Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The History of Amateur Boxing in British Columbia



By Brian Zelley
For amateur boxing in British Columbia 
an important new start was the beginning
 of the annual Golden Goves tournament 
in 1939.  Another major development was 
in 1969 following the formation of the 
canadian Amateur Boxing Association 
of which the British Columbia Amateur
Boxing Association (BCABA) which now goes
by the name of Boxing BC  with Mickey Sims
the president in 2013

The BC Golden Gloves Story from the beginning:

*  Over a two year period, the British Columbia Amateur Boxing
Association had been building the sport of amateur boxing one
club and one show at a time, but then they looked south east
and thought about Chicago and New York and a tournament
caled the Golden Gloves which had the backing of newspapers.
So the executive of the BC association decided to explore the idea.
A committee was formed and in short order Vancouver's "The Sun
and the lead figure from the sone to be involved would be Bill Finlay.

Also, the Vancouver Active club,, involved with helping disabled
children would get involved  and benefit by the fundraising aspect
of the tournament.  

Also, it would not take long for the boxing folks in Seattle to get
involved in tournaments, so in those early years that was hampered
in part by WWII, British Columbia boxers including some of the
military boxers would participate in the Seattle Golden Gloves.

As we step backk to the first few years, the first six Golden Boys
would be Phil Vickery, Terry Doyle, Bob Hickie, 
Jackie Hamilton, Harru Smith and Chester Orr.

Post WW II "Vancouver Sun Golden Gloves" tournament:

The year was 1946, which would be an important continuation
of the tournament with some old faces and new ones, and some
of the returning boxers that had been involved in military service.

The builders of boxing and the community for 1946:

There would be a solid team to assist in the staging of 
the 1946 tournament including some that supported by
their advertising and donations.  

The actual sanction would be from the BC branch of the
AAU of Canada, and the British Columbia Amateur Boxing
Association and the continued sponsorship to the
"Vancouver Sun".  Some of the names would be
D. B. Shirley, Harry J. Porter, Charles Jones, E J Temoin,
A H Jefferd, Hamilton Reed, Ralph McKenzie, A Hodgkisson,
Charles Sandford.  And, the committee would be comprised
of: W. J. Finlay, C. W. Goodrich, A. Holdgkisson,
C. Sandford, 

Some of the others involved from organizing to judging
would be: Bud Devoe, Tom Flanagan, Carl Hanuzak, 
J. A. Gunn, Andy Davidson, Bill Garner, Joe McMillan, 
Hector McDonald, Tommy Moore, P. Lanaway,  E. Swartz,
Wallace Kelk, Billy Oates, Blackie Bengert, Tom Burke,
Tom Harnett, Bill Doyle, Bill Baker, George McLaughlin,
Tommy Cruise (announcer), Bert Murray, Walter Brown,
Dr. Gordon Matthews, Dr. Sturdy, Dr. McCatchie  and
Dr. Merkle.  

Other sponsors and supporters:
Jamieson Bros., Mandarin Supper Club, Bill Smith,
John Watson, Eddie Deem, F. M. Crowther, Abe Weston,
Sid Beech, Milton of the Empire Cafe, Tommy Gann,
Cy and Reg Paxton, Otto Jansen, and Arnold Bertram,
(Bertram was the boxing manager of Kenny Lindsay),

Those early clubs:

They travelled from Ocean Falls and Vancouver Island
and other locations.  Clubs that took part in the Gloves
Alberni, Ambassador, Bluebirds,  Cumberland, CYO,
Eagletime, Junior G., Kimount, M D 11, Ocean Falls, 
Pro Rec., Victoria, Wallaces, Western Sports Centre,
and Victoria.  

The Boxers: (list of entries)

* Ray Walters, Guy Morisset, Larry Creanza, Wes Burnell,
Vic Murdoch, Vern Vockhott, Maurice Pratt, Jim Boles, 
Don Harrison and Norm Delaire.

* Stan Almond, Bob Scott, Pte. A. J. Arnold, Fraser Clarke,

* Jim Andrews, Frank Almond, Orest Kozak, Art Burgess,
G. A. Brabank, Ken McPhee, Earl Cook.

