Category Archives: Vancouver

Eustace Gillanders

eustace gillanders 1922
Eustace Gillanders, May 1922.

EUSTACE DAWSON GILLANDERS
(August 4, 1893 – February 14, 1966)

Vancouver Athletic Club (1913-1915; 1919)
Vancouver Coughlan Shipyards AAA (1918)

Vancouver Terminals (1919-1920; 1921-1923)
Vancouver Lacrosse Club (1921)

Eustace Gillanders was part of the core, defensive line on the Vancouver Terminals consisting of Bay Carter, Everett McLaren, Harry ‘Fat’ Painter, goaltender Jake Davis, and Gillanders himself, all who had previously combined to form the back-half of the Vancouver Athletic Club amateur dynasty in the decade prior and had made the move to the professionals in the early 1920s.

Eustace Dawson Gillanders was born in 1893 in Sapperton, New Westminster. His parents were Wesley Clark Gillanders and Arabella Holmes of Chilliwack. His father was from near Peterbourough, Ontario and had moved west around 1873-1874 at the age of 18, settling in Chilliwack with his mother, brothers, and sisters, all who had accompanied him to British Columbia by way of San Francisco, California. There his father Wesley met Eustace’s mother Arabella, a schoolteacher. The young couple married and lived on their pre-emption which was located between Chilliwack and Rosedale. Then at some point prior to Eustace’s birth in 1893, his parents moved to New Westminster to care for Arabella’s aging parents. In 1910, the family moved again, this time to Vancouver.

Gillanders started playing lacrosse at the age of 11, with one newspaper article stating that he had moved to the West End of Vancouver at a very young age. The same article mentions that during one of his early attempts at the sport, he smashed a window and frightened several youths who had to scurry for cover. With roots in two lacrosse-playing communities, he played junior lacrosse for Sapperton and then played defensive point for the Vancouver Olympics in 1912 when he moved up to the intermediate ranks.

He turned senior in 1913 with the powerhouse Vancouver Athletic Club team during their Mann Cup dynasty run prior to the First World War – however he remained a senior and did not play when the Athletics challenged for the Minto Cup in 1913. His first season after the First World War saw him win another Mann Cup title in 1918 – this time with the Vancouver Coughlans Shipyards Amateur Athletic Association team who pushed aside the New Westminster Salmonbellies, North Vancouver Squamish Indians, and Winnipeg Argonauts on their run of 7 win and 2 ties.

On June 3, 1916 Eustace Gillanders married Gertrude Oglivie Marsh. They would have four children: Kenneth, Gordon, Marguerite, and an unnamed child who probably died at birth.

At the start of the 1919 campaign, he rejoined the Vancouver Athletic Club when the team reformed in the Pacific Coast Amateur Lacrosse Association after a three-year absence due to the war. Gillanders was elected team captain by his team-mates and was generally regarded as the best player on the roster. However, with VAC fielding a weak squad and suffering through poor results, Gillanders was convinced to turn professional around July 30, 1919 – a “bombshell” signing according to the Vancouver Province. The Vancouver Terminals had been in serious need of reinforcements for two to three weeks prior due to injuries and suspensions, and with newly-permitted substitutions now requiring more bodies to be carried by the team, the pro outfit had earlier tried to sign the Winged V star but to no avail.

Playing most of his professional career as a defensive midfielder in the first defence position, he made a great impact in Vancouver’s own end of the field, being dubbed a year later by the Terminals team manager Harry Pickering as the “find of the season”.

eustace gillanders 1923
Eustace Gillanders, 1923.

1921 would prove to be a career production year on the field for the first defenceman. He started the season by signing up with Con Jones’s rival Vancouver team in the upstart Pacific Coast Lacrosse Association. Never a serious goal-scoring threat around the net, it would be during the league’s fifth and final match on June 11 that he would bag his only career hat-trick. After scoring Vancouver’s second goal of the match to even the score line 2-2 at the end of the first half, Victoria Capitals then built up a 5-3 lead over the next two quarters. Heading into the final stanza, Vancouver had pulled to within 1 goal, when Eustace Gillanders scored a minute later to tie the game, and then the game-winning goal a minute after that for Vancouver’s 6-5 win. The league would fold two days later. Gillanders then re-joined his old Terminals team and score another 2 goals. In all, he had 7 goals to his name for the year – out of the 11 total he would score during his five-year professional career.

Around September 1922, he was sidelined due to a bad case of appendicitis and missed games late in the season.

Eustace Gillanders’s final season as a player took place in 1923. It is unknown why he did not return the following year but it may have been due to work. He left the professional game with 68 games, 11 goals, and a lone assist to his credit, along with 21 penalties totaling 102 minutes watching from the sin bin.

Three years later in 1926 he would be involved, either as the coach or the manager (or both), with the Ocean Falls Amateur Athletic Association lacrosse team. Gillanders was a working resident of the company town, the site of the largest pulp and paper mill in British Columbia. That year saw a large contingent of former New Westminster lacrosse players gain employment there, so a lacrosse team was organised. It is unknown if the Ocean Falls AAA team played any league games, but they challenged the Richmond Farmers, champions of the Vancouver & District League, for the Kilmarnock Cup, the senior provincial championship trophy of British Columbia. The first game of the two-game total-goals series ended in a 6-6 draw, followed by a close 3-2 win for Ocean Falls. They then moved on to the Western Canada finals, where Ocean Falls won their first game over the Winnipeg Tammany Tigers 6-5 but then lost the second game 8-6 – missing out moving on to the Mann Cup finals by 1 goal, 13-12.

