Granville Park Lawn Bowls Club

Celebrating 100 Years in 2015!!

The History of Granville Park

The Granville Park Bowls Club has undergone quite a few changes over its lengthy history, including name and location.  The 'official' start date of the club can be set at October 20th, 1915 (at the Labor Temple at 411 Dunsmuir) when a number of the lawn bowlers of Vancouver gathered to discuss forming a bowls club on dedicated land.  Prior to this, bowls had been mainly played on private 'estates' and this was becoming untenable.  Many had been bowling on the 'old Arnold estate' on 25th Avenue near Granville, but as this estate was being wound up, an alternate place was required.  At the above noted meeting (from which a number of bowlers are said to have left midway, suggesting that controversy has never been far away) a slate of officers was elected, of which F.C. Saunders was the President and the name of the new bowls club was decided - The City Lawn Bowling Club.  The club bowled on the "Arnold property", which was owned by Canadian Pacific Railway on 25th Avenue near Granville Street and they paid an annual rent.  Annual dues were set at $5.00.  The close connection which the club had with the C.P.R. can be seen in the fact that the honourary president of the club until 1924 was D.E. Brown, the General Superintendent of the C.P.R.   It should be noted that, as was the norm at the time, the club was for men only.  There was a separate Ladies Bowling Club for which there was no charge (the Ladies Club consisted of wives of male members).  The account of the club's history now takes an annalistic form:

1916  The club began with a full slate activities, although without the services of both the secretary and assistant secretary, both of whom had resigned.  They began playing for the Barnard cup against the Victoria Bowls Club (4 rinks from each club) as well as responded to a challenge from the Vancouver City Lawn Bowling Club - better known now as Little Mountain (12 rink challenge).  The club also held club Singles, Doubles and Novice Singles Competitions.  The British Columbia Lawn Bowling Association was formed and its first secretary was our president, F.C. Saunders.  On the financial front, the men raised their dues from $5.00 to $7.50 and the Ladies Club intiated dues of $1.25, $1.00 of which went to the Men's Club.  A green was prepared for the Ladies, since they were not permitted to play on the "present greens".  (NB $7.50 in 1916 is the equivalent of about $320 in 2010 dollars)

1917  The club, at the suggestion of the Vancouver City Bowling Club, changed its name to the Terminal City Lawn Bowling Club.  The club turned over the Hudson Bay Cup to the Mainland League for competition (this became the Men's Fours trophy and this event is still being played today as the V&D Men's Fours).  The club's difficulties with secretaries continued as J.F. Hutchinson resigned and T. Hargreaves appointed in his place.  The club matches against Kerrisdale, Stanley Park and Vancouver  and B.C. Electric.

1918  The club had great success.  Terminal City teams won the B.C.L.B.A. Doubles as well as winning the Lower Mainland Rinks, Doubles and Singles.  Of note is that no one who won any of these events were among the club champions.

  • BCLBA Doubles:     M. Stewart & McKay
  • Lower Mainland (Birks) Singles:     M. Henderson
  • Lower Mainland Doubles:     M. Stewart & Harris
  • Lower Mainland (Hudson Bay) Rinks:     Blair, Tasker, McKay, Swanson

For further results of Vancouver and District (formerly Lower Mainland events) go to the V&D website.  The record shows that there was a protest of a game (noted as "I protest game with friend")  The protest was not allowed.  There was also a new secretary.

1919  The C.P.R. wished to charge $350.00 rent.  An agreement was reached whereby the club paid $100 and supplied the greenskeeper (but evidently not the equipment, materials, etc.).  For the 5th time in 5 years there was a new secretary, but this individual, W.A. Warren did last a few (3) years.  A club handicapped singles was established, called the President's Singles.  Because the weather was unseasonably mild, some of the club members went out and bowled on Christmas Day this year.  In this photo, you can see what the original greens on the Arnold property looked like.

1920  The club continued discussions with Vancouver Park Board and C.P.R. regarding new greens and, in preparation, created the Terminal City Lawn Bowling Company Inc.  300 shares at $50.00 each were sold for a total capitalizarion of $15,000.  The Company then purchased 6 lots (an area of 150 x 270 feet) from C.P.R. situated between 14th and 15th Avenues facing Fir Street at a cost of $8,400.  The club raised it dues twice; from $7.50 to $10.00 and then from $10.00 to $15.00.  The Terminal City Lawn Bowling Club was now the tenant of the Terminal City Lawn Bowling Company Inc.  The total membership of the club was 93!

