Down Memory Lane - 1937-2007 Burrards
Down Memory Lane Articles - by Stan Shillington

Every sport -- baseball, football, hockey, soccer, etc. -- embraces the continuity of a handful of teams to sustain the tradition of the game.

The Burrard Lacrosse Club proudly celebrates this time-honoured custom in the 2007 season -- the organization's 70th consecutive senior lacrosse campaign in Western Canada.

It may be true that there were times when the Burrards were called the Burrard Westerns or Combines or Pils or Carlings and that home was where you found it -- the Forum, Agrodome, Coliseum, Kerrisdale, Surrey or Maple Ridge; despite these changes dictated by a new venue or the economics of the day, everyone knew that, behind the survival tactics of commercialism, the team was still the Burrards.

Bill Calder, Les Dickinson, Ed Bayley and some of their old cronies from the Burrard Liberal Association conceived the need for a new club in the Inter-City Lacrosse League (ICLL) in the Fall of 1936, thus giving birth to the Baby Blue nine months later. The original sponsor was Ed Irvine whose only advertisement was a Maltese cross on the uniforms, the symbol of a popular soft drink of the day.

With franchise in hand, the founders set out to recruit players. Les Dickinson, who was named coach, naturally went after his young son Bill. The Province Bluebirds, a club guided by Ed Bayley from juvenile to senior in the early 1930's, had folded in 1936, therefore providing the Burrards with more young talent. Added to the mix were a few veterans to settle youthful enthusiasm. The Burrards were now ready for the boxla wars.

The 1937 team was a solid, exciting foundation to build a tradition of excellence: Bill Dickinson, Chuck and Bill Morphett, Walt Lee, George Gray, John MacDonald, Joe Jenkinson, Roy Cavallin, Bert Bryant, Bill Chestnut, Roy Hope, Harvey Olson and Walt Ross. Filling the gaps in the shorthanded lineup were the likes of Les Davey, Cece McGavin, Bo Bradford, Jumbo McLean, Russ Proctor, Roy Hartney, Bob James, Bull Walker, Jack Smith and Len Woodward. 

In the next year or two, the Burrards recruited cornerstones for the foundation -- John Cavallin, John Dale, Pat Theal and Don Matheson. It was a fun ride to the top -- from league basement in 1937 to the Mann Cup finals in 1940. Unfortunately, St. Catharines proved to be the wicked stepmother and the Cinderella Burrards were forced to wait until 1945 to gain the national title.

Les Dickinson surrendered the coaching chores after the 1940 season to Ed Irvine who was later followed by Ed Bayle and Chuck Jones before John Dale guided the unit to the 1945 Mann Cup with a mixture of returning Second World War servicemen and youngsters like Bo Bradford, Bill Harris, Ernie Smith, Frank Lee, Earl McDonald, Harry Buchanan and Roddy McLeod.

The Burrards took part in some of the most memorable lacrosse battles with Adanacs and Salmonbellies between 1946 and 1948 before the boys in blue, now under rookie coach John Cavallin, captured a second national championship.

By now, the club was known officially as the Burrard Westerns. Faced with a number of retirements and the collapse of the Richmond Farmers' franchise, the 1951 Vancouver club was renamed the Combines -- not very original, but somebody must have liked it. In any case, it didn't last long; soon it was back to the Burrard moniker for a spell before a brewery marraige resulted in name changes to Pils and Carlings.

The teams of the 1960's were something to behold. Built by coach Jack McKinnon and polished by Bob Marsh and Alex MacKay, Vancouver captured the Mann Cup in 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1967. It was a fantastic decade but, through it all, there remained the desire to get back to the Burrard name.

In 1970, Colin Cruickshank, Bill Dickinson and Peter Black, as president, vice-president and coach respectively, again adopted Burrards as the official team name. Pride made Burrards a boxla power with which to contend, but it took until 1975, under coach Ross McDonald, to win the Mann Cup once again. The feat was repeated in 1977.

Fourteen times the Burrards have fought for the Mann Cup -- eight times they have succeeded.

The glory has been further polished by eight players named the Mike Kelly winner as the Mann Cup's Most Valuable Player - Frank Lee (1945), Don Matheson (1949), Bill Barbour (1961), Gord Gimple (1963), John Cervi (1967), Ron Pinder (1975) and Doug Hayes and Mike Smith (tied 1977).

And we mustn't forget the only shutout in the history of the Mann Cup -- Don Hamilton's blanking of Brampton 13-0 on September 23, 1961.

Lacrosse, like any other sport, has suffered through highs and lows of popularity but, through the dark times as well as the good, the stars have always glittered.

There will always be debate over who was the best player to wear the Burrard uniform and the argument certainly won't be settled here. But the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame has recognized 53 players who have worn the blue colours -- 36 of whom spent virtually all of their productive years with Burrards, 13 who had brief flings before moving on to other clubs and four who actually belonged to opposing teams but were picked up by Vancouver for Mann Cup play.

As a leader in the game of lacrosse, it should come as no surprise that the seed of creation, although fertilized and nurtured in New Westminster where the Hall of Fame is located, was actually implanted by the Burrards.

Look back, if you would, to 1960 -- three full years before the Royal City enthusiasts applied to the Canadian Lacrosse Association for the Hall of Fame charter. An article appeared in the July 5, 1960, Vancouver program under the heading of "Anyone for a Lacrosse Hall of Fame?" which stated, in part: It is high time that these former stars are toasted for their contributions to Canada's national game. Once a player retires from lacrosse, his name becomes only a slight memory or it's forgotten altogether……to forget them would be a crime.

Forty-eight names representing box and field lacrosse and builders of the game were honoured in 1966 as charter members. They, along with first-year inductees, found a place of honour at the official opening of the Hall on May 17, 1967. Each year since, new names have been added -- the stars of yester-year and their exploits would not fade into oblivion.