* Gunner O. Brown, Chuck Cruickshank, Jack Macdonald,
Lyle Kehoe, Terry Doyle, Hal Robbins, Bert Lepitre, 
Jack Hamilton,Jack Crook.

* William Miller jr., Russ Gurniak, Corp. Roger Dion, 
Duquette Henri, Chester Norton, Billy MacDonald,
Dick Cote, Bus Lindsay, Ray Hass.

* Reg Simpson, J R Herbert, Art Beaumont, Buddy Welsh,
Rod MacDonald, Jack Allen, Jimmy Crook.

* Lyle Colling, Stan Zokol, E. P. Clark, Jack Herwynen, 
Everett Biggs, Jerris Jamel, 

* Eric Smith, Tony Stranan and Phil Olsen.

On the Friday of the tournament there was a feature bout
that paired: Gordon Woodhouse vs Norman Dawson.  

The Golden years of Amateur Boxing 1939 to 1969:


*the link will take us to the February 2012 story about amateur boxing
in British Columbia from 1939 to 1968 with the early reference of some of 
the names in the forties.
Art Burgess
Art Beaumont
Bert Lepitre
Buddy Welsh
Bus Lindsy
Chester Orr
Jackie Turner
Ken McPhee
Lyle Kehoe
Sammy May
Terry Doyle,
Wes Burnell
Jim Langston

But, it would also cover some of the golden gloves moments in British Columbia 
and elsewhere such as Seattle, Portland and Tacoma

 1959 BC Golden Boy: Jack Straza
Names above: early Seattle Golden Gloves:
Gordon Grayson, Robert Hickey, Tommy symes
Jackie Turner, Norm Dawson, Bobby Parker,
Joe Ashenbrenner, Roy Burnell, Bert Lepitre,
Freddy Steele, Vic Murdoch, Lyle Kehoe.
Vic Murdoch in 1984 after 40 years
from his Seattle Golden Gloves victory
in 2013, Murdoch was inducted into the
British Columbia Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame

THE NEW ROAD TO TRAVEL: 1969 to 1984

* The above link,  Road to Glory takes us with the first years
of BC's becoming a provincial part of Boxing Canada that
began through the efforts of Jerry Shears and others.
It takes us from those early years leading up to the
1984 Olympic Games and the Canadian Olympic Boxing
team training in Boxing BC's training centre in Burnaby.

There is a cross section of stories, photos and data
such as the 1969 Golden Boy, Neil Knight of Seattle.
Photos of Dale and Lennie Walters, and much more
such as a recap of the 1983 Silver Gloves with some of 
the names.  It also takes us to 1972 with two BC boxer
on the 1972 Canadian Olympic boxing team. 

Golden Gloves and Diamond Belt tournaments
* Some of the tournaments are covered in detail

*  In the earlier posts, there is coverage of the
1985 BC Diamond Belt tournament held in Victoria.
And, a boxer that I trained got the headlines in the
Times - Colonist on January 21, 1985 as follows:
" Ogden in Ring Shocker at Diamond Belt"
The story was about the performance of 
Victoria Jaycees Boxing Club's Ron Ogden.
Also, a number of folks were singled out for special
recognition such as former Canadian champion Jack Snaith.



Throughout the ages there have
been many ring officials and those
appointed to boards of directors.
In the mid-eighties, a list was made
of many of the ring officials that had
been or were still involved in some
form of officiating for the 
BC Amateur Boxing Association.
No attempt was made  to rate them
or to rank them into classifications
as they all played a roll for the success
of the sport.

Some of the many have been listed 
in the following block which is just
one part of a blog related to 

officials and coaches.

The above links show a long list of names of folks that have been
and some are still involved.  Some of the names may not be well
known, as often the ring officials often did not get much press
coverage except the referees at times may have their photo 
in a newspaper piece holding up the arm of a boxer in the 
middle of the ring:
Some of the names that may not be well known by many today 
Steve Barnes, Bernie Brisch, Terry Eastman, Dick Huber,
Pickey Lee, Len Lightfoot, Scotty McQueen, Jack O'Hanley,
Joe Preston, Len Robertson, Abe Seriani, Joe Swift and Earl Vance.

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