doubt excited by their initial victory,
Vancouver went into New Westminster to face
a team that had only a tie with Victoria to its
credit, so the VLHT required just a tie in the
Royal City to claim the championship. The
partisan crowd cheered loudly as the home
team took to the ice wearing the orange and
black colours of the New Westminster Royals,
while   the   Vancouver   women   again   were
sporting their white skirts and the maroon and
white sweaters of the Vancouver Millionaires.
The idea of involving popular PCHA players
was repeated; this time, the Royals'  Eddie
Oatman and Ken Mallen acted as referees.
Between    periods,    Vancouver    coach   Pete
Muldoon gave an exhibition of his remarkable
ability to skate on stilts. The entertainment
crown for the event may thereby have gone to
Vancouver, but victory in the hockey game
went to New Westminster. Skating off the ice
to the applause of appreciative spectators,
the New Westminster players were declared
to   be   British   Columbia's   first   women's
provincial     champions.     The     Vancouver
women, as sports commentators like to say,
were thinking of next year.
When next year arrived, however, it
delivered a set-back for women's hockey.
Finishing third in a three-cornered contest
can be discouraging, and perhaps that is why
the Victoria team did not re-group for the 1915
season. The contest for the championship
would have only two contenders, but the
New Westminster team was as keen to defend
its title as Vancouver was to deprive them of
it. And this year, there would be not only a
title to play for, but also a trophy donated
by Vancouver jeweller O.B. Allan. A home-
and-home series was arranged for what was
called the Mainland Championship, with the
first game to be played in Vancouver on 18
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 February. Resplendent in their new outfits of
dark green sweaters and bloomers with white
toques and crests, the Vancouver women
played an exciting game, winning it with
impressive goal-tending by Connie Smith and
a goal by Nellie Haddon.10 Once again, they
sensed a championship title could be theirs.
The manager of the New Westminster team
vowed his team would win the re-match and
The British Columbian proclaimed the deciding
game at Queen's Park on the first day of March
would be a struggle "worth going miles to
The game in New Westminster attracted
the largest crowd of the season at Queen's
Park. Reports in both New Westminster and
Vancouver newspapers agree that the quality
of play had improved significantly over the
previous year. The VLHT "swept down the ice
in regular big league fashion" to defeat their
opponents by a count of 2-0.12 Both goals were
scored by A.M. Hutchinson, who had made
the team only as a spare the previous year.13
However, the joys of victory were tempered by
the knowledge that the Queen's Park arena had
just been requisitioned for military purposes. If
the war in Europe continued for another year,
the New Westminster Ladies' Hockey Team
would likely have to disband.
Of course, the war did continue and
the New Westminster team did disband. The
VLHT, therefore, found itself in 1916 in a
position common to early women's hockey
teams. Against whom were they to play? With
no opponent from either Victoria or New
Westminster, the team could have simply
folded, retiring as uncontested champions.
Clearly, that was not the preferred option and
the VLHT was pleased to accept the audacious
challenge from the new varsity squad formed
at the fledgling University of British Columbia.
As would be expected, however, the game
was an uneven contest. Facing a UBC team
that probably reminded them of their own
uncertain initial efforts of 1914, the VLHT also
enjoyed the advantage of a stable roster with
six veterans in their third season.14 The Sun
reported that the "Varsity girls were no match
for the B.C. champions" and the 6-0 outcome
certainly supports that opinion. It was the only
game of the season for the VLHT and, although
it did not represent a serious challenge for the
team, it was a significant personal triumph for
Elizabeth Hinds. Playing "a whirlwind game,"
she scored the first hat trick ever recorded by a
woman player in British Columbia.15
A photograph held by the City of
Vancouver Archives, most likely taken for the
1917 season, shows the VLHT ready for action.16
Continuity of personnel is again indicated
with only one change from the previous year:
Connie Smith was gone, replaced by Mrs. M.C.
Worsley on right wing. But the 1917 hockey
season presents twin mysteries for the historian
of women's hockey in Vancouver. There are no
reports in the newspapers of games involving
the VLHT. All study of hockey in the early
twentieth century must depend heavily (and
often exclusively) on newspaper reports; if
games were played, it is highly unlikely they
would have gone unreported in at least one
of the four Vancouver newspapers. Proud of
their two consecutive championships, the team
would surely have responded eagerly to any
challenge. Why then does it appear that the
pictured team did not play in 1917?
It is possible that no challenge was
received. The UBC team was perhaps reluctant
to repeat the embarrassment of 1916. It is also
possible the VLHT simply relinquished its ice
time to encourage the development of more
Toques, sweaters,
crests and
bloomers: signs
of an established
Vancouver Ladies'
Hockey Team,
From left to right
back row: Mrs.
Percival, Elizabeth
"Betty" Hinds, Guy
Patrick [?], Mrs.
L.N. McKechnie,
A.M. Hutchinson;
front row: Mrs.
R.A. Crawford,
Nellie Haddon, Mrs.
M.C. Worsley.
v*B        ^^P         f^^
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      29
 competitive skills in other teams because the
second mystery of 1917 is the unexpected
emergence of a women's hockey club called
the Swastikas.17 In the Vancouver arena's
published schedules, the same hour of ice
time reserved for the "West End Ladies" on
Tuesday evenings in December 1916 became
the hour reserved for the "Swastika Girls" in
January 1917.18 Swastika skating clubs and
hockey teams for women were formed in
several Canadian cities around this time. In
Vancouver, the Swastikas attracted enough
members to form both a senior and a junior
team. The seniors played UBC three times, the
juniors twice, and all five games were reported
in the newspapers. Significantly, VLHT
veteran Connie Smith played for the Swastikas
in four of their five games. However, no other
link between the VLHT and the Swastikas is
If the apparent absence of the VLHT from
the hockey scene in 1917 is curious, there is no
doubt they were back in the thick of things in
1918. At centre, A.M. Hutchinson, the spare
of 1914, had become the team captain of 1918.
Her team included 1914 veterans McKechnie,
Haddon and Smith, who took over at left wing
allowing Mrs. Worsley to remain at right wing.
For the first time, Elizabeth Hinds was not on
the roster, her position as rover being taken by
Thelma Insley.20 Completing the team in goal
was Mrs. Crawford, who had first appeared
in that role against UBC in 1916. And with
an eye on the future, they added six new
players as a junior team. To record all this for
posterity, all thirteen players in full hockey
gear and their new coach Mr. Pritchett posed
for a professional photographer.21 At the centre
of the resulting composite photograph is, of
course, the coveted O.B. Allan trophy.
For the second year in a row, therefore, a
photograph makes it clear the VLHT was ready
to play. But the same question remained: who
were they to play against? It is likely challenges
were anticipated from both an improved
UBC team and the dynamic Swastika club of
the previous year. When the challenge came,
however, it was from neither of the expected
sources and it seemed to cause considerable
offence to the sensibilities of the VLHT. The
Vancouver arena was just a few blocks from
King George High School on Denman Street.
Hockey games and skating sessions were
popular with King George students of both
sexes and in January a number of female
seniors issued their challenge for the BC
championship. The VLHT was miffed to be
challenged by just "a bunch of school girls"
and with some justification—it must have
seemed akin to being challenged by their own
novice junior team.
The VLHT did not accept the challenge
for the championship, but did agree to a
friendly match. The school girls held a fund-
raising dance, named themselves the Amazons
and took to the ice on 8 February against a
VLHT that was probably expecting an easy
victory. That victory would be theirs by a score
of 1-0, but there was nothing easy about it.
The newspapers all commented on how rough
the game was and some expressed shock that
female players should resort to such tactics as
shin-rapping and hook-checking. The VLHT
also voiced these objections and agreed to
rematch only if the Amazons agreed "to be
good and play clean hockey." The second
game two weeks later caused much confusion.
Because some VLHT players were late in
arriving, teams played six aside with two
Amazons starting the game on the VLHT side.
The 2-1 victory was initially reported in favour
of the VLHT, but published corrections gave
the Amazons the victory. Most significantly,
the Amazons insisted the championship was
determined by the second game—a claim
the VLHT denied.22 The Amazons declared
themselves to be champions and subsequently
had their own composite photograph prepared.
Significantly absent from the photograph is
the O.B. Allan cup, which the VLHT evidently
refused to surrender.
Both the VLHT and the Amazons in 1919
had good reason to want to clarify the uncertain
outcome of the previous year. Neither would
have been content with a tainted claim to
championship. But for the second time in
their short career, the VLHT disappears from
the historical record. The only mention of
women's ice hockey in the newspapers during
January and February 1919 is a comment
on the disappointing turnout at Amazons'
practices. The civic closure of the arena due to
the Spanish influenza had been lifted before
Christmas and the city had quickly returned
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 to normal. With the amateur hockey season
all but over, a surprise announcement in
early March of an impending visit by western
Canada's premier women's team, the Alberta
champion Calgary Regents, sent Vancouver
hockey circles into a flurry of activity. The
most logical opponent would have been the
experienced VLHT—the team fostered and
encouraged by Frank Patrick over the past few
years, the team still best regarded as provincial
champions—but that possibility seems not
even to have been considered, likely because
the team was known to have disbanded. Only
Amazons and Swastikas from the previous two
years were invited to assemble for practices
to form a team to face the Regents. Elizabeth
Hinds unexpectedly showed up to try-out and
made the team, but for the rest of the VLHT
senior team, playing days were apparently
over.23 One cannot help but wonder if some of
them were present as spectators at the Regents-
Vancouver game.