Eustace Gillanders passed away at home in “North Surrey, Delta” (according to his death certificate), his place of residence for the last two years of his life. His house was located at 11946 – 80th Avenue, which is now the site of a commercial office building in the Kennedy Heights area along the Surrey-North Delta border. He had worked as a pipe fitter, for 35 years, retiring the year prior to his passing. Gillanders was cremated with a memorial at Ocean View Cemetery in Burnaby, British Columbia.

(PHOTO SOURCE: Vancouver Sun May 21, 1922; Vancouver Province April 7, 1923)

Jake Davis

Jake Davis with the Victoria Foundation club in 1919.

JAKE DAVIS
(born ca.1893 – deceased)

Vancouver East End (1909-1911)
Vancouver Athletic Club (1912-1914)
Victoria Foundation Club (1919)
Vancouver Terminals (1920; 1921-1923)
Vancouver Lacrosse Club (1921)

Jake Davis was born in Toronto but moved to Vancouver when he was just a tiny child. He played junior lacrosse for two years with the East End club before turning senior with the Vancouver Athletic Club in 1912.

The Athletics had won their Mann Cup challenge the year before when they had defeated cup holders Young Torontos in a two-game, total goal series 9-3. The young rookie Jake Davis soon found himself part of the new senior amateur dynasty team taking root in Vancouver, defending their hold over the cup against all challenges in 1912 and 1913 – and gaining a reputation as an outstanding, young lacrosse goalkeeper. His older brother Bill Davis also played for the Vancouver Athletic Club, up front as a midfielder, during their Mann Cup years.

In the 1914, the core group of VAC players felt there was nothing else to achieve by remaining in the senior amateur game, so the team joined the professional ranks in the British Columbia Lacrosse Association league with their desire to step up to the next challenge and wrestle the Minto Cup away from the New Westminster Salmonbellies. However, the club refused to let Jake Davis turn pro as they still wanted to defend the Mann Cup and required his services in goal. During the defense of their Mann Cup challenges that year, he played with cracked ribs – tearing off bandages during a game when they began to interfere and hinder his play.

Mann Cup play that year would become bogged down by disputes. The Athletics had defeated the Calgary Chinooks and Brampton Excelsiors in challenge matches but then the Mann Cup trustees disputed the status of one of the Vancouver players in the series versus Brampton.

Despite the views of British Columbia lacrosse, national lacrosse and amateur athletic organisations that supported Vancouver’s position, the trustees instead awarded the cup to the Calgary Chinooks on September 29, 1914. Vancouver however held on to the gold trophy and refused to turn it over to either the trustees or the Chinooks. Finally, resolution to the issue came on December 7, 1914, when the Canadian Amateur Lacrosse Association overruled Mann Cup trustee Joseph Lally and awarded the cup to the Vancouver Athletic Club.

Jake Davis married at a young age around 1913 and the couple would later have four sons. As well as lacrosse, he also played soccer and ice hockey, both in goal, and was a shortstop in baseball.

Formal portrait taken in 1913 for Vancouver Athletic Club photo-montage.

The Great War would put a hold over Jake Davis’s lacrosse career, although he did participate in some of the patriotic charity fund-raising matches organised during the war years. When formal play resumed in 1918, Davis joined the Vancouver Coughlans Shipyards team in the Vancouver Amateur Lacrosse Association. After besting the cup-holders New Westminster Salmonbellies in league play and defeating the North Vancouver Squamish Indians 6-4 in a single-game playoff, the Coughlans then won (or retained) the Mann Cup by defeating the Winnipeg Argonauts.

The following year he joined the Foundation Lacrosse Club founded by ‘Cotton’ Brynjolfson in April 1919 to represent the Victoria Shipyards – and Davis would add his final Mann Cup crown, won with his third team, to his name that season.

1920 saw Jake Davis finally turn professional and sign with the Vancouver Terminals, in the process pushing out veteran keeper Dave Gibbons in what could be viewed as a changing of the guard. Unlike their Salmonbellies rivals, the various Vancouver teams did not boast the same numerical depth of local trained talent in goal. In lieu of Eastern imports, Gibbons and Davis were by far the best goaltenders to come up through the ranks of Vancouver organisations for the first-quarter of the 20th century – and Gibbons’s best years were now behind him when Jake made the step up to the pro game in 1920.

When Con Jones started up the rival Pacific Coast Lacrosse Association, he recruited Jake Davis for his Vancouver Lacrosse Club. When the second league folded a few weeks into its season, Davis then jumped back to his former Terminals club – and for a second time, pushed out Dave Gibbons from the starting spot between the pipes.

During the 1922 season he missed some games from an abdomen injury when he was butt-ended by a stick on the sly during a game versus New Westminster. The following year Jake Davis went “South” in August 1923 and quit the Vancouver Terminals in mid-season, moving to California along with his father and becoming a carpenter there.

The relocation became permanent in 1930 when he was hired by Mobil Oil. He worked for the oil company for 31 years and retried as the plant yard foreman in 1961. He lived in Berkeley until retirement and then moved to Richmond Heights a year later. At the time of his hall of fame induction in 1977 he was residing in Long Beach, California.

In November 1946, Davis wrote to the Vancouver Sun asking for contact information for ‘Newsy’ Lalonde as well as for any lacrosse films available to show in California. He also wrote a letter to the Victoria Colonist newspaper in October 1969, asking “to find out if any of the [Foundation] boys are still living”. Otherwise, he had disappeared off the radar of the old lacrosse fans and the press, so much so it was not even known if he were still alive or not by the time he finally returned to Vancouver around 1973-74, visiting the city for the first time since moving to California in the 1930s. His arrival and subsequent meeting with one of the local sports reporters sparked the move to get him finally inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1977 – although with hindsight and the benefit of research, it appears his legacy and his legend had become misreported, blurred, and more so, embellished over time.