1921  The new greens were constructed and seeded (and reseeded) but were not open for play until 1922.  The cost of construction was $2,525.81.

1922  The new greens were officially opened on May 20th, 1922.  A new clubhouse was also built at a cost of $1,261.12.  The first greenskeeper, E. Semple was fired and replaced by George Palmer who served in this job for many years.  He started at a wage of $80.00 per month.  The club dues were maintained at $15.00.  Malby Stewart dominated singles play this year winning the Club Singles, President's Singles and B.C.L.B.A. Singles.

1923  The club became encorporated under the Benevolent Societies Act on March 31, 1923 (technically the existing club was dissolved and all its assets were transferred to the new society).  The club resolved that the Ladies Club pay $5.00 per member and that members be limited to the wives and families of members.  The South were lighted by August.  Total membership (men) was 95.

1924  The North Greens got lights by March of this year.  The club was growing and now had 122 male members.  Its list of club competitions now included Club Singles and Doubles, President's Singles, Novice Singles and the Matthews Cup (Rinks).  Terminal City also sent 7 rinks to Victoria on August 16.

1925  The club was so successful that it set a membership quota of 160, beyond which new members would only be considered when a vacancy arose.  This year the club's membership reached 142.  It was at the this time that a pavillion was first proposed.  The club extremely successful this year.  Its record in Inter-Club was games 13-1.  In major events McQueen won the B.C.L.B.A. Singles, Wilson Bell won the Lower Mainland Novice Singles and in Dominion of Canada competitions Terminal teams won the Rinks (Jack, Patrick, Strachan, Tasker) and Doubles (McQueen, Trousdale).  That's quite a year for McQueen who also swept the two club singles events.  On the financial front, the secretary received a $75.00 honorarium (his assistant received $25.00).  The club informed the 'Holding Company" that it could pay a maximum rent of $1,250.

1926  The club continued its success, although its membership slipped to 133.  It paid a total of $1,000 to its Holding Company and raised the greenskeeper's salary to $125.00 per month for 8 months (that's the equivalent of about $20,000/year in 2010).  The club brought home the Lower Mainland Novice Singles for a second time as well as taking 1st (Wm. McQueen) and 2nd (L.R. Wood) in the BCLBA Singles.  It was also moved that to be proposed as a lady member a woman had to be a wife, daughter, mother or sister.  The honourary president was now J.A. Harvey, K.C., who practiced law in Vancouver and had appeared before the Supreme Court.

1927  Wm. McQueen won the B.C.L.B.A. Singles for the 3rd year in a row.  A group of British bowlers visited the club this year and the club raised money to serve as hosts.  Membership fees were raised to $20.00 (still $5.00 for the Ladies).

1928  The club's membership had slipped to 114, but 70 of those members entered the club singles!!  The Terminal City Ladies entertained a group of New Zealand ladies on our greens.  As a matter of interest, B.C.L.B.A. imposed a special levy of 25¢ on every member of every club.

1929  George Strachan was appointed Honourary President.  On the adminstrative front the club set up a special committee to examineapplicants from other clubs.  Also, the rent to be paid to the "Holding Company" was raised to $1,300.00.

1930  George Palmer, the greenskeeper, applied for a licence to sell candy, tobacco and soft drinks.  7 rinks (5 mens and 2 womens) travelled to Bellingham (back when Bellingham had greens).  The major item in the records is that the clubheld a special meeting to begin an investigation on selling the present greens and moving to another location.

1931  Annual dues were kept at $20.00 for men but raised to $6.00 for women.  The President's Cup was discontinued (no reason given).  The 'urgency' to move had passed and so C.P.R.'s offer of a site at 16th and Yew was declined.  The club also 'generously' allowed widows of deceased members to retain their memberships.

1932  The V&D came into existence and past Terminal City president John Jenkinson was made honourary president.  The club's membership had slipped to 95 and they informed the "Holding Company" that they could pay no more than $1,000 in rent.