It would be unwise to make grand
claims for the quality of hockey they played,
but the historical significance of the VLHT
should be acknowledged. Theirs was the first
women's team in Vancouver, they were the
local champions, and they managed to survive
through five hockey seasons. It is this last fact
that perhaps deserves greater recognition. The
players were committed to the game of hockey.
That is what brought them back together year
after year even when circumstances did not
favour the survival of the team. Competitive
sports require competitors and the stock of
potential opponents for the VLHT diminished
steadily after 1914. When a genuine competitor
finally emerged in the form of the Amazons
in 1918, it was too late. The veterans retired,
and the team was unable to sustain itself even
with the eleventh-hour addition of a junior
squad. The Vancouver Ladies' Hockey Team
established the local foundations for women's
hockey, a basis from which the better known
Amazons of the 1920s were to benefit. Upon
reflection, they too must have acknowledged
that their bitter rivals of 1918 are the players
who deserve recognition as the true pioneers of
women's hockey in Vancouver. •
Vancouver Ladies'
Hockey Club,
1917/18. The
senior and junior
teams are pictured,
along with their
new coach and
the O.B. Allan
trophy. Today, the
whereabouts of the
trophy is unknown.
Could it be on a
shelf in an attic
somewhere, its
owner unaware of
its significance?
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      31
I must thank Jason
Beck at the BC Sports Hall of
Fame and hockey historian
Craig Bowlsby for advice
provided, Leslie Clauson of
Vancouver for information
about Elizabeth Hinds, and
the always helpful staff
of the Legislative Library
and the British Columbia
1. For the full story of the league,
see Craig H. Bowlsby, Empire of
Ice: The Rise and Fall of the Pacific
Coast Hockey Association, 1911-1926
(Vancouver: Knights of Winter
Publishing, 2012).
2. Victoria Daily Colonist, 22
January 1914, 9; 23 January 1914, 9.
3. Vancouver Sun, 10 February
1914, p.8. Located at 1805 Georgia
Street at the foot of Denman Street,
the building was often referred to
by patrons as the Denman arena
(probably because that was the
tram stop). In advertising, it was
simply called the Arena.
4. Vancouver Sun, 19 February,
8. Newspapers of the time were
consistent in identifying the marital
status of women mentioned in their
reports. Unfortunately, they were
much less consistent in spelling
surnames and in providing first
names, especially for married
women. Therefore, several players
mentioned here can be identified
only by initials and surname, or by
a husband's initials and surname,
or by marital status only.
5. Vancouver Sun, 19 February
1914, 8. Elsewhere, the spares are
identified as Miss Stephenson
and Miss Atkinson (See Victoria
Daily Colonist, 21 February, 9.) It
is tempting to speculate about
several of the original players
with information from Henderson's
Vancouver Directories. Mrs. L.N.
McKechnie, for example, was
probably the wife of Dr. Lachlan N.
McKechnie, while A.M. Hutchison
was likely Agnes M. Hutchison,
a stenographer with the British
America Paint Company.
6. Vancouver Sun, 10 February
1914, 8.
7. Vancouver Sun, 21 February
1914, 8.
8. Identifying the correct date for
the creation of this photograph
has presented difficulties. Until
recently, it has been dated as circa
1920, but for a number of reasons,
the photograph can only have been
taken in 1914. The outfits match
the newspaper descriptions for the
games of 1914; the team adopted
new uniforms in 1915; Mrs. French
and Miss Matheson played only in
1914; Coach Muldoon coached the
team only in 1914; and the style of
goalie's stick was not used after
circa 1916.
9. Vancouver Province, 19 February
1914,11. Hockey outfits worn by
women would evolve quickly
over the next few years to become
essentially the same as those worn
by their male counterparts.
10. Vancouver Province, 19 February
1915, 5. In photographs, the crests
are difficult to read with the letters
V, L, H and C all overlapping.
More properly called the
Vancouver Ladies' Hockey Club in
1915 and afterwards, I have chosen
here to use Vancouver Ladies'
Hockey Team throughout.
11. British Columbian (New
Westminster), 1 March 1915, 6.
12. British Columbian (New
Westminster), 2 March 1915, 6.
13. British Columbian (2 March
1915, 6.) reported that the rookie
Mrs. Davies scored the first goal.
Founding team members Mrs.
French and Miss Matheson played
only in 1914.
14. Mrs. Davies was replaced by
Mrs. R.A. Crawford who would
remain on the roster from 1916 to
15. Vancouver Sun, 25 January 1916,
16. The male coach pictured
cannot be identified with
certainty. However, based on a
comparison with BC Sports Hall
of Fame photograph 1854.43,1
am persuaded he is Guy Patrick.
The photographer once again was
Stuart Thomson.
17. The swastika was then a widely
recognized symbol of good fortune
carrying none of the political
baggage it later acquired.
18. Vancouver Daily News-Advertiser,
"Week's Hockey Practices and
Skating,"10 and 17 December 1916;
7 and 14 January 1917.
19. Elsewhere I argued that the
VLHT organized the Swastika Club
and took that name in 1917. See
my Women on Ice: The Early Years of
Women's Hockey in Western Canada
(Vancouver: Ronsdale, 2009),
pp.45-48. Much reading between
the lines must be attempted when
working with sparse newspaper
reports, and I must now admit to
a misreading. Although one can
only speculate about the absence
of reported games for the VLHT
in 1917,1 am now convinced the
Swastikas were a separate team.
20. British Columbian (1 March 1915,
6) lists a Miss Insley as a spare
for the New Westminster Ladies'
Team in their final game against
21. Held at the BC Sports Hall of
Fame, the only known copy of this
photograph provides no text to
identify the photographer. In all
likelihood, it is the work of Stuart
22. City of Vancouver Archives Sp
23. It is not known if any of the
junior team went on to playing
careers. Only two members of
the VLHT feature in the history
of women's hockey in Vancouver
after 1919. Thelma Insley played
for the Amazons in 1921 and, after
her marriage, again briefly in 1923
as Thelma Kaye. Elizabeth "Betty"
Hinds joined the Amazons in 1922.
She contributed to the Amazons'
championship at Banff and, after
her marriage, played for them as
Elizabeth Magoun in 1924.
Are you a BCHF member interested in being a part of the creation of bringing the past
to the present in the creation of British Columbia History? We are looking for volunteers
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BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 For the Gold and the Glory
by Jamie Forbes
The story of the dedication, perseverance, and will to win of
the 1961 Trail Smoke Eaters and their long and weary path
to become the best amateur hockey team in the world.
On Sunday morning, March 12, 1961,
the streets of Trail, BC were eerily
quiet as the residents of the City
listened to their local radio station,
CJAT, broadcast the final game of the World
Hockey Championship, being played in Geneva,
Switzerland. The local BC Tel switchboard went
silent. Bill Stephenson, Sports Director for radio
station CFRB in Toronto, Ontario, described
the remaining twenty-five seconds of the game
on radio across Canada: "Now McLeod at
centre ice, shooting it across the blue line of the
Soviet Union. Twenty-five seconds remaining
of play! The crowd starting to chant! McLeod
in the corner, trying to centre it in front of the
goal. He does, Tchinov clears it back of the net.
Fifteen seconds! The crowd is breaking out of
the barriers! I don't know if I'll get downstairs
in time for the Smokies! Ten! Back over the blue
comes Boris Maiorov, in the corner behind the
Canadian net. Five seconds to play! And there's
the game, it's all over! Here at the end of the
game, the Smokies are pummeling their goalie,
Seth Martin! The final score: Trail Smoke Eaters
5, the Soviet Union 1. Canada wins the 1961
World Hockey Championship!"1 Cheers were
heard in every household in the city as the buzzer
sounded, ending the game. After a 23 year gap,
the Trail Smoke Eaters had won the World
Hockey Championship for the second time.
The West Kootenay and Boundary
regions of Southeast British Columbia are
the cradle of amateur hockey in the province.
Organized hockey was played in the mining
towns of the region as early as 1897. In 1913, the
Boundary-West Kootenay Hockey Association
was formed with teams from Phoenix, Grand
Forks, Greenwood, Trail, Rossland and Nelson.
This league suspended play and disbanded in
1916 due to WWI.
In 1923, the West Kootenay Senior League
was formed with two teams from Trail and
Rossland and one each from Nelson and Grand
Forks. This senior league was comprised of
players over the age of 20 years. The champions
of this league competed with other provincial
leagues for the Provincial hockey championship
to be awarded the Savage Cup.2 The Trail Smoke
Eaters won their first of seven consecutive
Savage Cups in 1927 and again in 1938. They
represented Canada in the 1939 World Hockey
Championship, winning the gold with a record
of 8 wins and no losses. This league suspended
play from 1941to 1945 due to WWII.
Following the war, a new league, the
Western International Hockey League (WIHL),
was formed in the regions with teams from
Trail, Nelson, Kimberley, Spokane, Washington
and Los Angeles, California. The Trail Smoke
Eaters continued to dominate amateur hockey
in the province and won the Savage Cup in
1946,1948, and 1949.