Eight straight Canadian championship teams between 1912-1920”, as reported in the Vancouver Sun in 1977 at the time of his induction, is a falsehood, along with the claims of “seven Mann Cup winning teams” and “first Minto Cup shutout in 1912”.

Jake Davis with the Vancouver Athletic Club in 1912.

So much emphasis was placed in 1977 on this lone shutout that he was even bestowed the nickname “Mr. Zero”. This moniker is completely unwarranted. While shutouts were rare during the professional field era, they were not unique nor unheard of – with 8 shutouts occurring in professional play on the Pacific Coast: 2 each by Alban ‘Bun’ Clark, Alex ‘Sandy’ Gray, and Bernie Feedham, and one each by Dave Gibbons and Jake Davis (in 1923 – not 1912). It seems, however, with the benefit of time, the passing of observers, and the complete lack of statistical information in 1977, Jake Davis became the only goalkeeper who was remembered by such a performance and his career subsequently became memorialised by it.

When examining his championship wins, there is much more factual truth there. In the challenge era for the Mann Cup and Minto Cups, it can be quite difficult to determine and tabulate totals as some seasons did see multiple challengers as well as league play also factoring who the cup holders were. Jake Davis won, retained, or defended the Mann Cup during league play over the course of five seasons, to which can be added another six successful challenge victories. However, in 1915 the Athletic Club dynasty was finally broken when the Mann Cup was won by New Westminster. This and the two-year gap on account of the war broke the so-called succession of straight championships. His lone Minto Cup championship came in 1920, his last hurrah on a championship team. Despite the grand claim of “eight straight Canadian championship teams between 1912-1920”, his six years of championship seasons in less than a decade is nevertheless impressive.

Compared with other goaltenders from the professional era on the Coast, Davis would be ranked third for most career wins (27), tied fifth for career winning percentage (.500), and sixth for career goals against average (5.00) – with some of those placements ahead of him held by a few emergency players having to go in goal in one-off starts. At the professional level, he was certainly a very capable and reliable goalkeeper but nowhere near the outstanding figure that later press (or the hall of fame press) made him out to be – although to be fair, his performance during his senior years spent with the Vancouver Athletic Club seems to be by what he was remembered most for, and it can be argued that he was probably the best amateur keeper on the Pacific Coast in the 1910s. Over time, aged minds likely blurred his full career and results all together.

Just for the record: his ‘famous’ shutout occurred on June 9, 1923 in a 2-0 decision at Queens Park, coming two weeks after New Westminster goalkeeper Bernie Feedham himself had blanked the Terminals 1-0.

(PHOTO SOURCES: Victoria Colonist October 29, 1969; CLHOF X979.190.1 excerpt; CVA 99-1019 excerpt)

Bay Carter

Bay Carter with the Vancouver Terminals, 1923

BAYARD (BAY) MARSHALL CARTER
(1895 – October 26, 1974)

Vancouver Athletic Club (1914-1915; 1919)
Vancouver Terminals (1920; 1921-1924)
Vancouver Lacrosse Club (1921)

Bay Carter was part of a core group of local-bred players that included Everett McLaren, Harry ‘Fat’ Painter, and Eustace Gillanders who fortified the Vancouver Terminals defense during their post-war campaigns of the 1920s.

Bayard – known by all as ‘Bay’ – was the son of Emily Lavina Carter (née Barr), who later married Andrew Grieve Waddell, the chief of police of Steveston between 1914 and 1918 and the first chief of police in Richmond. Young Bay would have been around five years-old at the time of his mother’s second marriage on April 19, 1900, which was reported in the press as far away as Owen Sound, Ontario, near where his new step-father originated from. His mother was born in London, England and she was recorded as a 30-year-old widow on their marriage certificate. Waddell’s obituary from 1931 mentions two stepsons, which would have been Bay and his younger brother Stan.

Carter attended the same high school as the Painter brothers with whom he later played alongside on the Vancouver Terminals in the 1920s. Both Bay Carter and ‘Fat’ Painter were also members of the Vancouver Athletic Club senior lacrosse team although they never played in the same season with each other – as ‘Fat’ had moved up to the professional ranks in 1914 when Bay joined the senior amateur team as a much-needed replacement to help fill all the departures of its players to the professional league. Out of around 30 players trying out for the team, Carter was one of those named to the roster on May 13, 1914 and he soon established himself as a crack defender.

A young Bay Carter as a rookie with the Vancouver Athletic Club in 1914.

When the First World War intervened, Bay Carter served overseas in the military for three to four years – first in the Canadian field artillery with the 46th Battery from Kingston, Ontario and the later as a Royal Air Force pilot. He received his officer’s commission as a lieutenant in 1917. He returned home to Vancouver on July 16, 1919.

He landed work as a mining engineer at Britannia Mines. He then graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1921 with a Bachelor of Science, all the while playing professional lacrosse to pay for his education.

With the Vancouver Terminals, his usual position on the playing field was at first defence and second defence, although when needed he could slot in anywhere from point up through the defensive ranks to centreman. The year after Bay had turned pro and signed with the Terminals, his kid brother Stan Carter also signed with the team and filled the role of substitute.

In one match at Queens Park, on June 24, 1922, Bay had to come to the rescue when his brother was embroiled in a fight with ‘Haddie’ Stoddart of the Salmonbellies, which then quickly exploded into a free-for-all brawl which saw benchwarmers and spectators from the stands spill out on the field to settle old and new scores. It took ten minutes for police and firemen to break up the fight, only for it to erupt again a few seconds later. When the riot finally ended and the dust had settled, and not before old Archie Macnaughton had walloped Pat Feeney in the head with his cane, it was found that most of Vancouver’s equipment – sticks, gloves, and caps – littered about on the ground …had now disappeared! – pilfered by New Westminster youngsters who had run off with anything that had been left laying about during the ensuing chaos.