1933  The club began working on building a new clubhouse due to the repairs needed to the current clubhouse's foundation.  Land was prcured from Park Board and drawings for the new clubhouse were made.  The cost of construction was estimated at $1,000 - $1,200.  Here is a picture from 1933.  Notice that all the bowlers are men; they are all wearing hats and most are wearing vests and suit jackets (no one is dressed as an athlete); there are no back-boards, the back of the ditch is a slope of grass ("the bank"); there are also no benches - the guys are just sitting on the bank.

1934  The clubhouse was built under the revised budget of $3,500 (the extra money in order to build a larger clubhouse.  Extra shares were sold in the "Holding Company" and the club paid an extra $300 rent to the "Holding Company".  It is this clubhouse which is still in use and which has a heritage designation.  George Palmer was still the greenskeeper at the increased wage of $125 per month for 7 months.

1935  The club put forward a motion to B.C.L.B.A. that teams be allowed to re-arrange their players during a tournament (but not during a game).  This motion was later defeated.  At home the club bought 100 chairs, paid for by the Ladies Club by holding a number of bridge parties.

1936  The club replaced the light poles along Fir St (which were condemned) with 14 cedar poles at a cost of $253.  The payment was actually made by the "Holding Company" who then recovered the costs through the rent.

1937  The club ran at a deficit of $166 and it was noted that the Ladies Club memebrship was declining.  In response, 'unattached' ladies were allowed to join.  Another strategy to combet the deifict was to reduce membership fees to $15 for men.  This seems to have worked as membership numbers went up consistently and reached record levels in two short years.  This season South African bowlers were entertained by Terminal City, West Point Grey and Hastings clubs.  The V&D decided that the top teams from the Hudson Bay Men's Fours would play the South Africans in a test match.

1938  The club sponsored a trophy in honour of J.J. Jenkinson.  The trophy was awarded to the "B" Flight winner from the Bowser (rinks) event of the B.C. Week.

1939  The greens were in such poor condition that a Greens Advisory Committee was established.  Another problem was that so many members went down to San Francisco (presumably to bowl) that a number of events could not be completed.

1940  The club's membership hit an all-time high of 148 men.  A life membership was awarded to the widow of the recently deceaed L.C. Jack.  She had also been president of the Ladies Club in 1937 and would hold that position again in 1942.  The club was also granted 15 feet of Granville Park to the west of the club property.

1941  The club raised $364 for Save the Children Fund.  Compared to the club's annual dues, that is the equivalent of $4,200 in 2010 dollars.  After acting as host to B.C. Week, the club voted not to serve as host in the up-coming year (1942).  There was an off-and-on 'hat draw' which was run as an aggregate.  The results from the draw games on Mondays and Wednesdays were compiled and the top players won hats.

1942  It was decided to have coffee be the prize for draw games.  This may have had some connection to the war and rationing, but it also reflects the fact that cash could not be won as a prize since that would have made the winners professionals - the definition was extremely strict in those days.

1943  The club was sufficiently flush with funds in these days that they were able to buy back shares from the holding company (10 shares @ $50) as well as buy Victory Bonds ($600 to go along with the $300 worth they bought the previous year).

1944  The wheels were put in motion regarding the purchase of the Holding Club by the Playing Club.  It seems that the owners of the Holding Club had grown steadily distant from the Playing Club as the Playing Club's membership changed (despite the fact that the Playing Club had bought 10 shares from the Holding Company).  The Holding Club refused to lease the property but offered to sell it for $18,000.  At this point the club was entertaining a number of options which included purchase of the property and relocating.

1945  A special committee formally suggested that the Playing Club purchase the property from the Holding Company for $17,500 and then turn the property over to the Vancouver Parks Board.  To raise funds the club issued 160 $100 debentures at 4% to mature in 1960.  The club had the right to redeem any debentures which would be draw randomly.  As it turned out, 10-11 debentures were drawn for retirement in the following years.  The club also had a membership of 167, a record.

1947  No, this isn't an accident, just nothing remarkable recorded for '46.  In this year, the hat draw was continued.  To quote; "The increased attendance more than makes up for the cost of 8 hats".  The hat draw was then discontinued in '48.

