Historical snippets

Researched and compiled by Honorary Life Member and former webmaster JoAnn Allan

Gleanings from the British Colonist Newspaper

1894 – Chief Justice Sir Matthew Begbie -His tennis and croquet parties were famous in summer – from an  article in 1964-06-14 on history of the judge

1895 -There were articles on how to throw the perfect lawn party and that included croquet.

Hon. James Dunsmuir, 1906-1909  – During his residency, tennis and croquet lawns were established on the spacious grounds – from an article on 1958-07-16 on the history of Government House

1907 – An upscale home for sale advertised as one of its amenities a croquet lawn. Many hotels and vacations spots around Victoria and up Island also advertised croquet courts as an amenity.

1911-03-21 – considerable improvements are being carried out in the Empress Hotel grounds and while the gardens are being largely added to it is also purposed to set aside areas where the guests of the hotel can indulge in recreation in the form of sports.  At the southern end of the hotel a cinder double tennis court is to be laid.  At the north end a ground is being laid out for a bowling green.  A croquet lawn will be a feature on the east side, and close to it an archery course is to be laid out. These various amusement grounds will be thoroughly finished and will add largely to the attractiveness of the land upon which the Empress stands.

1911-07-20  –  3rd Day’s Play in tourney
Interest in the annual tournament of the Victoria Croquet Club grows keener. There were more spectators in attendance yesterday than heretofore, and the matches were enjoyed alike by those who played, and by those who watched.

The finals in the handicap in the croquet tournament, will take place at the Cadboro Bay Road court. It is likely that a large crowd of spectators will be present. The final promises to be keenly contested.

1911 – In one of the finals, a fee was charged to watch the games.

1912-08-13 – on Saturday – bowling and croquet tournament playoffs in Vancouver – Captain Oliphant (founding member of the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club) presented a handsome cut glass and silver vase for competition among the ladies of the Jerico Country Club

1916-08-25 – The L-G and Mrs Barnard entertained the officers of HMS Lancaster and Newcastle to an informal garden party on Tuesday afternoon at Government House. Games of tennis, bowls, and croquet were indulged in, a number of the ladies being invited to meet the officers.

1917-06-15 – the headline – Garden Party was Picturesque Event – government House Party Under Auspices of IODE Field Comforts  Committee (for soldiers recovering from the war) – for those who felt athletically inclined , the tennis court provided an opportunity for a series of short games, as did also the marked off spaces for clock golf, croquet, and bowling

1918-06-14 – The proceeds from a performance of the Ladies Musical Club were given in aid of the Recreation Fund which was used to help the soldiers returning from the war to convalesce and a tennis court and croquet lawn was available to them.

1927 080-14 – excerpt from an article on the flowers and gardens of Victoria – Passing under the rose-covered archways to the east lawn one finds a more conventional picture in the rectangle of green, bordered with glowing pink verbena and beflowered rose trellises. Adjoining this, and forming a beautiful vista through the rose-laden rustic frescoe, is the croquet lawn. The herbaceous border along the north side of this is one of the great attractions of the gardens

1946-09-13 – to City Council – petition from 100 taxpayers for construction of a croquet green in Beacon Hill Park was tabled for further consideration \lsdsem

lawn bowling, croquet, social