Throughout the 1950s, the Smoke Eaters
were unable to dominate other teams in the
league. Things began to change near the end
of the decade when the team signed several
players that would form the nucleus of the
1961 World Championship team, including
Adie Tambellini, Cal Hockley, Don Fletcher,
Harry Smith, and Norm Lenardon.3 They joined
Bobby Kromm and goaltender Seth Martin,
who signed with the team in the early 1950s.
While the team had some quality players,
they were still not strong enough to be the best
in the WIHL, never mind compete with the
strong Okanagan Senior teams. In the midst of
the 1959 season, Bobby Kromm was appointed
player-coach. The fortunes of the Smoke Eaters
were about to change, dramatically.
The 1960 Allan Cup Finals
In the 1960 Savage Cup finals, the Smoke
Eaters met the Kelowna Packers of the Okanagan
League. For the series, the team was allowed to
add three players to their roster from within
their league. Kromm added Pinoke Mclntyre,
Harold Jones and George Ferguson from the
Rossland Warriors. In a rough series, the Smoke
Eaters prevailed, winning the cup in the sixth
Jamie Forbes is a
retired municipal
administrator and
has been involved
in preserving
local and regional
history for nearly
40 years. He is the
author of Historical
Portraits of Trail
and has written
numerous articles
for local history
publications. He
is the president of
the Trail Historical
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      33
Trail   Smoke   Ealers.   M59-1960   Pi.tlon   (up   Winners—Entering   I960   Allan   Cup Finals.
Western International Hockey League Ontario Senior Hockey League
Under Auspices Canadian Amateur Hockey Association
Cover of the 1960
Allan Cup Finals
game in Trail before 4116 fans.4This was Trail's
15th Savage Cup. The Western Canada Final
was played in Trail against the Port Arthur
Bearcats with the Smoke Eaters sweeping the
Bearcats four games to none, moving on to vie
for the Allan Cup for the second time in their
history. The Allan Cup Finals would also be
played in Trail, against the Eastern Canada
representative, the Chatham Maroons.
Chatham was considered to have the
stronger team, but the games were close and
all agreed the play of their goalie, Cesare
Maniago, ultimately made the difference in the
series.5 Ironically Maniago had grown up in
Trail before moving east to play junior hockey
in Ontario. Most who watched the series agree
his play was brilliant, much to the dismay of
his hometown friends and fans. Chatham won
the series four games to none, with one game
In accordance with Canadian Amateur
Hockey Association (CAHA) tradition,
Chatham was offered the invitation to
represent Canada at the World Hockey
Championships, to be held in Lausanne and
Geneva, Switzerland in March, 1961. The
Maroons' financial situation was not good and
they declined the invitation due to the costs the
team would incur to attend. In mid-June, the
CAHA reluctantly extended the invitation to
the Trail Smoke Eaters to represent Canada, if
they added a quality goalie and strengthened
the team by at least five players. The Smoke
Eaters responded by telling the CAHA they
had their goaltender but would obtain a first
dass alternative and would strengthen their
roster by three players, not five.6 The players
and executive held a meeting to consider the
offer and to discuss a fundraising strategy.
They unanimously agreed to accept the
invitation and got right to work in preparation
for what would turn out to be the greatest
achievement in their hockey careers.
Road to the Championship
Kromm began immediately to contact
players he felt would fit well with the team and
invited them to play for the Smoke Eaters in the
World Championships. Once more, Kromm
recruited the three players who had played for
the Smoke Eaters in the Allan Cup Finals from
the Rossland Warriors: defenseman George
Ferguson and forwards Harold Jones and
Pinoke Mclntyre. Forwards Walt Peacosh came
from the Penticton Vees and Dave Rusnell was
added from the Yorkton Terriers. Defenseman
Darryl Sly joined from the Kitchener-Waterloo
Dutchmen. The Montreal Canadiens, in
support of the Smoke Eaters, loaned their third
string goaltender, Claude Cyr. Michele (Mike)
Legace was the final addition, joining the team
from the Canadiens' junior team.
The Executive turned its attention to
financing the trip. The budget they drafted was
just over $42,000 (the team spent $43,100)/<8 The
CAHA would cover the costs of transportation,
hotels and meals, provide $1000 in cash and
some revenue from the exhibition games. The
rest of the expenses were the responsibility
of the team. The city's major employer, the
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
ill Smoke Eaters
Includes additions to the roster for the European tournament
Positions: F for forward, D for Defense, and GT for goaltender.
Cal Hockley, (F), Captain
Adolf Tambellini, (F), Asst. Captain
Don Fletcher, (D), Asst. Captain
Norm Lenardon, (F)
Dave Rusnell, (F)
Harold Jones, (F)
Hugh Mclntyre, (F)
Gerry Penner, (F)
Jackie McLeod, (F)
Walt Peacosh, (F)
Mike Legace, (F)
Harry Smith, (D)
Ed Cristofoli, (D)
Darryl Sly, (D)
George Ferguson, (D)
Seth Martin, (GT)
Claude Cyr, (GT)
Laurie Bursaw (F) (did not go to Europe)
Frank Turik (F) (did not go to Europe)
Bobby Kromm (Playing Coach)
Jim Cameron (President)
Ugo DeBiasio (Manager)
Joe Garay (Trainer)
'Follow the
Smokies! 'graphics
featured in the
1961 program
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      35
 "The Moment."
The Trail Smoke
Eaters celebrate on
the ice after the
championship final
in Geneva, March
12, 1961.
smelting giant CM&S (Cominco), supported
the team by agreeing to pay the salaries of the
players they employed while they were away.
They also contributed $4000 cash. The Molson
family, owners of the Montreal Canadiens,
gave the team $1000 in addition to the loan of
Cyr.9 The International Ice Hockey Federation
provided $8000 for expenses while the team
was in Europe. Local fundraising efforts,
personal donations, and the players' own
funds made up the rest. The budget allowed
for twenty people to travel to Europe: 17
players, the trainer and manager. That left one
spot available. Jim Cameron, dub president,
agreed to go and would act as spokesperson
for the team.
Kromm felt he had a balanced team and
decided to direct the team from the bench in
the World Championships. He stated before
they left for Europe: "Condition, skating and
passing had been the three major things I
have stressed this year particularly. The first,
conditioning, is the most important."10 The
Smoke Eaters left Trail for Europe on January
26,1961. They first traveled to Saskatchewan to
play two exhibition games, against the Moose
Jaw Playmores and the Yorkton Terriers. They
then flew to Europe reaching London early
Monday morning on January 30th. They moved
on to Oslo, Norway for the first exhibition game
against European opposition on February 1st.
After disposing of the Norwegian National
team 8-3, the Smoke Eaters flew to Stockholm,
Sweden for four games with the Swedish
National team. Those games promised to be
tougher than the game against Norway.
The games were played on an open air
rink, as many games were, induding some at
the World Championships. Sweden had a big
team with a number of veteran international
players. The Smoke Eaters played poorly in
the opening game and lost 4-0. The Swedish
media criticized their play and depicted the big
Smoke Eater's defenseman Don Fletcher as an
angel in a cartoon on the front page of one of
the newspapers. The Smoke Eaters were not
impressed and knew they had to play better.
The second game was played February 3rd
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 before 16,000 fans. The Smoke Eaters were a
different team, "playing good, old fashioned
Trail hockey" and defeated the Swedes 4-1."
Many observers felt this was a turning point
for the team. They now recognized the style of
play required to win in Europe, and no team
took them lightly from then on.
The remainder of the five week sell
out exhibition tour took them to Finland,
Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Italy,
and the Soviet Union. After this exhausting
schedule, they began to focus on the challenge
that lay ahead — winning the World Hockey
Championship for Canada, and for Trail.
The Tournament
The first game of the tournament was
against Sweden in Lausanne. Penalties to both
teams resulted in three power-play goals in the
first period, but the Smoke Eaters led 3-1 at
the break. There was no scoring in the second
period. The Smoke Eaters scored three goals in
the third to win 6-1.
The Smoke Eaters had a relatively easy
time of it in the next two games, beating West
Germany 9-1 and the USA 7-4, although the
US team proved to be tougher than expected.
In their fourth tournament game, the Smoke
Eaters got past East Germany 5-2, with backup
goalie Claude Cyr in net.
Next up was the strong Czechoslovakian
squad. The Czechs had already upset the
Soviets 6—4, tying the Smoke Eaters for the
lead in the tournament with 4-0 records. The
players knew this was a key game against the
Czechs. The game was played in the open air
rink in Lausanne. The weather had been sunny
and warm all week and the ice was slushy
and water covered, which would hamper the
Smoke Eaters' skating and passing, their key
The Czechs scored with ten seconds
left in the first period and when they came
out in the second, their strategy was obvious:
forecheck the Smoke Eaters relentlessly and do
not allow them to carry the puck across their
blue line. The strategy worked until late in the
second period, when Mclntyre scored to tie the
game. The Czechs would be happy with a tie
to maintain the goals for/against differential
used to calculate the winner of the tournament
should a tie result among the teams at the
end of the tournament. Despite an onslaught
of pucks on the Czech goaltender, the Smoke
Eaters were unable to get the go ahead goal and
the game ended in a 1-1 tie. The result was not
what the team wanted, but all was not lost. To
secure their chances of winning, the objective
was clear—beat the Soviets.