Once his professional lacrosse days were over, Bay Carter would then find employment embarking on a 36-year career in marketing and advertising. He found this line of work the perfect calling for him, as his imposing six-foot-two frame gave him a deliberate manner of appearance while his mind was full of imagination.

Carter worked for the Vancouver Daily World newspaper for two years, later moving to Farm & Home for eight years. Then the Vancouver Province newspaper became his final employer from January 1931 until his retirement as their advertising director in January 1959. During his years with the Province, he was promoted to assistant advertising manager in 1936, advertising manager in 1941, and director in 1947. When he retired from the newspaper, he was bid adieu with send-off articles printed in both his former employer’s pages as well as those of the crosstown rival Vancouver Sun.

His residence at the time of his retirement was a house located at 6069 Oak Street in Vancouver.

Bayard Carter passed away in 1974. He was survived by his two daughters, Shirley Miller and Nancy Baird, and five grandchildren; his wife Hilda had predeceased him in 1972.

(PHOTO SOURCES: Vancouver Province April 7, 1923; Vancouver Sun September 16, 1914)

Aaron ‘Bunt’ Watson

May 1921 press photograph of Aaron ‘Bunt’ Watson with the Vancouver Terminals.

AARON W. ‘BUNT’ WATSON
(1896~98 – October 1, 1929)

Vancouver Terminals (1921-1922)

Although Aaron Watson’s nickname was actually ‘Bunt’, the Vancouver newspapers mistakenly referred to him as ‘Bun’ – and so ‘Bun’ was what ‘Bunt’ Watson was generally called while he played on the Coast. Aaron Watson was a product of Cornwall, Ontario and had played for the Cornwall Colts starting from 1916 onward, quickly regarded in his rookie season as the best home (midfield) man to come from the Factory City.

Heading into the 1921 campaign, the Vancouver Terminals were plagued with a divisive contract dispute between the players and management. A large majority of the Terminals players bolted the club to sign with Con Jones’s brand-new, rival Vancouver Lacrosse Club in his newly-founded Pacific Coast Lacrosse Association, leaving the remaining Terminals organisation in the lurch and scrambling on short notice to find replacement bodies. ‘Newsy’ Lalonde came to the rescue when he recruited eight Easterners to make the trip across the country to sign with the Terminals and play alongside him, with Aaron ‘Bunt’ Watson proving to be one of the best components of that mixed-bag contingent.

Of those Easterners brought west by Lalonde in 1921, Watson was by far at the top of the list whom the Terminals were eager to re-sign the following season. Despite playing just two seasons for Vancouver, his 23 goals in just 34 games places him at an impressive 20th for career goal-scoring totals during the professional lacrosse era on the Pacific Coast. He finished fourth in scoring for the Terminals in 1921 and second in 1922.

‘Bunt’ was also noted for his speed and toughness, so much so the Salmonbellies had to pay special attention in specifically assigning defenders on him.  What Watson may have lacked in stick skills and brilliance, he made up with shooting power and more so his physical prowess to bull and smash his way through the New Westminster defensive line. Bill Patchell was particularly effective in shadowing and shutting down ‘Bunt’, although Waston did gain instant credibility and respect as one of Vancouver’s toughest players when he laid out the Salmonbellies’ heavyweight enforcer Dave ‘Buck’ Marshall during his debut season with the Terminals. The pair would have multiple scraps throughout the season, one of which spilled into the stands and entangled spectators from both camps of supporters. After breaking up the two combatants and shooing them off for an early shower, Fred ‘Mickey’ Ion’s bloodied shirt from the fracas made the referee look like he had just worked a shift in an abattoir.

During his time in Vancouver, Watson would sometimes referee amateur PCALA senior league games.

Watson was expected to return for a third season with the Vancouver Terminals and was reported in early May 1923 to have agreed to a deal and would be making his way west from his recreational residence in Massena, New York, just across the border from his hometown of Cornwall. He was even contemplating a permanent move to Vancouver – but despite confirmation he was in transit west, he never showed up in Vancouver nor communicated his change in plans. It is very possible his father had some part in the decision and advised his son to remain home in the East – or he may have had a change of heart regarding Vancouver’s community payment method of split gate receipts. Whatever the reason, his hard-hitting physical absence was duly noted by observers and fans early that season.

He was married on November 28, 1916 to Anna Isabella Smith at the Methodist parsonage in Cornwall.

Watson was involved in a tragic, fatal accident on September 30, 1929 when the automobile he was driving along the state route heading to Ogdensburg, New York, failed to make a curve and struck a culvert. The automobile then leapt across a ditch, with the top of the vehicle coming apart and crashing into a tree. One male passenger was killed instantly while Watson suffered a fractured skull. ‘Bunt’ made it to Hepburn Hospital in Ogdensburg in critical condition but died from his injuries two days later. The two other men in his automobile survived and escaped with cuts and bruises.

Forty years later in 1969, Aaron ‘Bunt’ Watson was inducted to Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame in the Lacrosse category.

(PHOTO SOURCE: CVA 99-1018.23)

Everett McLaren

Everett McLaren with the Vancouver Athletic Club in 1913.
Everett McLaren with the Vancouver Athletic Club in 1913.

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.

Pacific Coast Lacrosse Association action at Con Jones Park in 1921 as the Victoria Capitals and Vancouver Lacrosse Club battle it out. The player wearing #7 on the draw for Vancouver is believed to be Everett McLaren.

