banding together to help revive the sport in Greater Victoria in 1974.
For a 12-year period 1974 to 1985, there were some very interesting
moments. But, beginning in 1989, there was a new story to begin,
and that related to the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria.
1984 - An interesting year.
photo: Alan Brown, Vic Murdoch and Brian Zelley
(At the Canadian Olympic Boxing Team Training Site)
The Saddo Boxing story only looks at the beginning in 1963
and the end in 1992. But, the story continues with
OUT OF THE SHADOWS.
"Out Of The Shadows" relates to the ongoing story
of telling the many different stories that touches
of various aspects of amateur boxing from a local
level to some international areas.
It is an attempt to tell the Canadian Amateur Boxing
story past, present and future. It also tells of the
history of amateur boxing in British Columbia by
telling the stories of individuals, clubs and events.
Based on the long history, there have been many great
moments in amateur boxing in Canada. But, that promise
of a promising bright future can only be managed by the
boxers, coaches and officials of today and tomorrow.
At best, all the rest of us can only be the eyes and ears,
and the witnesses in future days.
BOXING CANADA, a new beginning and THE PROMISE
To reach a new level of excellence and growth, our friends
in BOXING CANDA are on a mission to pave the future
boxing highway with promise and action, but it begins with
For many of us, we may not have been in that special circle
of the 40 planners, but we can still support the
organization with our effort, energy and enthusiasm.
LOOKING BACK LOOKING FORWARD
Each Province has a history and each Province has a future
in amateur boxing. The question for all current members of each Provincial
is what can they do to improve the future of the sport. One important
starting point is to understand the best of the past and try to adopt their
own blueprint for the future.
Our Own Personal Boxing Story
All of us that have been involved in amateur boxing have a story to tell.
In many cased it is a combination of many bits and pieces of good times,
setbacks and bad times. Looking back, one of the things that stands out
in my boxing journey was being a co-founder of the Nanaimo Boxing Club
in 1971 along with Dan Wright. But, that club also gave me
regret and sadness in 1979. At that time I was involved in boxing
in Victoria so I was just another forgotten member of the Nanaimo Boxing Club.
From the start of the Campbell River club in 1970, the Nanaimo club in 1972
and the revival of boxing in the early Seventies in Victoria, it would be
a mini-Golden Age for boxing on Vancouver Island that would also see a lot
of activity in the Eighties and the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria.
The Moment Of Despair
The moment of upset and despair came some time in the early Eighties,
when I received a scrapbook of the Nanaimo Boxing Club following the
death of my aunt Dorothy Runacres who was a regular supporter of the
club with nuerous trophies throughout the Seventie. It was nice
looking through the scrapbook until I read the May 1979 article
that appeared in the NANAIMO TIMES. with the headline
Boxing Club Gets New Home.
Now, the story was about the club changing locations form the theb
basement of the Queen's Hotel to new premises by Harewood and Howard,
So far so good, but the first incorrect fact was that the story
claimed the current coach of the club was instrumental in forming
the Nanaimo Boxing Club in 1971 which was not true. The real truth
is in the summer or late spring of 1969 a number of former boxers
and BOB PEGUES asked me about reviving boxing after the Newcastle
Boxing Club had folded following the 1968 season. Although it was
not possible to get a club active in 1969, I began to work on the
idea with a boxing friend that was also a member of Vancouver's
Firefighters Boxing Club and that was Dan Wright who was a NDSS
Grad in 1967, the same year I completed Grade 13 before going to
UBC in September 1968. From that initial idea or suggestion in 1969,
two years later, Dan and I were ready and able to start the new club
which we called the NANAIMO BOXING CLUB. Help to begin the club
came from a variety of sources in Ucluelet with Myrt Saxton to the
Nanaimo Recreation body, to individuals including the former coach
and founder of the Newcastle Club and John Ormandy. Many of the
discussions and planning took place in the home of John Ormandy
during 1970 and 1971.
The second area of regret came from that Nanaimo Times article that
touched on the folks involved in the Nanaimo Boxing Club from the
beginning to 1979, and missing from the list of names were
Brian Zelley and Dan Wright. Twelve boxers were mentioned but of the
original six to participate in the first boxing card in 1972 only
the following two were mentioned in the article and that was
DARREN LUSSIER and BOB PEGUES.
In any journey, we all have highlights and setbacks, we learn to
get over the bad decision in a bout we may have won but lost the decision,
We may be upset with not getting picked for a team but there is always
another opportunity. But there is no comeback of second chance when you
and others have been eliminated from the history of a club.
1964 - A Beginning of my boxing story:
photo which is part of a group photo of members of the
Nanaimo's Newcastle Boxing Club in 1964. One of the
boxers that was not in the photo but was one of our
standouts in the following season is Mike Lazare.
There would be many others such as Ken Stant and
Murray Glover, Jules Nepper and Tony James.
Those that appeared in the photo were:
Leo Rock, Chris Balatti, Golles Nepper
Leon Nepper, Roger Nepper and Brian Zelley.
Over the years, there would be other photos
including those for other clubs such as my