1949  The greenskeeper was paid a total of $1,350 for his services.  The AGM was held at DeGraafs Studio Hall (South Granville).  This is noted because over the years the club's AGMs were held in a number of locations, but rarely at the club.  Some of the venues of the club's AGM were the Labor Temple, the Sports Room of the Hotel Vancouver, the clubhouse, the Province Sports Room, the Metropolitan Building (833 Hastings), White Rose Ballroom (West Broadway and Granville), and Harmony Hall (1655 West Broadway).

1950  By this time the club had 7 men's club competitions: singles, doubles, triples, the Oakland doubles, the Cullin triples, the Nelson Cup rinks and the novice singles.  In this year (as in many others) the winners and runners-up of the club competitions were recorded in the minutes.  From 1938 to this year the club's male membership never went below 120 (over most of this time the membership was above 145).

1953  George Palmer was still the greenskeeper, now at a wage of $1,450 a year (as noted above, he had started in 1922).  He would eventually retire in 1960 after 38 years as greenskeeper.

1954  It was recorded in the previous year's minutes that preparations were to be made for overseas competitors who would be in Vancouver for the British Empire Games (now the Commonwealth Games).  However, nothing has been preserved which mentions   What has noted that arrangements were made to acquire 12 steel poles from the old Granville Street Bridge.  These poles were in use until 2008.  This was the first year that the clubhouse was used for off-season (winter) activities.

1998  The finals of the V&D Men's Fours was between two Granville Park teams.  As a result, the final was played at Granville Park (rarher than att he host club Stanley Park).

1999  Granville Park had both the Men's Fours (Chris Grahame, Danny Ho, John Aveline, Alan Webster) and Men's Singles (Tom Rozario) Canadian Champions.  In September Alan Webster capped the club's honours by winning the Asia Pacific Men's Singles in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  This was the first Singles Gold Medal ever won by a Canadian bowler in a major international competition.

2003  The club played host to the North American Challenge.  The Canadian squad swept all seven trophies.

2004  The club played co-host (with the Stanley Park Bowls Club) to the Canadian Championships.

2006  Granville Park's own Shirley Lai became the first Canadian to win a World Championship by taking Gold at the World Cup, World Indoor Singles Championships in Warilla, Australia.  Unlike many other Granville champions who had transferred to our club, Shirley was 'born and and bred' at Granville starting in 1996.

Life Members

Year awarded

Honouree 

 1921 Mr. H.M. Robson
 1940 Mrs. L.C. Jack
 1949 W. Murison
 1949 R.C. Sparling
 1950 W.R. Jones
 1950 W.W. Thomson
 1969 J.S. Bramham
 1969 F. Colbourne
 1970 J.V. Scrivener
 1971 Mrs. T.F. Teevan
 1972 Dr. Murray Blair
 1972 G.M. Payton
 1981 J. Gilchrist
 1981 W.J. Love
 1986 Dorothy Foreman
 1988 John Bell
 1988 Doug Bergey
 1988 Ian Henning
 1988 Lynn Lennox
 1988 Bob Sillars
 1988 Brian Taylor
 1996 Tony Boucher
 1996 Kay Jackson
 2003 Norma Bourne
 2007 Shirley King
 2012 Ruth Powers
 2014 Ian Webber

 

 

Past Presidents of the Ladies Club
 1916-17 W.S. Thomson
 1918 J.J. McKay
 1919 J.J. Walker
 1920-22 H.M. Robson
 1923-24 J.J. McKay
 1925-26 D. Hicks
 1927 S.S. Crowe
 1928 E. Caspell
 1929 H.M. Robson
 1930 W.W. Bird
 1931 E. Webster
 1932-33 R.E. James
 1934 M. Jones
 1935 T.F. Teevan
 1936 R.C. McGugan
 1937 L.C. Jack
 1938-39 G.A. Cavan
 1940 W. Creelman
 1941 Miss W.W. Millar
 1942 L.C. Jack
 1943 F. Shaw
 1944 W Clarkson
 1945 G.S. Hockley
 1946-47 E.M. Sleigh
 1948 M. Hunt
 1949 Mabell
 1950-51 A. Shrapnel
 1952 J. Friend
 1953-54 G.W. Wylie
 1955 R. Consterdine
 1956 J.C. Bird
 1957 F. Overland
 1958 W.J. Friend
 1959 G.W. Wylie
 1960 A. Shrapnel
 1961 W.A. Bickle
 1962 C.E. Gibbs
 1963-64 L.M. Nowlan
 1965-66 E. McKinight
 1967-68 T.S. Lindsay
 1969 W. Hughes
 1970 E. Townley
 1971 R. Carter
 1972 E. Townley
 1973 E. Ashley
 1974 S. Lindsay
 1975-76 R. Postle
 1977-78 A. Henderson
 1979-80 Ethel Jones
 1981 M. Knight
 1982-83 M. Marthieson
 1984-85 Evelyn Bell
 1986 L. Hinton

