1882–1886 …Forgotten beginnings
The first formal, ‘organised’ lacrosse game played in British Columbia (between teams representing two different cities) occurred on Saturday, August 28, 1886. Played at Beacon Hill Park between the Vancouver and Victoria clubs, the visiting mainlanders won by the score of 3-1 – or three “games” to one, in the old-style nomenclature used at the time.
For historical trivia sake: the first ever “goal” (game) was scored by the Vancouver coverpoint player, J. McNamee at 22:00 minutes into the match. McNamee ended up scoring all three goals for his team while outside home D.W. Morrow scored the lone Victoria tally.
However, while this particular match has gone into the history books as the first lacrosse game played in the province, the game’s roots in British Columbia actually go back by four years to 1882.
On Thursday, February 16 of that year, an athletic club was organised in Victoria that included lacrosse as one of its sports. This was then followed by a highly-publicised match played at Beacon Hill Park on Saturday afternoon, June 17, 1882 although it was essentially a scrimmage game between two teams made up from the mostly-inexperienced players of the Victoria Athletic Club. For reasons unknown, the club was reported (or misreported) in the newspaper as the “Vancouver Athletic Club” – possibly in reference to Vancouver Island, on which Victoria is located – as “Vancouver”, the modern city, was four years away from existing as a civic geographical reference in British Columbia.
Other historical fragments from these early years include newspaper records of a match played in Victoria a few weeks later involving an unidentified collegiate team – as well as a photograph in the British Columbia provincial archives dated from 1883, taken in Victoria, of an unidentified lacrosse team in that city.