Trail defeated Finland 12-1 in their
next game; however, because Finland would
not finish among the top five teams in the
tournament, the goals scored by the Smoke
Eaters would not be factored into the tie
breaking formula of goals for and against.
Heading into the Smoke Eaters' final game of
the tournament against the Soviets on Sunday,
the Czechs had a one-goal edge over the Smoke
On the morning of March 12th, the
Czechs beat Sweden 5-2, setting up a show
down between the Smoke Eaters and the
Soviets. Most figured the Czech team the
favourite to win the World Championship,
believing the Smoke Eaters could not beat the
Soviets.12 The game started at 6:00 pm in the
Geneva Ice Palace. All tickets were sold with
the crowd estimated at 12,000, including 1000
Canadian servicemen from nearby bases in
West Germany.13 The Smoke Eaters did not
fully understand the tournament rules to break
a tie in the standings. They believed they had
to beat the Soviets by three goals to win the
Championship; instead they needed only one
The Soviets came out of the gate flying.
After only forty seconds, Sly took a five minute
penalty and the pressure on the shorthanded
Smoke Eater defense intensified. Martin was a
standout in goal and they weathered the storm
until Smith scored the first goal of the game at
the 8:20 mark. The Smoke Eaters went to the
dressing room with a one goal lead.
Halfway through the second period, with
both teams playing five a side due to fighting
penalties against both teams, McLeod rifled a
shot past Soviet goaltender Vladimir Tchinov
and it was 2-0 for the Smoke Eaters. Two
minutes later, Jones put the Smoke Eaters up
3-0. They had the goal differential they needed
to win. At the 40 second mark of the third
period, Jones scored again to make it 4-0 and
the players began to feel a little better about
their chance of winning the championship. At
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      37
 3. Murray Greig, Trail
On Ice: A Century of
Hockey in the Home of
Champions, (Trail, BC:
Trail City Archives,
1999), 74.
4. Trail Daily Times,
March 31,1960.
5. Greig, Trail On Ice: A
Century of Hockey in the
Home of Champions, 80.
6. James Cameron, The
Last Time We Won Hockey,
(Trail, BC: Noremac
Publishing, 1990), 7.
7. Ibid., 9.
8. $43,100 CDN
in 1961 converts
to approximately
$337,662 CDN in 2013
money; $1000 = $7,834.
"Inflation Calculator,"
Bank of Canada,
accessed December
13, 2013, http://www.
9. Ibid., 10.
10. Trail Daily Times,
March 28,1961.
11. Greig, Trail On Ice: A
Century of Hockey in the
Home of Champions, 85
12. Cameron, The Last
Time We Won Hockey,
pg. 115
13. Ibid, iii.
14. Trail Daily Times,
March 13,1961.
16. Cameron, The Last
Time We Won Hockey, 118.
17. Ibid.
the 11:50 mark of the period, Maiorov scored
for the Soviet Union and the goal differential
was back to three.
The Smoke Eaters' forecheck was
relentless for the rest of the period and they did
not let the Soviets' offense get organized. At
17:50, Smoke Eater forward Lenardon stole the
puck from Sologubov deep in the Soviet zone,
crossed in front of the net and flipped the puck
past Tchinov. The players swarmed Lenardon,
including goaltender Martin who skated
the length of the ice from his goal crease to
congratulate his teammate. The Smoke Eaters
now knew they had the game won. Finally the
buzzer sounded. The Trail Smoke Eaters were
World Hockey Champions.
Martin threw his stick in the air as his
teammates poured off the bench to celebrate
and congratulate each other. Fans and the
Canadian servicemen joined them on the ice.
The teams lined up on the blue line, as 'O
Canada' blared from the stadium speakers. The
Smoke Eaters sang their hearts out, proud to be
Canadians. Captain Cal Hockley was presented
with the World Championship Trophy and
the Smoke Eaters left the ice to enjoy a well-
deserved celebratory party that carried on into
the early hours of Monday. Back home in Trail,
the BC Tel switchboard exploded as people
called each other to share their joy and pride in
what had just occurred in Switzerland.
Trail goaltender, Seth Martin, was named
the tournament's Most Valuable Player and
Boris Maiorov was the tournament's leading
scorer with 16 points. Jackie McLeod was the
leading scorer on the Smoke Eaters with 12
points. After the game, Kromm was quoted:
The match was ours from the whistle.
The Soviets put up a real tough resistance but
we just beat them to the puck when it counted,
because we were much faster and better than
Soviet Coach, Laurentii Cheryshev said:
"They won because they were the better team.
There is no doubt about that."15
Of all the emotions the players
experienced when the game ended, the one
they often mention in interviews is "relief."16
Relief the long journey was over, relief from the
pressures of Canada's hockey establishment to
win, and relief that they would be returning
home as champions, fulfilling the dreams of
families, friends and fans in Trail. It took a while
for it all to sink in. Memories of the celebration
after the final buzzer have become blurred due
to the euphoria of the moment.17 But there is
no mistaking that the players knew what they
had accomplished. To come from a small town
in rural BC and reach the pinnade of world
hockey supremacy cannot be underestimated,
then or now. Fifty three years later, the
celebrations of March 12,1961 still reverberate
in Trail, and indeed Canada. On that date, the
1961 Trail Smoke Eaters were champions of
the world, the last amateur team from Canada
to win the World Hockey Championship; in
fact no Canadian team would win the World
Ice Hockey Championship until 1994, 33 years
Atwell, Leo. A History of the British Columbia Amateur
Hockey Association. BC Amateur Hockey Association. 1989.
Cameron, James M. The Last Time We Won Hockey. Trail,
BC: Noremac Publishing. 1990.
Greig, Murray. Trail On Ice: A Century of Hockey in the
Home of Champions. Trail, BC: Trail City Archives. 1999.
Young, Scott. War on Ice - Canada in International Hockey.
Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. 1976.
The Trail Daily Times
Norm Lenardon, Cal Hockley, Seth Martin (video
interviews) - Trail City Archives
1. CFRB Radio Broadcast, March 12,1961, World
Hockey Championship Final Game. Commentator Bill
Stephenson. © Trail Historical Society
2. The Savage Cup was first presented in 1912-13 and
is now awarded to the top BC team at the Allan Cup.
Historically the Savage Cup winner was advanced directly
to the Allan Cup playoffs, with the first playoff game
against the Alberta champions. However, starting with the
2009-10 season, the Savage Cup is now awarded to the top
British Columbia team at the Allan Cup.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 Basketball Legend Ken Wright Had Big Dreams
by Vern Giesbrecht
Ken Wright had a dream to establish an annual basketball
championship in BC. His dream came true and he created a
legacy that has lasted for 68 years.
In his playing days at New Westminster's
Duke of Connaught High School,
the University of British Columbia
Thunderbirds and the New Westminster
Adanacs of the Inter-City League, he was
known as "Hooker" for his effective hook shot.
As a coach, Wright led high school basketball
teams to five provincial championships in a
dozen years, induding three in a row. His
tournament teams won 28 of 35 games,
an 80 % win-loss record that hasn't been
equalled. To the thousands of players and
hundreds of coaches who took part in the
annual basketball championships over the
years, he was "Mr. Basketball." Without his
foresight in setting up the first tournament
68 years ago and nurturing the tournament's
development for 50 years, almost until his
death at the age of 82, it's doubtful that the
British Columbia version of "March Madness"
would have flourished so remarkably.1
Kenneth William Thomas Wright was
born in Chaplin, Saskatchewan on June 24,
1913, the son of Robert Wright and Effie Anne
Burroughs. He moved to New Westminster
with his parents when he was a toddler and
except for his war service he lived in New
Westminster or Burnaby for the rest of his life.
He attended Duke of Connaught high
school, excelling in basketball, track - he was a
middle distance runner - lacrosse, softball and
other sports.
"Basketball was a big winter game in
those days," Wright recalled in an interview in
1994. "Nobody had cars or anything; we played
at the "Y" just across the street from Connaught.
We had some pretty good teams for that era.
Believe it or not, I played centre. I could stretch
to be 6 feet and I probably weighed 142 pounds,
but I was tough. I was one of the few who had a
good hook shot.. ."2
After receiving his MA at UBC,
Wright taught for three years at Lord Kelvin
and McBride elementary schools in New
Westminster before moving on to his alma
mater, Duke of Connaught, to teach math and
physical education in 1939. He also coached
"soccer, lacrosse, table tennis, basketball and
just about every other sport in the book".
During the war he joined the RCAF, serving
as an aviation instructor in Portage La Prairie,
After his stint in the RCAF he returned
to teaching at Duke of Connaught. While in
the RCAF, Wright had organized a basketball
tournament for service teams in Portage la
Prairie, Manitoba and the success of that
venture prompted him to organize a four-team,
two-day tournament at the New Westminster
"Y" in 1945, with the help of Van Copeland of
Trapp Tech, the technical high school in New
"Westminster Squads to Meet in
Invitational Hoop Final" was the headline in
the Vancouver Province on March 3,1945.