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.

The probable, unmarked resting place for Everett McLaren at Ocean View Cemetery in Burnaby, British Columbia.

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)

Ernie Murray

Ernie Murray with the Vancouver Lacrosse Club, 1912.

ERNIE MURRAY
(born ca. 1887 – possibly December 23, 1967 ?)

Mount Pleasant Maple Leafs (ca.1907-1908)
Vancouver Lacrosse Club (1909-1910; 1912-1913)
North Vancouver Lacrosse Club (1911)
New Westminster Salmonbellies (1911; 1918)
Vancouver Athletics (1914)
Vancouver Terminals (1919-1920)
Vancouver Lacrosse Club (1921)

Inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1965 as a charter member in the field player category, Ernie Murray played 10 seasons of professional ball between 1909 and 1921.

Like many local home-brew Vancouver players from that era, no personal information is now known about him outside of the game. He played senior lacrosse in 1907 and 1908 for the Mount Pleasant Maple Leafs, alongside three of his four lacrosse-playing brothers. Con Jones would then sign “the speedy little home fielder” in 1909 for his Vancouver Lacrosse Club team when the professionals first became organised as a league under the British Columbia Lacrosse Association name that year.

In November 1907, he was suspended by the Canadian Amateur Athletic Union after travelling to California with the Vancouver Athletic Club rugby team for a match being played there versus McGill University. There appears to have been some protest made by McGill University regarding his playing status which would affect the collegians’ own playing status, so Murray chose instead to watch from the grandstands.

The majority of his lacrosse playing career was with the various Vancouver teams, although he did bolt to the New Westminster Salmobellies for the 1911 season after having a disagreement with the Vancouver Lacrosse Club president and money man, Con Jones.

Ernie Murray was one of a group of four local Vancouver players (along with goalkeeper Dave Gibbons, George Matheson, and ‘Toots’ Clarkson) who quit the team in early June 1910 after they went to Jones with demands for more money. With the Eastern imports that season earning $50 per week, the four upshots ‘held up Jones’ for more pay because they were only getting half that amount per week – but felt they were doing the lion’s share of the hard work while the imports reaped all the benefits.

Despite the hold-outs having a lot of sympathy from the local fans, Con Jones refused their demand of $40 per week. Along with Gibbons and Clarkson, Ernie Murray quit the team for the rest of the season while Matheson eventually caved in and re-joined the team in August. The following year, the cross-town rivals New Westminster Salmonbellies would approach Murray and sign him for one season – before seemingly making amends with Con Jones in time for the 1912 campaign and returning to the greenshirts.

When the Vancouver Lacrosse Club folded mid-season in July 1913, Ernie Murray found himself once again embroiled in a wage dispute with Con Jones. His November 1913 lawsuit filed against Jones was dismissed in county court after Murray tried to sue Jones for $650 which he alleged remained from a $1,000 contract. The judge ruled in Con Jones’s favour, as Jones stated he had promised $50 per week so long as play continued and had not guaranteed any contracts for 20 weeks of salary, as Murray claimed, due to uncertainly whether the 1913 season would be completed.

Ernie Murray would later get picked up by the replacement Vancouver Athletics in 1914. He would return to New Westminster in 1918 when ‘Grumpy’ Spring signed him to the Salmonbellies for the Mainland Lacrosse Association season.

Ernie Murray played in the midfield zone usually at third home or second home, occasionally slotted as the centreman. In 1920, he was primarily used in a substitute role, while the following season, his last as a player, he found himself moved up on the attack as the outside home, a position he had played back in his senior days with the Maple Leafs. His final season saw him in the role of player-manager for Vancouver in Con Jones’s rival Pacific Coast Lacrosse Association outfit. When that league folded in mid-season on June 13, 1921, after 5 games, Murray packed in his playing career.

He appeared in 69 professional games, scoring 31 goals – which places him 17th in career scoring for players during the pro field era.

(PHOTO SOURCE: CVA 99-43)

ernie murray stats

John ‘Jocko’ Vinson

‘Jocko’ Vinson as the trainer for Vancouver Athletic Club in 1913

JOHN ‘JOCKO’ VINSON
(December 5, 1882 – April 15, 1916)

An Australian by birth hailing from Sydney, New South Wales, when exactly John ‘Jocko’ Vinson arrived in Vancouver and became associated with the Vancouver Athletic Club and their championship lacrosse team is unknown, as facts about his life prior to the outbreak of the First World War are scant and fleeting.

Barely out of his teens, Vinson stowed away on a transport ship leaving Australia and ended up as a bugler in the Second Boer War in South Africa. His Canadian military records from 1914 mention a declaration that he served two years in the South African War with the “2nd Australian Bushmen” but no such-named regiment seems to be listed in modern Australian military records for that conflict.

There is no mention of him in Vancouver newspapers prior to January 1910, although one article printed in 1917, after his passing, mentioned that he had been involved in Nanaimo sporting circles prior to “drifting across the gulf” to Vancouver.

As the trainer for a sports team, very little press would have been written about his role with the Vancouver Athletic Club except it is clear that Vinson was highly regarded and well-known in both local and national sporting circles. ‘Jocko’ Vinson was involved with the Vancouver Athletic Club lacrosse team during their hold over the Mann Cup as national senior amateur lacrosse champions from 1911 through 1913 and into 1914. While he never played lacrosse, he was nevertheless quite an athlete himself and Vinson held a number of world champion rope-skipping records, including one claimed record of 12,023 skipped in 74 minutes on May 18, 1913. He worked as a trainer in horse racing and fought boxing matches as a lightweight, weighing in at 120 to 122 lbs.

