History

Starting out in 1935...

As near as can be determined, this Association in its original concept was formed in 1935. This can be proven by the Victoria Colonist and Victoria Times Cups from that date which are still offered in competition each year. No doubt there were backyard competitions of the sport long before that date. Unfortunately, the club records before 1967 are lost. Much valuable information is missing and remains only in the memory of a few older members.

In the 1940s and ‘50s, the locale was at various times on Opal Street, at Blanshard and Pandora before the BC Hydro building was erected, and in Beacon Hill Park. However, it was not until 1962, when the club moved to Hampton Park in Saanich, that the membership began to increase dramatically, requiring six courts. The Municipality of Saanich needed the space for the Hampton Little League Baseball Park, so in the fall of 1970 a decision was made to move to the present location at Glanford Park. During the fall and winter construction began and was completed in time to hold the opening ceremonies on May 2, 1971. League play began on May 4th on six courts that were subsequently covered and floodlit permitting night play. A 4 by 6 feet shed to house the tools was built.

On April 30,1970, funds were authorized to sponsor a committee of two, namely Ken Scurrah and Frank Boon, to attend a meeting in Vancouver for the purpose of founding the BC Horseshoe Association. In May 1970, the necessary fee was forwarded by the Victoria club to become a member of that association.

Our membership increased markedly and in 1974 a second set of six courts was constructed. A 12 by 16 feet shed, which was about to be demolished at a service station on Quadra Street, was obtained for a clubhouse and tool shed in 1977. Our members poured the concrete slab, moved and renovated the building. The Municipality of Saanich was of great assistance and along with the many hours of volunteer labour by the club members, the cost of construction was kept to a minimum.

On April 24, 1977, the Ladies’ Club was officially formed although some had been competing in tournaments in previous years. Six more courts were built to accommodate the increase in membership, now about one hundred.

By 1981 the small clubhouse no longer sufficed. When a 30 by 40 feet pre-fab skateboard clubhouse at Cedar Hill Rec. Centre became available, with the assistance of Saanich, it was purchased for $20,900. It was transported to our location and placed on a cement foundation. Hydro, sewers and surface drains were installed and the members began the task of renovating the interior to suit our needs. Meanwhile, we had purchased tables, chairs, fridges, stove, etc. We undertook the maintenance of the grounds and clubhouse, using our own machines, tools, etc.

In 1985 a further eight courts were constructed entirely by our members. Four of these courts have since been double-covered for use by 30-foot players. At that time we were spending three to four thousand dollars yearly for improvements, aside from the construction. In 1993/94 the complete renovation of the six badly deteriorated original courts was undertaken. They were ripped out, excavated to a depth of 3 feet and completely rebuilt along with the second set of six courts, which were moved 27 feet north. New roofs were installed and the courts lit. Extra yard lights were obtained. Grass was removed from the playing areas and crystal sand used to replace it. Underground wiring, along with drainage and automatic sprinkler systems, were installed. The original clubhouse, then used as a tool shed, was dismantled and a new storage shed, measuring 390 square feet, was built adjoining the present clubhouse at a cost of $21,000. To accomplish this, our members, many of whom are tradesmen, conducted 62 weekend work parties with anywhere from 15 to 35 present. Saanich contributed about $30,000 in materials and labour. Our club spent $45,000, which were funds that had been accumulated over a period of years in anticipation of this need. Our calculated labour contribution was about $30,000 for a total of $105,000.

In 1997/98 the first phase of the clubhouse expansion was completed which included a new kitchen, new office, bathrooms with showers, tiled floors for all areas. The entire cost of this project was about $51,000. The second phase is presently nearing completion as of Jan. 2004, adding a further 670 square feet to the seating area. The estimated cost, when completed and furnished, is expected to be about $45,000.

Our club funds are raised mainly from club dues, raffles, casinos (prior to 1998/99), rentals, hosting tournaments and donations from various commercial and community charitable organizations. We now have 28 courts, 20 being covered and floodlit, an attractive grass courtyard and the whole area surrounded by a page wire fence with cedar hedges as windbreaks. The club has all the equipment necessary to maintain the facility in good repair.

Over the past 30 years we have hosted many prestigious tournaments among which are the BC Championships in 1977, ’78, ’80, ’84, ’87, ’96 and 2003 and the Canadian Championships in 1982, ’94, ’98 and scheduled for July 2004. We celebrated our 50th and 60th anniversaries with tournaments in 1985 and 1995. Plans are anticipated for our 70th in 2005. In 1986 we provided the horseshoe venue for the BC Summer Games and in 1990 and 2000 hosted the BC International event. Each year four sanctioned tournaments, such as the Victoria Open in May and the Saanich Open in August, are held. All well attended.

These tournaments plus our regular league play, cards, darts and other events make this a very active club.

The club membership in 2003 numbered 164 adults and approximately 22 junior girls and boys.

 

HERE FOLLOWS A LIST OF PAST PRESIDENTS OF MORE RECENT DATE:
Jim Dutton 1966 ...
Lorne Roussy Oct. 1967 Mar 1968
Bob Third Mar. 1968 Oct. 1970
Ken Scurrah Oct. 1970 Sept. 1971
Doug Regimball Sept. 1971 Sept. 1972
Ieaun Jones Sept. 1972 Oct. 1974
Neil McKinnon Oct. 1974 Oct. 1975
Bert Jameson Oct. 1975 Oct. 1976
Mike Thompson Oct. 1976 Oct. 1978
Tom Hawkins Oct. 1978 Dec. 1984
John Johnson Dec. 1984 Dec. 1986
Mike Thompson Dec. 1986 Oct. 1988
Jon Meeres Oct. 1988 Sept. 1990
Lloyd Milton Sept. 1990 Oct. 1992
Chester Szostak Oct. 1992 Jun. 1993
Lloyd Milton Jun. 1993 Sept. 1994
Fred Ormiston Sept. 1994 Sept. 1998
Larry Westman Oct. 1998 Sept. 2000
Dorothy Butts Sept. 2000 Oct. 2004
Munj Manhas Oct. 2004 Oct. 2006

Life memberships have been awarded to:

Frank Boon Roy Jago Colin Butts
Ieaun Jones Jim Dutton Herb Hunt
George Holland Bert Jameson Tom Hawkins
Mike Thompson Hugh McDiarmid Larry Westman
Vera Westman Roger Vaugeois Shirley Vaugeois
Alice Hickman Lloyd Milton Fred Ormiston
Real Prefontaine Jan Coward Lloyd Beggs

Compiled January, 2004 by Thomas A. Hawkins, Past President