British Columbia's first minor basketball
invitational tournament, the brain child
of one-time hoop great Ken Wright, got
off to a flying start before an estimated
crowd of 350 howling high school fans
at the YMCA gym in New Westminster
last night...two home town quintets,
Duke of Connaught High and Trapp
Tech, emerged the winners and will
meet tonight in the final match.. .4
Trapp Tech won the championship, 31-
22, with Chilliwack beating Nanaimo for third
place, 38-28.
The 1946 tournament, expanded to eight
teams that had to survive playoffs to qualify,
is considered the first "official" province-wide
competition for high school basketball teams.
Two Vancouver teams fought for first
place. Led by Maury Mulhern and his brother
Brian, Vancouver College edged King George
25-21 in the final; the New Westminster teams,
Trapp Tech and Duke of Connaught, tied for
Vern Giesbrecht is
a retired college
instructor who
spent seven years
as a journalist
before becoming
a teacher. He
has published
articles in a variety
of newspapers
and magazines,
including the
Vancouver Sun,
Vancouver Province,
Canadian Author
fr Bookman,
Prairies North and
Western Producer.
Vern and his wife
Marilyn have lived
in Gibsons, BC for
more than 30 years.
Look foi
more on
Ken Wright
on an
issue of
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      39
 Duke of Connaught
coach Ken Wright
and Trapp Tech
coach Rudy Wiley
discuss strategy.
Their New
Westminster teams
dominated high
school basketball
in the 1940s and
As the tournament
grew in popularity and
prestige, it was expanded
to 16 and then 20 teams
and eventually "AA"
and "A" championships
were held separately at
different venues to allow
smaller high schools a
fairer chance to compete.
Over the years,
the annual March
tournament moved from
the New Westminster
"Y" to the New West
Arenex (where glass
back-boards were used
for the first time), then
to John Oliver High
School in Vancouver
for three games in the
1949 tournament, New
Westminster High
School    for    the    1950
event and then in 1951
to UBC's War Memorial Gymnasium, where it
was held for 17 years.
When the tournament moved to UBC, "it
attracted standing room only crowds, exceeded
only by the Harlem Globetrotters, and during
the daytime thousands of university students
skipped classes to provide a noisy, exciting
atmosphere at the games leading up to the
final night."5
Later venues included the Pacific
Coliseum (where it once attracted a crowd
of 9,000), GM Place and the Agrodome at the
PNE. The tournament is currently held at the
Langley Events Centre. It is estimated that
more than 13,000 boys have played in the
tournament in its 68 years of existence.
The Rivalry
Almost as important as the fledging
provincial tournament, at least for people
in New Westminster, was the fierce rivalry
between the two local teams, Trapp Tech and
Duke of Connaught, as they competed for the
Sangster Cup.6
To promote the 1951 games (a two-game
set) The Columbian newspaper set up a photo
of Trapp Tech coach Rudy Wiley diagramming
a play for D of C rival Ken Wright (wearing a
Trapp Tech jacket!)
In the first game, the heavily favoured
Duke of Connaught team edged Trapp Tech
by just 5 points, 62-57, causing Wiley to boast,
"We'll beat them by 10 points next Friday and
you can quote me on that."7
Before a reported 1,400 fans at the New
Westminster "Y" on Feb. 9, Wright's squad
trounced Trapp Tech 68-49, behind 20 points
by Ernie Nyhaug, 17 by Jack Lewko and 15 by
Paul Buday.
Despite this setback, Wiley was a very
successful coach in his own right, taking Trapp
Tech and Lester Pearson (Duke of Connaught
and Trapp Tech schools dosed in 1955,
Lester Pearson was the new school) teams
to the provincial tournament for 13 straight
years and winning back to back provincial
championships in 1955 and 1956.
"Ken and I had some great battles,"
Wiley recalled in a 1994 interview. "One time
we were playing at the "Y" and it was dose,
a tie game, and one of their guards had a
breakaway, and I look down there (in those
days we sat side by side on the benches) and
I see Hooker's ball there, so I kick it onto the
floor and the ref stops the game.
"He comes over to me and says, 'Whose
ball is it?' and Hooker says, 'Well, it's not
mine!' and I say, 'What name is on it?' because
he had Duke of Connaught written all over it
so nobody would steal it. The ref calls for a
jump ball at centre, we get the jump, score a
basket and win the game!'"8
The Legacy
Former Lester Pearson and UBC all-star
Ken Winslade worked closely with Wright as
executive director of the basketball association
for many years and was tournament director
for two decades.
He recalls, "Wright was a really
competitive person in his own way - he
wanted to be the best and he also wanted
the tournament to be the best. I think the
tournament has become the Mecca of high
school sports in the province.
"One of the things he did so well was
establishing rapport with people in the media,
men like Denny Boyd and Allan Fotheringham
of the Vancouver Sun and Al Davidson at CKNW
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 Ken and Rosemary
Wright receiving
a giant season's
ticket to the
Grizzlies' games
from general
manager Stu
Jackson, March 18,
in the early days and many others since then.
He was doing that forever and the tournament
would always get extensive coverage.
"He was also was interested in the
scholarship program and made sure it had a
high priority. Another thing I really admired
about "Hooker" was that he'd spend time with
out-of-town teams at the tournament. Often
the upcountry teams would be beaten two
games straight, but Ken would go into their
dressing rooms, tell them they were part of a
great tradition and just make them feel good
about making it to the tournament.
"He was one of those who supported
adding "A" and "AA" divisions so more teams
could take part. He really truly believed in
making it a provincial tournament. I remember
sometimes I'd pick him up in the later years
and we'd drive to Abbotsford Christian to
watch the "A" finals.
"As historian, Wright set up an archives
system, keeping every score sheet and
program, making scrapbooks, keeping tapes of
the championship games from 1972 on.... He
did this on his own. When he died, I inherited
this incredible resource. I've got it in my
basement now."9
At a banquet to mark the 50th anniversary
of the tournament in 1995, Ken and Rosemary
Wright received an outsized season ticket
from Vancouver Grizzlies' general manager
Stu Jackson, but his health was failing and he
couldn't take full advantage of the gift.
"At this tournament, Dad couldn't make
the rounds as he was used to doing, so he 'held
court' in the stands," remembers his son Bob.
"I remember a pilgrimage of people coming
around to see him, coaches, former players,
even children and grandchildren of former
players. I think he was quite touched at the
Ken Wright died of liver failure on April
6,1996 at the age of 82.
Among the tributes to Ken Wright was
one by another legendary basketball coach, Bill
Disbrow, who led five Richmond Colts teams
to championships over a 30-year span.
"He was a very dassy man," said
Disbrow, currently the senior boys' coach at St.
George's in Vancouver. "I never heard a bad
word from him. He was always congratulating
our kids; he'd go out of his way to do that,
come visit with them.
"BC basketball is better than anywhere
in the country, and the reason is the BC
tournament — and that was his. He took it
from the start to making it huge; he was the
main man the whole way. We owe him a lot."10
A member of both the BC Sports Hall of
Fame and the BC Basketball Association Hall
of Fame, Ken Wright's legacy lives on in the
Ken Wright Memorial Trophy (given annually
to a basketball coach who has made significant
improvements to a school's basketball
program) and the Ken Wright Trophy given
annually to the winner of the AAA senior boys'
basketball tournament. •
1. The United States
college basketball
championship is a single-
elimination tournament
played each spring to
determine the national
championship of the
major college basketball
teams. Played mostly
during March, it is
known informally as
March Madness.
2. Interview with the
author, June 24,1994,
printed in the 50th
anniversary program
for the British Columbia
High School Boys'
Basketball Association,
March 15,1995, 69-70.
3. "Ken Wright Steps
Down From Politics,"
The Royal City Record, 29
October 1981.
4. "Westminster Squads
to Meet in Invitational
Hoop Final," Vancouver
Province, 3 March 1945.
Written and Pictorial
History of 35 Great
Tournament Years," 1980,
6. Named after Wally
Sangster, one of five
Sangster brothers, who
had been killed at the
Battle of The Somme.
7. "Dukes Edge Trapp
Tech in Hard-fought
Game," The Royal
Columbian, 3 February
8. Interview with
author, October 6,1994,
printed in BCHSBBA's
50th anniversary
program, March 15,1995,
9. Interview with
author, October 24, 2012.
10. "Mr. Basketball Ken
Wright Dead," Vancouver
Sun, 9 April 1996.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      41
 Archives & Archivists
by Val Billesberger; edited by Sylvia Stopforth
Sylvia Stopforth
is a Librarian and
Archivist at Norma
Marion AUoway
Library at Trinity
Western University.
Val Billesberger
is the part-time
Archivist & Records
Manager at the
Mission Community
Archives and
holds a Masters of
Archival Studies
degree from UBC.
With the assistance
of her volunteer
staff, she strives
to advance the
archives' role
and visibility in
the community
through innovative
partnerships and
to facilitate
the acquisition,
preservation and
accessibility of
the community's
Stories of sport history are documented in the Mission
Community Archives through extensive holdings donated
by individuals, organizations, businesses and schools.