‘Jocko’ Vinson in 1913

An interesting and rare detail on his lacrosse career, it was reported he talked Bill Peacock into signing with VAC, beating out Con Jones and his professional Vancouver Lacrosse Club outfit for the services of the young, promising player.

On October 30, 1912, Vinson set sail from Vancouver on the New Zealand ocean liner SS Marama to visit his parents in Australia for a three-month period. He remained there in his native land until he set sail on the SS Makura to make his way back to Canada, arriving in Vancouver on the morning of May 1, 1913.

Described as an “all-round good fellow, always bright and cheerful and immensely popular”, ‘Jocko’ Vinson appears in all lacrosse team photographs for the Vancouver Athletic Club during their championship years – often wearing his trademark white sweater and suspenders and sporting a tweed cap. His occupation on his military records on enlistment in 1914 state he was a farrier, a specialist in horseshoeing. He appears to have been a bachelor as his half-brother in Australia is listed as next-of-kin.

When the Great War broke out, with enthusiasm Vinson once again answered the call to arms. Within two days of the British Empire declaring war, he enlisted as a member of the first contingent of the 11th Irish Fusiliers that departed from Vancouver for the front lines in Western Europe. He would serve in Belgium with the 7th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (British Columbia Regiment).

Corporal John Vinson fought in the Ypres campaign and was seriously wounded in April 1915 during the Battle of St. Julien. His heroic exploits saw him fighting off enemy attackers with bayonet and in the process leading his men in seizing a farmhouse and gun position. Wounded and begging to be left behind with a gun, to pick off German soldiers before they got to him, he had to be dragged back under protest to the safety of a shelter. News of his actions in combat reached back home in Vancouver and his heroics were reported in the local press while his gallantry earnt him special mention in military dispatches.

Writing about it in 1915, Ypres in Belgium would ultimately become Vinson’s final resting place the following year.

While convalescing from his wounds, Vinson wrote poetry about his experiences and observations in the war. In August 1915, a small collection of five poems was published in England. After ten months of recuperation, he recovered sufficiently enough from his injuries that he insisted he be returned once again to the front lines.

Ypres would become Vinson’s final resting place when he was killed in action on April 15, 1916, a day before the final German push convinced the divisional headquarters the hopelessness of their situation and declared an end to the engagement.

The Battle of St. Eloi Craters ended in a German victory as half the Canadian contingent surrendered and the other half crawled away in retreat. More than 1,370 Canadian soldiers, Corporal Vinson amongst them, stood their ground and gave their lives on the muddy, cratered quagmire that was the battlefield at Ypres. Newspapers in Vancouver and Victoria printed special tributes about the beloved ‘Jocko’ Vinson when news of his death reached home two weeks later in the first days of May 1916.

Corporal John Vinson is buried at the Railway Dugouts Burial Ground located a few kilometres south of Ypres/Iepers in Belgium.

(PHOTO SOURCES: CLHOF X979.190.1 excerpt, CVA 139-23 excerpt)

Ed ‘Cotton’ Brynjolfson

‘Cotton’ Brynjolfson (right) and Vancouver manager Con Jones in 1915.

EDWARD (ED) ‘COTTON’ BRYNJOLFSON
(March 11, 1891 – April 17, 1967)

Vancouver Athletics (1914)
Vancouver Lacrosse Club (1915)
Vancouver ‘Greenshirts’ (1918)

Born as Eggert Thorarini but known to all as ‘Cotton’, Ed Brynjolfson was regarded as the best known and most talented lacrosse player originating from Victoria in the pre-box lacrosse era – his fellow Icelander teammate ‘Boss’ Johnson perhaps the only other Island player from that era who could challenge him for ability and fame in the game.

‘Cotton’ generally played third defense (a midfield position) where he would set up many of his team’s offensive plays. During his short professional career, however, he was usually slotted into the inside home position on the attack as a replacement for ‘Newsy’ Lalonde. When Lalonde returned to the Coast in 1918 to play with Vancouver, ‘Cotton’ shifted back to his familiar place on the midfield defense.

In his brief career as a professional, ‘Cotton’ Brynjolfson played in 21 matches for Vancouver over the course of three seasons. He scored 12 goals, good enough for a midfielder but not particularly high numbers for his role as a crease attackman. In just one game did he manage to score a pair of goals.

It is intriguing why a rookie, defensive midfielder such as Brynjolfson would have been used  up front as an attackman when there were already better suited players on the Vancouver squads who could have stepped into the role – such as ‘Dot’ Crookall in 1914, and then in 1915, the veteran legend ‘Bones’ Allen as well. Granted those 1914 and 1915 Vancouver teams were thinner for talent compared to most years in the professional era, but both the Athletics management and then Con Jones the following year must have seen or known something of ‘Cotton’ Brynjolfson’s ability which is subsequently lost amongst the stats, as his scoring numbers are on the low side for an inside home player.

Brynjolfson served in the Canadian Navy during the Great War and his military service automatically reinstated his amateur status when he was discharged.

Foundation Shipyards team that won the Mann Cup for Victoria in 1919; Brynjolfson can be seen in the back row, third from right.

He joined the Foundation Shipyards Company and helped organise and manage a senior lacrosse team sponsored the same company. The Victoria Foundation Shipyards club won the Pacific Coast Amateur Lacrosse Association league, brushing aside both the New Westminster Salmonbellies and Vancouver Athletic Club in the process with a 6-win, 1-loss record. The Foundation club then routed the Edmonton Eskimos 28-5 in a two-game, total-goals series before dispatching the Winnipegs 17-7 in the championship game for the Mann Cup – Victoria’s first Mann Cup championship.