Unless specifically stated, all the above are 'Mrs.', usually with their husband's initials.

The Past Presidents of Granville Park

Right from the very beginning and carrying on for many decades, the club had an honourary president AND honourary vice-president.  The first honourary president was the General Superintendent, of the C.P.R., D.E. Brown, an honour he enjoyed for 10 years.  During that same time (plus one year) the honourary vice-president was charter member Henry Thomas Lockyer, about whom there is a considerable amount of information.  Lockyer was a keen sportsman in Vancouver, being honourary president of the Wednesday Cricket League as well as a member of the Shuaghnessy and Jericho Golf Clubs.  Lockyer emigrated to Vancouver from England in 1890 and got a job as bookkeeper for the B.C. Sugar Refining Co.  He became a local manager with the Hudson Bay Co. and eventually became manager for all of B.C.  He served as president of the Vancouver Board of Trade in 1903.  After this, honourary presidents and vice-presidents were chosen from among the membership to recognize their contributions to the club.  Up until 1942 there were usually 3 honourary vice-presidents.  After this time, the rotation of these honourary positions was similar to the regular presidents and vice-presidents with the honourary vice-president of one year normally becoming the honourary president of the following year.  The year 1959 stands out.  Not only was there an honourary president (Dr. B.F. Keillor) and honourary vice-president (F.A. Tasker), there was also an honourary chaplain (Rev. J.W. Melvin, D.D.).

 1916 F.C. Saunders
 1917 J.A. Walker
 1918 S.J. Crowe (L.J. Crowe) (Vancouver councillor 1909-1915, Liberal-Unionist MP 1917-1921, senator 1921-1931)
 1919 P.W. Trousdale
 1920 Fred A. Tasker
 1921 J.J. MacKay
 1922 L.C. Jack (oversaw the opening of the new greens; served as Captain of the Canadian contingent in a three country event in California among Canada, U.S.A. and England)
 1923 George Strachan
 1924 Dan Hicks
 1925 John Jenkinson
 1926 H.L.M. Stewart
 1927 George C. Derby O.B.E. (worked in Dept of Veteran Affairs, Director of BC Children's and Grace Hospital, President of the BC Red Cross in 1940; 37 years old when he was president of Terminal City)
 1928 W.W. Thomson
 1929 S.S. Crowe (also served as presdient of the Vancouver Curling Club)
 1930 G.M. Williamson
 1931 T.F. Teevan
 1932 A.M. Sharpe
 1933 H.C. Wade
 1934 J.F. Richmond
 1935 John Ross
 1936 H.A. Urquhart
 1937 R.C. McGugan
 1938 W.W. Creelman
 1939 J.J. McRae
 1940 Andrew Ogilvie
 1941 R.C. Sparling
 1942 Dr. B.F. Keillor
 1943 Walker Harris
 1944 Chas J. White
 1945 Wm. Murison
 1946 Mark DeCew
 1947 John Buchanan
 1948-49 W.C. Ferguson (R. Armstrong for part of 1949)
 1950 W.P. Watson
 1951 Matt Sutton
 1952 C.B. Brydon-Jack (barrister and manager of the Vancouver office of Dominion Trust, a company founded in 1903 by his uncle, A.C. Brydon-Jack).  He had previously served as secretary for an 8 year stint, 1941-49.  He was also chair of the Lawn Bowls portion of the British Empire Games (Commonwealth Games) in 1954.
 1953 G.M. Dewar
 1954 W.F. Friend
 1955 W.J. Routcliffe
 1956 A.R. Dingman (previously the assistant secretary 1952-54)
 1957 Gordon A. Flavelle
 1958 J.J. Norton
 1959 Matthew Henry
 1960 Dr. E. Murray Blair (President of the BC CMA in 1940)
 1961 R.G. Consterdine
 1962 J. Leitch
 1963 V. Kiltz
 1964 D. Webster
 1965-68 K. Brown
 1969 A.E. Burkholder
 1970-71 J. Howat
 1972 Doug Bergey (also known as Mr. Granville Park)
 1973 G. Foster
 1974 A.G. McNeil
 1975 R. Chatwin
 1976 Doug Bergey
 1977-78 C.H. McFarlane
 1979-81 Tony Boucher
 1982 Bob MacQuillan Sr.
 1983-85 John Bell
 1986 Bill Meaney
 1987 Bob Sillars
 1988 Edna Barber
 1989 Bill Novakowski
 1990 Bob Sillars
 1991-96 Tony Boucher
 1997-98 Ian Webber
 1999-2002 Shirley King
 2003-04 Francis Yau
 2005-06 Tony Boucher
 2007-08 Alan Webster
 2009-10 Tony Boucher (Tony has been president of the club in 5 different decades)
 2011 Alan Webster
 2012-present Juanita Tucker
Past Secretaries of Granville Park