In 1924 members of the Mission C 47th
football eleven won the coveted Pakenham
Cup — "the grandfather of Canadian
soccer cups" — which originated in
Mission. Twenty-nine years later, Mission
opened the first permanent soap box derby
track in Canada and subsequently became the
home of the Western Canada Soap Box Derby
Championships. On November 16th, 2013 the
torch lighting ceremony for the 27th BC Winter
Games was held at the Leisure Centre to mark
100 days before the commencement of the first
games ever hosted by Mission.
Eden Donatelli Green
Eden Donatelli, a native of Mission,
began speed-skating at four years of age. As
a young skater with exceptional abilities, she
quickly outpaced her contemporaries and even
those in older age groups. When she was 16
she competed at the World Championships
in Montreal and won a gold medal in the
500 metre race. A year later, she moved to
Montreal to train for the 1988 Winter Olympics
in Calgary where she subsequently won silver
and bronze medals in short track speed-
skating. That year she was also named BC
Junior Athlete of the Year. Her achievements
continued with multiple wins at national and
international speed-skating events. In 1988,
she was inducted into Mission's Sports Hall
of Fame and four years later she retired from
competition to coach. Her archives primarily
document her skating career induding:
resume, memoirs, awards, photographs,
newspaper dippings, and ephemera.
Mission speed-skating star
Eden Donatelli (foreground)
made sports history at
age thirteen in 1983. She
won the gold medal at the
Canadian Championships
for the 200m, 300m, 400m
and 500m races and broke
the Canadian record in
all four categories. She
also qualified for the
Canadian National Training
Team which allowed her
to represent both British
Columbia and Canada at
the World Championships.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47No.1
 Mission City Record
The first issue of the Mission City Record
was published on June 18th, 1908 under
the name Fraser Valley Record. Initially the
newspaper was published to serve the interests
of communities throughout the Fraser Valley.
In the mid-1940s, however, the paper gradually
began to focus its coverage on Mission and to
use photographs extensively on an endless
variety of topics, induding sports. The weekly
newspaper adopted its present name in 1996
when its format, style and publication date
were changed. With regard to sports, the
newspaper's archives indude ephemera and
photographs created and used by the staff and
pertaining to individual athletes and teams;
sports venues, events, and award programs; as
well as materials regarding builders — through
sponsorship and volunteerism — of sports in
the community.
Charlie McPherson
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Charlie
McPherson moved to Vancouver where he
completed his education. In 1949, a year after
completing teacher's training, he moved to
Mission to teach at the high school and a
decade later he was appointed vice-principal of
the new Mission Junior High School, a position
he held until his retirement in 1984. He is
most noted for developing athletic abilities
in youth, coaching senior boys and girls and
intermediate boys to win Fraser Valley and
provincial championships between 1951 and
1975. One of his well-known accomplishments
was coaching the senior boys' basketball
team to win the provincial AA finals in 1954
— a first for Mission. His archives include
resume, correspondence, photographs, and
two scrapbooks pertaining to his coaching
achievements in the 1950s.
Western Canada Soap Box Derby
The Western Canada Soap Box Derby
Association was incorporated in the fall of 1957
to manage organized soap box derby racing
in accordance with a franchise granted by
All American Soap Box Derby Inc. of Detroit,
Michigan. The formation of the Association
marked a new era for the annual derby which
had been an adjunct event of the Mission
Strawberry Festival between 1946 and 1957.
The Association managed the event until
1973. At a meeting held on September 28th of
that year, the minutes recorded that a motion
was passed "with sincere regret" that "the
Western Canada Soap Box Derby Association
be disbanded" due to a continuing decline
in interest and the withdrawal of a major
sponsor. The organization's archives indude
constitution & by-laws, minutes, financial
records, correspondence, work plans, reports,
Soap Box Derby programs, official rulebooks,
prize lists, and ephemera.
More information on the holdings of the
Mission Community Archives is available at
Posing on the newly
opened permanent
soap box derby
track are the 121
entrants in 1953,
more than 30
towns and cities
from throughout
the province.
A community
enterprise, the
derby track was
900 feet in length,
30 feet wide and
provided 9 foot
lanes for each
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1      43
 From the Book Review Editor's Desk
K. Jane Watt
Making It Happen
Communities are tangible and
metaphorical at the same
time, built on the snow of a
ski slope and over hot chocolate afterward, or on skates or hard
benches overlooking the ice. They
sprout from the germ of a shared idea
and grow strong through collective
good will and roll-up-your-sleeves
Saturday afternoon work parties.
Communities make the experience
of living a richer one — and in small
towns they stand in for the municipal
infrastructure that residents of larger
places take for granted: in BC's history, community groups have built
halls, rodeo grounds,
churches, libraries, hospitals. And of course,
they have created hundreds of museums and
archives that collect
and present local and
regional stories of place
— what's known as history.
are built in the mortar
between bricks, in the
space of common action,
and in the joining of
ideas. They are also
built in solitary hours in
the archives, in sipping
coffee and drinking in
the wisdom of elders, in
collecting old maps and
making sense of them,
in walking trails and sharing the
stories of people who came before.
Sometimes they are built virtually
by linking into the ever-growing
body of original material available
in digitized form. As lovers of
history, we are indebted to this far-
flung community of researchers and
writers who are connected by their
passion for the details of local history
and by their stamina for the chore
of writing it up. Sometimes their
work is taken to the large audience
a publisher or an established website
can command, sometimes it serves a
different audience through a small
private press run, or a report in a
spiral binder held in the research area
of a local museum.
The books that follow consider
communities made possible by
sport and their ties to place and
nation. Like much of what we
know about the history of British
Columbia, these communities have
humble beginnings. They have been
made possible by the dedication
of individuals and their dreams of
making it happen.
First Tracks: The History of
Skiing in Revelstoke.
By Revelstoke
^Museum and
Revelstoke: 2012)
Revelstoke Museum and
Archives has recently published
a beautiful coffee-table-style book
called First Tracks, The History of Skiing
in Revelstoke. Dedicated to the spirit of
community that translates into action:
"to those who, because of a passion
for their sport, had a vision and made
it happen," the book features stunning
images from the Museum's own
collection and celebrates the many
ways small groups of people can
transform — for all — the experience
of living in a community.
In the early years of recreational
skiing in the area, just after the turn
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
Books for review should be sent to:
K. Jane Watt, Book Review Editor, British Columbia History
Box 1053, Fort Langley BC V1M 2S4
of the twentieth century, Revelstoke
merchant F.B. Wells imported "10-foot-
long skis with intricate scrollwork from
Minnesota for his store." Many skiers
chose to make their own skis and by
necessity used a single set for crosscountry, downhill, and jumping. They
celebrated the ingenuity required
to make equipment better, to adapt
it to local conditions. Ernie Larson
remembers an important addition to
his harness in the 1930s: "When you
canned fruit in those days, there were
rubber jar rings and we put the rubber
over the toe and back in behind the
heel to keep our foot in the harness, so
we didn't lose the ski. The rubber ring
used to stretch and the skis fell off. We
used to have a pocketful of them."
The Book Committee of the
Revelstoke Museum and Archives,
with principal writer Laurel Stovel
and book designer Kathryn Whiteside,
is to be praised for this excursion into
history, showcasing as it does many
relationships with the mountains —
including back country, cross country,
ski jumping, ski joring (a single skier
is pulled by a horse in a sprint) cat
skiing, heli skiing — that have made
Revelstoke the ski destination it is
Image opposite: Johanna Gunnarsen,
Elise Nelsen, and Rebecca Nelson in
the line-up for the Ladies Ski Race,
Revelstoke, 1921.
John Clarke, Explorer of the
Coast Mountains.
By Lisa Baile, with a
^foreword by Wade
^Davis (Madeira
Park: Harbour,
L2012) $29.95.
fohn Clarke is an
affectionate tribute to a remarkable
and complex man who loved the
coastal mountains of British Columbia,
cherished heritage houses and other
buildings in urban Vancouver, and
later in life became an inspired teacher,
communicating the importance of
the wilderness and the protection of
wild areas. Born on February 25, 1945
near Dublin, Ireland, Clarke grew up
in Vancouver. As a student at UBC
he took to mountain climbing and it
became his passion - one could say his
Fascinated by the province's
Coast Mountains, Clarke decided
to dimb as many of the unclimbed
peaks in this range as possible. He also
started to undertake lengthy traverses
through very remote and difficult
terrain — over mountains and glaciers,
and through dense forests and river
valleys. Often he travelled alone, or
with just one or two friends. These trips
became the driving force of his life for
many years, and he worked at a variety
of temporary labouring jobs, each
just long enough to finance his next
adventure. Had he lived two hundred
years ago, one can't help thinking
he would have been an explorer
like Alexander Mackenzie or David
Thompson; like them, he was a man
who was so drawn to the wilderness
he often disregarded the discomforts
and vicissitudes of his journeys. Many
of Clarke's trips were recorded in
articles in the Canadian Alpine Journal
and chronided in his countless public
slide presentations and talks at schools,
community centres, and outdoor clubs.