In May 1921, he was close to returning to professional lacrosse and signing with the Vancouver Terminals. He later would play four years of field lacrosse with the Sons of Canada club before he retired as a player around 1928.

‘Cotton’ Byrnjolfson as he appeared in the Victoria Daily Colonist in 1931.

At the age of 40, Brynjolfson was approached in 1931 to sign as a player in the brand-new International Professional Lacrosse League but he declined all offers, believing himself done as a player. He would later become a referee when the game went indoors, and in the war years of the 1940s he refereed senior games in the Greater Victoria Box Lacrosse Association.

Outside of lacrosse, he was an avid rugby player with the James Bay Athletic Association for eleven years. He also played some soccer with local teams in Victoria.

One of ten children, Ed Brynjolfson later became related to the family of his former Vancouver lacrosse manager, Con Jones, when one of his sisters married Jones’s second son, Dill Jones, in 1960.

While ‘Cotton’ was well known in Victoria for his lacrosse exploits, two of his brothers also gained some fame in the realm of sports: His brother Harold was the 1931 amateur golf champion of British Columbia while Walter scored Canada’s only points, a drop goal, against the famous New Zealand All Blacks rugby team during their 1925 tour.

(PHOTO SOURCE: courtesy of John Fuller family collection; Victoria Daily Colonist August 19, 1931)

Special thanks to John Fuller (Brynjolfson’s grand-nephew) for providing biographical information and photograph.

Bill Peacock

Bill Peacock in 1912.
Bill Peacock with the Vancouver Athletic Club in 1912.

WILLIAM (BILL) PEACOCK, JNR.
(born ca. 1887 – deceased 1965?)

Vancouver Athletic Club (1907-1913)
Vancouver Athletics (1914)
Vancouver Lacrosse Club (1915; 1921)
Vancouver ‘Greenshirts’ (1918)
Vancouver Terminals (1919-1920; 1923)

One of the many obscure and now-forgotten players that made up the various Vancouver professional lacrosse teams in the post-Great War period, there are but just a few facts known about Bill Peacock.

His father, Bill Peacock, Senior was quoted in the Victoria Daily Colonist newspaper as his son having “the earmarks of a great home fielder”.

He played intermediate lacrosse for Vancouver as early at 1907 and was playing senior by 1910, when the Vancouver Athletic Club managed to outmaneuver Con Jones in signing Peacock when VAC club secretary Hec Fowler and trainer Jocko Vinson managed to convince the youngster to sign with their club.

Bob Murray and Peacock would battle between themselves for the second home spot on the midfield line for two years running in 1912 and 1913, although Peacock was capable of playing in all the various home midfield positions. Later in his professional career, Peacock mostly played as a substitute in his last three seasons.

Peacock with the Vancouver Athletic Club in 1913.

Outside of lacrosse, the scant personal notes about him state that he may have played juvenile field hockey in 1905 for his home town of Nanaimo, British Columbia. In September 1912, the Vancouver Daily World mentioned he was one of only two married players on the Vancouver Athletic Club lacrosse team.

In total, Bill Peacock played in 62 professional matches and scored 35 goals in the course of 8 seasons – which puts him in 16th place for career scoring during the professional era on the Coast and ahead of Canadian lacrosse hall-of-fame midfielders Ernie Murray and Hugh Gifford. He was on the (contested) 1918 and 1920 Minto Cup championship teams for Vancouver and he may have as many as three or four Mann Cup championships to his name with the Vancouver Athletic Club.

His best season was in 1921 when he bagged 8 goals playing in the brief, rival Pacific Coast Lacrosse Association and was sitting in second place for goals with Vancouver Lacrosse Club and in the league at the time it folded in mid-season. When playing in his prime years in the pro British Columbia Lacrosse Association, he would usually finish anywhere between second and fifth in goal-scoring for Vancouver.

(PHOTO SOURCE: CVA 99-1019 excerpt; CVA 139-23 excerpt)

bill peacock stats

Dave Gibbons

Dave Gibbons, ca. 1909-1910
Dave Gibbons, ca. 1909-1910

DAVID WALTER (DAVE) GIBBONS II
(February 22, 1884 – October 6, 1966)
Vancouver Lacrosse Club (1904-1910; 1915)
North Vancouver Lacrosse Club (1911)
Toronto Lacrosse Club (1912; 1914)
Vancouver Athletic Club (1913)
Vancouver ‘Greenshirts’ (1918)
Vancouver Terminals (1919; 1921)

Dave Gibbons was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. His father was born in Ireland while his mother was an American and his family moved to Canada when he was a youngster around 1890, ending up in Burnaby, British Columbia. Regardless his background, he was readily accepted as a local product by the Vancouver fans.

He started out in Vancouver junior lacrosse around 1900 with the East End Crescents, spending around four years with that team before later going back east to play for the Argonauts team. Gibbons was back on the Coast when he made his senior lacrosse debut in 1904 for Vancouver Lacrosse Club as a call-up from the intermediate ranks, graduating to the seniors full-time in 1905. He then became a mainstay with the Vancouver Lacrosse Club as the senior amateur game transitioned into the early professional years.

While highly-regarded as a goaltender, his career during the professional era played out more as being stuck in the role of a perennial, stop-gap replacement that Vancouver teams would fall back on during rough times when their prime, starting keepers became unavailable. Despite the frequent accolades about his talent and ability, he often seemed eclipsed by other well-known goaltenders who were signed by Vancouver.