In 1998, a "Team" category was added for the Hall to honour. The 1961 - 1967 Vancouver organization was inducted the following year. In 2004, the 1964 team was also inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame.

Seventy years of glory -- happy birthday and continued success.

Burrards and The Mann Cup
1940 St. Catharines 3 Vancouver 0
1945 Vancouver 3 St. Catharines 0 WIN
1949 Vancouver 3 Hamilton 1 WIN
1951 Peterborough 4 Vancouver 3
1952 Peterborough 4 Vancouver 0
1961 Vancouver 4 Brampton 0 WIN
1963 Vancouver 4 St. Catharines 1 WIN
1964 Vancouver 4 Brooklin 3 WIN
1966 Peterborough 4 Vancouver 1
1967 Vancouver 4 Brooklin 2 WIN
1973 Peterborough 1 Vancouver 0
1975 Vancouver 2 Brampton 0 WIN
1977 Vancouver 4 Brampton 2 WIN
1990 Brooklin 4 Vancouver 0

Vancouver victorious eight of 14 Mann Cup attempts

Mike Kelly Winners (Mann Cup MVP)
1945 Frank Lee
1949 Don Matheson
1961 Bill Barbour
1963 Gordie Gimple
1967 John Cervi
1975 Ron Pinder
1977 Doug Hayes and Mike Smith (joint winners)

One Shutout In Mann Cup History
Sept. 23, 1961 - Don Hamilton blanks Brampton 13-0

League Scoring Champions
1944 Don Matheson
1945 Bill Harris
1949 Jim Anderson & Harry Buchanan
1962 Fred Usselman
1972 Gord Frederickson
1982 Doug Hayes
1990 Randy Jones
2002 Kyle Goundrey
2003 Kyle Goundrey

Burrards Hall Of Fame Inductees
Charter Bill Dickinson 1985 Bill Barbour
Charter Bill Morphett 1985 Skip MacKay
1966 John Cavallin 1997 Bob Salt
1967 John Dale 1988 Bob Babcock
1967 Walt Lee 1989 Sid Warick
1968 Don Matheson 1990 Don Hamilton
1970 Roy Cavallin 1991 Kevin Alexander
1973 Bert Bryant 1992 Bob Marsh
1973 Gordie Gimple 1992 Wayne Shuttleworth
1974 Bill Chisholm 1994 Doug Hayes
1975 Bo Bradford 1994 Bill Rawson
1975 Jack Byford 1995 Dave Evans
1976 Harry Buchanan 1997 George Gray
1976 Stan Joseph 1997 Bertie Houston

1976 Jake Proctor 1996 Roy Pinder
1978 Bill Harris 1998 Dave Tasker
1979 Jim Anderson 1999 Skip Chapman & Brian Tasker
1979 Fred Usselman 2002 Merv Schweitzer
1980 Mario Crema 2003 Gary Stevens
1981 Peter Black 2003 Alf Brenner
1991 Mel Jones 2004 Bruce Turris & Bob Tasker
1982 John Cervi 2005 Ernie Smith
1983 Joe Comeau 2006 Greg Thomas

Hall of Fame players picked up by Burrards for Mann Cup play
1971 Archie Browning
1972 Jack Northup
1980 Paul Parnell
1993 Larry Smeltzer

Hall of Fame Builders
1966 Ed Bayley
1971 Bill Calder
1971 Les Dickinson
1972 Dr. T.s Perett
1975 Lou Moro
1977 Stan Shillington
1978 Jack McKinnon
1982 Bill Ellison
1988 Jake MacGregor
1989 Wally Donaldson
1999 Bob Parry
2006 Rick Richards

All-Time Burrards Statistical Leaders
Goals Assists Points
687 Doug Hayes 578 Gord Frederickson 1232 Doug Hayes
513 Roy Cavallin 545 Doug Hayes 1068 Gord Frederickson
490 Gord Frederickson 514 Bill Rawson 910 Bob Salt
443 Peter Black 492 Ken Thomas 891 Bob Babcock
428 Sid Warick 488 Bob Salt 831 Harry Buchanan
424 Harry Buchanan 479 Bob Babcock 829 Ron Pinder
422 Bob Salt 433 Ron Pinder 804 Bill Rawson
422 Ernie Smith 427 Don Matheson 777 Roy Cavallin
415 Gordie Gimple 407 Harry Buchanan 763 Peter Black
412 Bob Babcock 377 Rod Jensen 746 Don Matheson
396 Ron Pinder 374 Bruce Turris 718 Gordie Gimple
385 Jim Anderson 352 Kyle Goundrey 666 Sid Warick
383 Bill Barbour 320 Peter Black 654 Bill Barbour
383 Fred Usselman 306 Dave Tasker 644 Ken Thomas
328 Bob Marsh 305 John Cervi 622 Bruce Turris
319 Don Matheson 303 Gordie Gimple 616 Fred Usselman
307 Chris Gill 303 Daren Fridge 593 John Cavallin

Most Burrard Games
452 Bob Babcock
449 Bill Chisholm
422 Doug Hayes
412 Gord Frederickson
406 Walt Lee
400 Peter Black
387 Harry Buchanan
383 Bill Rawson
362 Roy Cavallin
335 John Cervi
334 Bob Salt
329 Bill Barbour
326 Ross McDonald
323  Mike Smith
308 Jim Anderson
304 George Gray
303 Sid Warick
301 John Cavallin

Commission Trophy Winners
1974 Bob Salt
1975 Bob Salt
1977 Dave Tasker
1979 Doug Hayes
1982 Doug Hayes
1988 Dwight Maetche
1998 Chris Gill
2002 Kyle Goundrey