Clarke became famous for his
spartan lifestyle on these expeditions,
surviving — and thriving on —
rations that most of us would reject
out of hand. Maps were immensely
important to him: he kept them with
him at all times, studying them and
tracing out new climbing routes and
traverses to be tested and proved
over ensuing months and years. His
journeys took him over a vast area of
the Coast Mountains and he is credited
with recording over 600 first ascents.
Clarke kept detailed diaries and
became an accomplished photographer,
both of which contributed to his later
work as an environmental activist,
and, ultimately, to this book. Exploring
the mountains was not without its
hazards, and in May 1994 Clarke and
three companions were climbing with
Randy Stoltmann when that young
man, a determined conservationist, was
carried to his death by an avalanche.
This was a tragedy that stayed with
Clarke for the rest of his life.
After many years of focusing
on his mountain climbing interests,
Clarke turned his energy to educating
people about the tremendous value
of these places, reminding people of
their vulnerability to logging and other
industrial development. His attention
turned outward as he started to see
the destruction of some of his beloved
areas by dearcut logging, even as he
befriended many of those working
in the industry. In his latter years, he
worked for the Wilderness Education
Program as an educator and was highly
successful as a wilderness advocate.
Beginning in 1997, with Chief Bill
Williams, he was a key player in what
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1    45
 came known as the Witness Project,
particularly relating to the Elaho and
Sims Valley in traditional Squamish
Nation territory, as part of movement
to preserve this beautiful and important
area from destruction by industrial
logging. Clarke, Chief Williams, and
their group led hundreds of people on
camping trips to threatened areas, to
broaden support for their preservation.
Complementing his appreciation
of British Columbia's natural heritage,
John Clarke also had a strong interest
in photographing Vancouver's
architectural heritage during the time
when the city was undergoing great
changes and many older buildings
were disappearing at an alarming rate.
He was a charismatic man
with a lively and infectious sense of
humour who attracted many longtime
friendships, but did not actually get
married until midlife, not long before
his untimely death from cancer in 2003.
For many years, he was just too busy to
settle down, and his long periods in the
mountains would have stressed any
family responsibilities. The friendships
that he forged, however, were very
strong, and induded men, women and
children, the author of this book among
them, along with such well-known
mountain climbers and outdoors
people and as Phyllis Mundy, Randy
Stoltmann, Don Serl, Joe Foy and many
others. His close friendships with, and
support of, First Nations leaders, such
as Chief Bill Williams of the Squamish
First Nation, and other community
members, proved to be pivotal in their
collective success in conserving major
areas of unlogged coastal rainforest.
For his many achievements he
was made a member of the Order of
Canada in 2002. Sadly, the next year, at
age 57, Clarke died of cancer. In 2010,
Mount John Clarke was named after
him in a special dedication ceremony,
attended by his wife Annette and
young son Nicholas (to whom this book
is dedicated), his many friends from
the climbing, outdoors, environmental
and First Nations communities. The
ceremony was hosted by Chief Bill
This book is well written, and
reflects author Lisa Baile's respect
for John Clarke. A mountaineer
and dimber herself, Baile knew John
Clarke well through their mutual
love of the mountains and their work
together on wilderness conservation
projects. Together they co-founded the
Wilderness Education Program. The
book fills in a chapter in the history of
alpine dimbing in British Columbia
and also in the development of the
environmental movement that was
growing increasingly important in the
late 1900s and early 2000s. Clarke's
legacy lives on in many of BC's citizens
who have dedicated their own lives to
protecting and conserving our special
habitats, ecosystems and the coastal
mountains of our province.
John Clarke commented in 1999
to a turn-away crowd at the H.R.
MacMillan Planetarium, "In fifty years
it won't be the place with the most
malls and golf courses that will have
the edge for tourism but the place with
the most grizzles and wild salmon." It
was a thought that dominated his life,
as did his love of the Coast Mountains,
and it is an important legacy to
Bob and Nancy Turner.
Robert D. Turner is a historian,
photographer and curator emeritus
at the Royal BC Museum and Nancy
J. Turner is distinguished professor
and Hakai Chair of Ethnoecology at
the University of Victoria's School of
Environmental Studies. Between them
they have authored or co-authored
over 40 books.
A Great Game: The Forgotten
Leafs and the Rise of
Professional Hockey
By Stephen J.
Harper. (Toronto:
Simon & Schuster,
L2013) $34.99.
Stephen Harper may not be
the first Canadian prime minister to
publish a book while still in office, but
he is probably the first to do so on a
topic unrelated to the politics of the
day. While detractors have suggested
that the book is little more than a
calculated attempt to connect with
average Canadians, Harper's decision
to come out of the closet as a fan of
the Toronto Maple Leafs—a team
almost universally despised outside
the Leaf Nation— shows that Harper
clearly has the courage to set political
calculation aside. Reviewers should
follow his example: A Great Game
deserves to be judged on its content, on
standards unrelated to the policies and
personality of its author.
In A Great Game, Harper writes
about two related, but essentially
separate, topics: a neglected historical
lineage and a rancorous philosophical
debate about emerging professionalism
in sport. First, Harper carefully
demonstrates how the Toronto Maple
Leafs hockey dub can trace its origins
through the Toronto Blue Shirts right
back to the Toronto Professionals of
1906. He argues the 1914 Stanley Cup
win by the Blue Shirts is insufficiently
recognised as part of the Maple Leafs'
team lineage and should be celebrated
as part of that team's history. While
connections to the earlier teams have
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 long been acknowledged by hockey
historians, whether those teams should
be called "forgotten Leafs" is perhaps
more open to question.
Probably of greater interest
to most readers is Harper's
impressive description of the bitter
struggle between amateurism and
professionalism in sports during
the decade and a half preceding the
First World War. With his focus on
hockey in Toronto, Harper details this
struggle meticulously and in so doing
demonstrates how deeply attached a
broad cross-section of Canadian society
was to the principles of amateurism in
sport. He notes how difficult it is today
to understand the "moral philosophy
of athletics." Central to that philosophy
was the belief that payment in sport
was "the source of all vice." Indeed,
"once paid, the athlete was labelled
socially disreputable, morally deviant
... even disloyal to the nation." Clearly,
times have changed: today, star NHL
players are typically seen as inherently
virtuous and the very embodiment of
national aspirations.
In the book's final chapters,
Harper sides with the professionals,
disparaging as leftist and elitist the
doomed rearguard action of Olympics
officials clinging to the principles of
amateurism after the Second World
War; however, he does not offer
even a limited analysis of where
professionalism has led the world of
The period covered by Harper is
an era in which expectations of amateur
and professional teams, team owners,
leagues and the rules governing them
all were in a state of constant flux. A
professional player could abandon a
team (and his contract) when a better
offer was received. Team owners
made and broke their own rules at
will. Teams abandoned one league
for another, forcing leagues to merge
or collapse. Fundamental to this flux,
of course, are the familiar themes of
contracts, management prerogatives,
and labour relations. Owners of teams
in the fledgling Ontario Professional
Hockey League of 1906-07 agreed to a
salary cap of $25 per player per week
(and then proceeded to ignore the
agreement). If any of them are residents
of hockey heaven (if indeed there is a
hockey heaven), one can only imagine
their reaction to the salaries of today
and the recent announcement that
the NHL salary cap for next season is
expected to be $71 million with a $5.2
billion deal for Canadian television
Readers aware of the pivotal role
played by the Pacific Coast Hockey
Association (PCHA) in the rise of
professional hockey in Canada will be
disappointed by how little attention A
Great Game devotes to that role. While
a two-page summary acknowledges
the profound impact of the PCHA
on professional hockey in central
Canada, connections to the NHL are
not explored. In fairness, Harper did
not set out to tell the whole national
story. But a more accurate subtitle
such as The Forgotten Leafs and the Rise
of Professional Hockey in Toronto would
have made clear that the book has a
regional focus rather than a national
Details of the eastern careers of
players who subsequently achieved
fame in the PCHA are interesting.
Newsy Lalonde, later a star player for
Frank Patrick's Vancouver Millionaires,
was notorious for his on-ice violence
and was not averse to attacking fans
and goal judges as well. The story of
Fred "Cyclone" Taylor's forced entry
into the professional ranks is reviewed
(and challenged), while the Seattle
Metropolitans' Stanley Cup win of
1917 is attributed to the several former
Toronto Blue Shirts on the team. (The
book stops just short of daiming that
cup for Toronto as well!)
Profusely illustrated, largely
using     newspaper     clippings     and
photographs, the book provides visual
interest throughout. Also included
are sixteen splendid pages of glossy
reproductions, with the four pages
showing colourised jerseys worn by
the teams discussed in the text being
particularly impressive. Harper takes
pains to insist that he is an amateur
writer, crediting his research assistants
and editors with the efforts necessary
to make the manuscript publishable.
Any manuscript written in fifteen-
minute increments over a period of
eight years (as Harper has explained
this one was) will present challenges
to editors. For the most part, these
challenges have been admirably met,
although in some minor respects the
editing has been just a little too gentle.
Its detail can overwhelm and the
writing is rather flat, despite apparent
efforts to enliven it.