The club has been served by a succession of very hard-working secretaries who have often been the glue that holds the club together.  The job has changed over the years.  In the early days of the club, the secretary had an assistant secretary.  In 1934 the secretary also took on the role of treasurer (secretary-treasurer).  The assistant secretary must have been invaluable then!  This arrangement lasted until at least 1960.  For the past 20+ years the secretary and treasurer have been separate roles and the assistant secretary position has disappeared.  W.W. Bird has been the longest serving person in this role.  He was the secretary for less than 2 years (Oct, 1922 - Mar 1924), but he had been the assistant secretary from 1920-1922.  In 1928 he again was serving as assistant secretary, which he did until 1945.  That is almost 25 years straight!  A big thank you to all of the past secretaries of Granville Park, whose dedicated recording of the club's activities have been the basis of the club's history and allowed current members to visit our old club, when it wasn't quite so old, if only for a brief time.

 

Tenure

Secretary

 Oct 16, 1915 - Oct 30, 1916 J.H. Harris
 Oct 30, 1916 - Oct 29, 1917  J.F. Hutchinson
 Oct 29, 1917 - Dec 11, 1918  T. Hargreaves
 Dec 11, 1918 - Dec 12, 1919  W. Thomson
 Dec 12, 1919 -  Oct 9, 1920 W.A. Warren
 Oct 9, 1920 - Mar 8, 1922  W.W. Bird
 Mar 8, 1922 - Mar 10, 1924  T.F. Teevan
 Mar 10, 1924 -  Jan 20, 1934  L.R. Wood (4) 9 years, 10 months
 Jan 20, 1934 - Feb 6, 1937  T.F. Teevan
 Feb 6, 1937 - Dec 2, 1939  Dick Adams
 Dec 2, 1939 - Nov 30, 1940 A.J. Stoddart
 Nov 30, 1940 -  Dec 6, 1941 A.S. McAllister
 Dec 6, 1941 - Dec 12, 1949  C.P. Brydone-Jack (5) 8 years
 Dec 12, 1949 -  Dec 4, 1950  T.F. Teevan (3 terms; 6 years total)
 Dec 4, 1950 - Nov 28, 1960 H.C.L. Gregg (3) 10 years
  
 Nov 1987+? - Nov 6, 1988 Mary Hughes
 Nov 6, 1988 - Nov 5, 1989 Lorna Kerr
 Nov 5, 1989 - Oct 21, 1990 Mary Hughes
 Oct 21 1990 - Oct 31, 1991 Lorna Kerr
 Oct 31, 1991 - Nov 3 2002 Norma Bourne (2) 11 years
 Nov 3, 2002 - Oct 26, 2003 Tony Boucher (interim)
 Oct 26, 2003 - present (May 2015) Cathie Cleveland (1) 11 years, 7 months

 There is a gap in the record from 1960 to 1987.  It is presumed that the tenure of Gregg co-incided with the excellent record-keeping and that its end signals the end of his secretariat.

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