EVERETT JAMES McLAREN
(1893 – September 4, 1948)
Vancouver Athletic Club (1913)
Vancouver Athletics (1914)
Vancouver Lacrosse Club (1915; 1921)
Vancouver Terminals (1920; 1921-1924)
Everett McLaren played with various Vancouver professional squads for seven seasons. Coming up through the ranks of the famed Vancouver Athletic Club, he was originally signed by Con Jones in 1915 to re-train and fill a more defensive role, although that experiment did not seem to stick and he slotted into the roster in his familiar centreman spot. Later in his career, rejoining the Terminals after his brief stint playing in Con Jones’s rival league in 1921, he did spend more time patrolling the defensive end of the midfield.
His speed and more so his fit physique made up for any lack of goal scoring, as Everett McLaren was the second-most penalised player during the professional era on the Pacific Coast with 57 infractions. His time spent in the sin bin clocked him with 283 minutes, placing him seventh in penalty minutes.
In the 1920s he saw himself named the captain of the Vancouver Terminals. During one game, on June 2, 1923, the Vancouver Daily Province noted that Everett McLaren was the first-ever player in the league fined $5 – for swearing at the referee, when he implied Referee Grumpy Spring was blind and then vocally protested a penalty, “you’re a blank blank!” The fine was a new rule initiated at the start of the 1923 season to help clean up play and ‘unseemingly conduct’. McLaren later went on record saying that in the future when he needed to do any impromptu speaking to the referee, he would not – and simply rely on tapping out his messages or finger wig-wagging gestures behind Referee Spring’s back.
Outside of his lacrosse career, very few details are known about Everett McLaren – one of the many Vancouver professional lacrosse players whose story has been sadly lost to history.
The Vancouver Daily World newspaper mentioned in a May 1915 edition that Everett McLaren, along with teammate Charlie McCuaig, were in Kansas City and on their way back to re-join the Vancouver team for the 1915 season – their business for being in Kansas City is completely unknown. The pair seemed to travel together for employment throughout the western United States although the nature of their work is unknown. In August 1915 the pair, along with Fred ‘Mickey’ Ion, their pugilistic team-mate and future NHL hall-of-fame referee, headed to Saskatchewan together to work as harvesters.
As a veteran of two world wars, McLaren was active in the Army, Navy, and Air Force Veterans Association and steward at the clubrooms located on Fraser Street in East Vancouver. Just prior to his passing, he had been busy working on securing a license to open a new veterans club in Marople.
Everett McLaren died suddenly on September 4, 1948, drowning in the Harrison River during a weekend fishing trip – his companion Joseph Francis also perishing on the river under unknown circumstances. He was well-known by local anglers, as McLaren had owned a cabin located on the Harrison River for 25 years. His body was found two miles from the mouth of river by one of his cabin neighbours. They were last seen alive heading up the river on a Sunday night, and their water-logged boat was found the following morning.
Obituary notices and newspapers reporting on his passing mention that he was survived by his wife Catherine along with a brother Robert, a local resident, and his sister Mrs. W.R. Strong, of Long Beach, California. No children are mentioned. He was buried five days later in an unmarked gravesite at Ocean View Cemetery in Burnaby, the final resting place for many of his contemporary team-mates from his playing days.
(PHOTO SOURCES: CVA 99-31 excerpt; CVA 99-1018.8; author’s photograph)