For those obsessed with hockey
history, Harper has provided a
readable and meticulously researched
examination of a neglected debate
from a pivotal decade—the outcome
of which led to professional hockey
as we know it today. For readers not
particularly interested in that debate
(or whether the Leafs should daim
the 1914 Stanley Cup win as their
own), the appeal of A Great Game
is less certain. But Harper's clear
affection and evident nostalgia for the
Canada of a century ago enables his
narrative to address social and political
matters of the day well beyond the
world of hockey. In describing the
changing circumstances around the
contest between amateurism and
professionalism in hockey, Harper has
made a contribution to Canada's social
history. Not a small achievement.
Wayne Norton is is an occasional
writer living in Victoria. His most
recent book, Women on Ice: The Early
Years of Women's Hockey in Western
Canada, was published by Ronsdale
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1    47
 Cabinets of Curiosities
by Val Patenaude
Val Patenaude, Director, Maple Ridge Museum & Archives, tells the tale of
Pete Telosky's joke bat and Pete's baseball legacy.
-v       END
in 1906 Punk
telosk*v  hit a
SOLlt)   TtXA£ LEA6tR
With Tffi/» STiCk
[<?am*. of Fter\ce^
^»            TOUM^MENT   ,
     ... f
Pete Telosky was a Haney
baseball legend. He was a good
enough player that he could
make a living playing baseball
in the "dirty thirties". He was still
playing and coaching in the Dewdney
League through the 40's and as the
50's approached, he was becoming
ever more frustrated with the state
of the local ball park which doubled
as fairgrounds and were chopped up
by the hooves of cows and horses.
His family farm
had been cut across by
the Lougheed Highway
in 1931, isolating a 7 acre
section where Thomas
Haney Secondary is
now located. On that
section, and nearly
singlehandedly, Pete
built his "Field of
Dreams" — a ball
park complete with
bleachers and outfield
fencing. It opened in
| May of 1950 to much
local and regional
fanfair. Through most
of the 50's, the park
hosted record crowds
and the ongoing
rivalry between the
Haney and Hammond
teams. However, by
the late 50's, television
was taking over as
the primary form of
entertainment and
people were not
coming out in the
same numbers. Pete
sold the park to the
In the 1960's,
Pete was still coaching
and was in the habit
of meeting with fellow
coaches  at the Haney
■re less j
able.  jfM
Cafe.      The      oversized   joke   bat   was
made for Pete at that
time by a couple of
friends and was hung
on  the  wall  of  the
Haney Cafe where it
remained   for   many
years.     The     terms
"fanning",     "hooks"
and  "dusters"   refer
to both pitches and j
hits that were less
than   desirable.
It   was    all
in fun
and good-
n a t u r e d
teasing of
the aging
ball player.
His "larger
than life"
made him
a natural
for       this
SOrt Of       »*«.«« Bm^u-gJ
passed ^
away in 1969
and    the    bat
eventually came into the possession
of Don Davis, another well-known
local ball player, who donated it to the
'        'Mb'F   '""   ' THIS
Iwinc.i   wi:.   n r r-iu
' «.       'to,im"N'S"t   -.J
N    ..._.._•,  J
■I   ...    _^ tl_- -
Do you have an object with a story on the shelves, walls or in the attic?
Do you pass an object with a story in your daily travels? The story should
capture a moment, signicant or personal, in BC's history.
Send me 300 to 400 words together, with a high-resolution image of the
object, telling me the story of the object.
Email your story to:, or mail it to: Editor, British
Columbia History, PO Box 21187, Maple Ridge BC, V2X 1P7.
BRITISH COLUMBIA HISTORY | Spring 2014 | Vol. 47 No. 1
 Awards and Scholarship Information
for complete details go to
W. KAYE LAMB Essay Scholarships
Deadline: May 15
The British Columbia Historical Federation
awards two scholarships annually for
essays written by students at BC colleges
or universities, on a topic relating to British
Columbia history. One scholarship ($750) is
for an essay written by a student in a first or
second year course; the other ($1000) is for
an essay written by a student in a third or
fourth year course.
To apply for the scholarship all candidates
must submit (1) a letter of application and
(2) a letter of recommendation from the
professor for whom the essay was written.
First and second year course essays should
be 1,500-3,000 words; third and fourth
year,l,500 to 5,000 words. By entering the
scholarship competition the student gives
the editor of British Columbia History the
right to edit and publish the essay if it is
deemed appropriate for the magazine.
Applications with 3 printed copies of the
essay should be submitted to: Marie Elliott,
Chair BC Historical Federation Scholarship
Committee, PO Box 5254, Station B,
Victoria, BC V8R 6N4
Anne 6t Philip Yandle Best Article
Deadline: To be eligible, the article must have appeared
in the BCHF journal British Columbia History for that
A Certificate of   merit and $250 will be
awarded annually to the author of the
article, published in British Columbia
History, that best enhances knowledge
of BC's history and provides reading
enjoyment. Judging will be based on subject
development, writing skill, freshness of
material, and appeal to a general readership
interested in all aspects of BC history.
BC History Web Site Prize
Deadline: December 31
The British Columbia Historical Federation
and David Mattison are jointly sponsoring a
yearly cash award of $250 to recognize Web
sites that contribute to the understanding
and appreciation of British Columbia's past.
The award honours individual initiative in
writing and presentation.
Nominations for the BC History Web
Site Prize must be made to the British
Columbia Historical Federation, Web Site
Prize Committee, prior to December 31st
each year. Web site creators and authors
may nominate their own sites. Prize rules
and the online nomination form can be
found on the British Columbia Historical
Federation Web site:
Best Newsletter Award
Deadline: March 1
Newsletters published by member societies
are eligible to compete for an annual
prize of $250. They will be judged for
presentation and content that is interesting,
newsy and informative.
- Only member societies of the BCHF are
- Only one issue of a society's newsletter
will be evaluated
- Submit three printed copies of this best
issue from the previous calendar year
- BCHF reserves the right not to award a
prize in a given year should applications
not be of sufficient quality
Submit three printed copies of a single
newsletter issue to: BCHF Recognition
Committee, PO Box 5254, Station B,
Victoria, BC, Canada, V8R 6N4
Certificate of Merit
Deadline: March 1
Group or individual who has made a
significant contribution to the study,
project, or promotion of British Columbia's
Certificate of Recognition
Deadline: March 1
Given to individual members or groups
of members of BCHF Member Societies
who have given exceptional service to their
Organization or Community.
Certificate of Appreciation
Deadline: March 1
Individuals who have undertaken ongoing
positions, tasks, or projects for BCHF.
Any member of BCHF may nominate
candidates for Certificates of Appreciation,
Certificates of Merit or Certificates of
Recognition. Nominations, supported
by a letter explaining why the nominee
is deserving of a certificate, should be
submitted to the Chair of the Recognition
Committee by March 1 of each year.
The Lieutenant-Governor's Medal
for Historical Writing
Deadline: December 31
Each year, the British Columbia Historical
Federation invites submissions for its
Annual Historical Writing Competition
to authors of BC history; and the winning
author is awarded the Lieutenant-
Governor's Medal for Historical Writing.
- To be eligible, a book must be about
BC history and be published within the
competition year
- Non-fiction books representing any
aspect of BC history are eligible.
- Reprints or revisions of books are not
- Books may be submitted by authors or
- Deadline for submission is December
31 of the year in which the book was
Submission Requirements
- Those wishing to enter books MUST
obtain a copy of the entry rules from the
entries chair at
- Authors/Publishers are required to
submit three copies of their book
- Books are to be accompanied by a letter
containing the following:
1. Title of the book submitted
2. Author's name and contact information
3. Publisher's name and contact
4. Selling price
- Books entered become property of BCHF
- Judges' decisions are final and
- By submitting books for this competition,
the authors agree that the BCHF may use
their name(s) in press releases and in its
William R. Morrison: Email: writing®
Judging Criteria
Judges are looking for quality presentations
and fresh material. Submissions will be
evaluated in the following areas:
- Scholarship: quality of research and
documentation, comprehensiveness,
objectivity and accuracy
- Presentation: organization, clarity,
illustrations and graphics
- Accessibility: readability and audience
All winners will receive publicity and an
invitation to the Award's Banquet at the
Federation's annual conference in May
following the year of publication.
Lieutenant-Governor's Medal and Other Awards
The BC Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for
Historical Writing will be awarded together
with $1000 to the author whose book
makes the most significant contribution
to the history of British Columbia. The
2nd and 3rd place winners will receive
$500 and $250 respectively. Certificates of
Honourable Mention may be awarded to
other books as recommended by the judges.
Johnson Inc. Scholarship
Deadline: September 15
Canadian residents completing high school
and who are beginning post-secondary
education. 100 scholarships of $1500 each
for Canada,
 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to Circulation Department.
British Columbia History
BCHF c/o Magazine Association of BC
201 -318 Homer Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2V2
Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 40025793
Publications Mail registration No. 09835
Left: Ethel and Jack Nock on Burnaby Lake
between 1922 and 1927. I am not sure yet
what years the lake froze. During those
years their mother Louisa Nock was the
postmistress at Lozells on the north shore
of Burnaby Lake, near Piper's Sawmill.
Image courtesy Brenda L. Smith
Bottom:  The 1961 Trail Smoke Eaters
aboard the Tadanac Fire Department's
engine at their homecoming parade.
Image 6605 courtesy Trail Historical Society
I*   »
FIRE     v


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