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.
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.
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
|1941||Miss W.W. Millar|
Unless specifically stated, all the above are 'Mrs.', usually with their husband's initials.
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.).
|1918||S.J. Crowe (L.J. Crowe) (Vancouver councillor 1909-1915, Liberal-Unionist MP 1917-1921, senator 1921-1931)|
|1920||Fred A. Tasker|
|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)|
|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)|
|1929||S.S. Crowe (also served as presdient of the Vancouver Curling Club)|
|1942||Dr. B.F. Keillor|
|1944||Chas J. White|
|1948-49||W.C. Ferguson (R. Armstrong for part of 1949)|
|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.|
|1956||A.R. Dingman (previously the assistant secretary 1952-54)|
|1957||Gordon A. Flavelle|
|1960||Dr. E. Murray Blair (President of the BC CMA in 1940)|
|1972||Doug Bergey (also known as Mr. Granville Park)|
|1982||Bob MacQuillan Sr.|
|2009-10||Tony Boucher (Tony has been president of the club in 5 different decades)|
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.
|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.