Friday, February 22, 2013

THE STORY of a Boxing Photo's 39 year journey

THE LONG JOURNEY of a PHOTO: by brian zelley

by Jim Ryan
It was taken for
a story about 
boxing in 
Victoria in 1974.
The story was by
Parry Pitts that 
was published on
November 22, 1974
in a newspaper called
"The Victorian".

(Ian Weir,  Mike Caird, Brian Zelley of Victoria Boxing Club.)
The headline of the Patty Pitts story: "Boxing Back From Ropes".

Patty was a staff writer for the publication and would begin the 
story with the opening:
"After being down on the mat for several years, boxing has sprung back
and is showing a slow but steady climb in Victoria."

Patty then touched on some highlights of the past such as Billy Taylor
winning the 1967 Canadian amateur boxing heavyweight title. Then
went on to describe the sudden and quick decline of boxing.  

Patty then introduces the current folks involved in this great but
gradual comeback in growth and popularity.  The names of the
individuals were Mike Caird, Brian Zelley, Ian Weir and Dan Wright.
She then went on to describe my background in boxing and then 
mentioned how Brian and Dan had revived boxing in Nanaimo with
the formation of the Nanaimo Boxing Club and the success of Jack Snaith
winning a Canadian title in 1973. Then she mentioned how Ian Weir
had come from Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Also, mentioned was 
boxer Wayne Crowe.

Had a boxing tournament that we were all looking forward to was the
"BC Festival of Winter Sports" boxing tournament that was expected
to take place in Nanaimo.

The Immediate Effects of the Photo and Story:

The initial benefit of the story was it triggered and interest in boxing
and had directors of the London Boxing Club visiting us to see if 
they could re-sponsor a boxing program and that happened, and 
boxer Wayne Crowe would go on to compete along with the 
Robinson brothers, Wright and Ian Weir.

The long hibernation of the photo and the new beginning:

After the initial benefit of the story and the photo in late 1974,
activity would continue over the many decades but in 2009, 
thirty five years later, the photo would have a new beginning
through the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame and was included
on a video presentation for Mike Caird at his induction ceremony 
in 2009.  In 2011, in a display of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame
photos and stories in preparation of the 2011 ceremony would have the
photo displayed along with many others relating to former inductees.

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