During the 1910 season, a group of local players consisting of Dave Gibbons, George Matheson, Ernie Murray, and ‘Toots’ Clarkson quit the team in early June after they went to Con Jones with demands for more money. Eastern imports Johnny Howard, ‘Bones’ Allen, Harry Griffith, and Harry Pickering were all rumoured to be receiving $50 per week while the four upshots ‘held up Jones’ for more pay because they were only getting half that amount per week – but felt they were doing the lion’s share of the hard work while the imports reaped all the benefits. Despite the hold-outs having a lot of sympathy from the local fans, Jones refused their demand of $40 per week. Gibbons, Murray, and Clarkson quit the team for the rest of the season while Matheson eventually re-joined the team in August. Ernie Murray would sign with cross-town rivals New Westminster in 1911. Con Jones quickly replaced Gibbons with Eastern import Alban ‘Bun’ Clark.

Dave Gibbons in 1905.
Dave Gibbons in 1905.

Gibbons would resurface the following year playing for the North Vancouver Lacrosse Club entry trying to gain admittance into the professional league. Two lopsided losses in test matches against New Westminster and Vancouver, in which Gibbons conceded a total of 25 goals, sealed the fate of the would-be third team in the British Columbia Lacrosse Association and their application was quickly rejected. He amicably reconciled with Con Jones and spent the rest of the 1911 season watching from the sidelines as the spare goaltender for the Vancouver Lacrosse Club, although he saw no action during their successful Minto Cup championship run that year and did not appear in the team photograph.

Dave Gibbons married Bertha Burnett, of Tacoma, Washington, on April 11, 1912 in Vancouver. He then left for Ontario when the Toronto Lacrosse Club signed Gibbons for the 1912 Dominion Lacrosse Union season, having his most successful season in his career as the ‘Torontos’ ended up winning the league with 14 wins in 18 games.

Gibbons returned to the Coast the following year and found himself picked up by the Vancouver Athletic Club when the Mann Cup champions made their jump to the professional ranks and challenged the New Westminster Salmonbellies for the Minto Cup. Dave Gibbons and his opposite Alban ‘Bun’ Clark hold the distinction of being the two goalkeepers in the only meaningful meeting ever played between current Mann Cup and Minto Cup champions. Gibbons’s team would go down in defeat 9-1 and 5-3.

In 1914, the Athletics would join the professional league full-time but went with Byron ‘Boss’ Johnson as their keeper. Gibbons decided to re-sign with the Toronto Lacrosse Club for the 1914 season after being offered $30 per week or $25 per week plus transportation expenses paid for him and his wife. The ‘Torontos’ seemed keen to re-sign Gibbons as they offered him better wages than had been paid to their players the previous season. He would find some familiar company from the Coast as the Toronto Lacrosse Club managed to pry Cliff Spring and Len Turnbull away from the New Westminster Salmonbellies and sign them along with Gibbons.

He resurfaced on the West Coast the following season when ‘Boss’ Johnson, now with the resuscitated Vancouver Lacrosse Club under Con Jones, dropped out mid-season and Jones had Gibbons held in reserve as a replacement. The 1915 team photograph for Vancouver shows a very rare occurrence in those field lacrosse days: a team carrying two goalkeepers at once.

Dave Gibbons prior to a game at Athletic Park in 1921, his final season.

The closest Gibbons ever saw himself winning a national championship occurred in 1918 when he helped lead the Vancouver Greenshirts to a 6-2 win/loss record over New Westminster, easily his best season during the professional era, in the Mainland Lacrosse Association series. The team won the Minto Cup and was regarded as champions when the season ended but the title was stripped the following year by the BCLA when the New Westminster Salmonbellies claimed – conveniently after they had lost the cup series – that they had never fielded a team and rejected Vancouver’s claims over the Minto Cup.

Dave Gibbons would play two more seasons of professional lacrosse, in 1919 and 1921, which book-ended the Vancouver Terminals 1920 Minto Cup championship when they went with Jake Davis as their goaltender. On June 14, 1919, the second game of the season, Dave Gibbons had his only professional shutout as the Terminals defeated the Salmonbellies 4-0. In his final season, he signed with the Terminals after their keeper Davis had bolted for Con Jones’s team in his upstart, rival Pacific Coast Lacrosse Association. Gibbons’s final pro lacrosse match was on July 29, 1921 – to be replaced by Jake Davis for the remainder of the season when the PCLA folded the previous month and Davis was once more available.

His long career, with hindsight and with what is known, is an interesting study in both longevity and misfortune. His statistics from the professional era show a player who was generally mediocre, apart from his strong 1912 and 1918 campaigns. The fact that his ability was respected by many, both during his playing years as well as many years later by his contemporaries and opponents, must lend some credence that he had the misfortune to have played for some rather poor performing Vancouver teams in front of him. A weak or terrible goaltender would not have lasted an impressive 17 years in the game, so one has to wonder whether he was sometimes a bright spot on some not-so-bright teams. That said, the fact that the more successful Vancouver teams generally did not rely on him, gives the impression that perhaps he was not regarded to have been a clutch, ‘money’ goaltender – or rather, he was perhaps viewed as a keeper who was beyond dependable in a pinch, but not one who was going to push the team over the top towards greatness.

It is a sad irony that when Vancouver won their Minto Cup titles in 1911 and 1920, he was not an active member of the team – and when Gibbons finally did manage to win a championship in 1918, it was later denied to him and his team.

Outside of lacrosse, his occupation was listed on the 1921 Canadian census as a customs officer. In 1965, Dave Gibbons was named one of the inaugural, charter inductees for the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. He passed away the following year from a heart attack and was interred at Ocean View Cemetery in Burnaby. His wife passed away in her one-hundredth year in 1989.

(PHOTO SOURCES: source unknown; CLHOF X994.204 excerpt; CVA 99-905 excerpt; author’s photograph)

dave gibbons stats