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Victoria Bowmen Historical Notes


1949     On November 1, the Maquinna Archery Club was formed. David Odlum was the President. Indoor shooting was conducted at the Rainbow Sea Cadet Hall (Work Point Barracks in Esquimalt). In March, the name was changed to Victoria Bowmen and on April 20, the first constitution of the new club was adopted. Outdoor shooting took place in the area between Shelbourne and Richmond Streets, west of Hillside Avenue. A competition was held with the Cowichan Bowmen. Later that summer a tournament for Vancouver Island was held at Cobble Hill.
1950   The club joined with the 75th Regiment Bowmen for indoor shooting at the Bay Street Armouries. The club President was John Askham.
1951    An outdoor range was set up in Victoria West Park.
1952      The club name was changed to Victoria Bowmen of the 75th Regiment. An outdoor range was located off Helmken Road between the Old Island Highway and Burnside Road.
1953   A new outdoor range was obtained. It was located by the Colquitz River, off Hunter Road in what is now the Cuthbert Holmes Park.
1955   The 75th Regiment was absorbed into the No. 5 West Coast Harbour Defence Battery. This changed the club name to Victoria Bowmen of the 5th West Coast Defence Battery, a rather’ unwieldy handle. Subsequently the club name was changed to Victoria Bowmen.
1955 - 1958   Indoor shooting was held in the Fraser Street Hall. At times during the period between 1953 and 1963, we used a hall above a night club on Broad Street and also a hall above Robinson’s Sporting Goods store. We also had an indoor range in the Williams building.
1963 - 1964     An affiliation with the Dockyard Recreation Association (D.R.A.) allowed for indoor shooting in the D.R.A. hall.
1964    A fine new outdoor range was located within the D.N.D. property off Wilfert Road. Development of this property was started. With the acquisition of this fine new property, the Victoria Bowmen turned its Colquitz River range over to the Seaview Archers.
1969      The Victoria Bowmen host their first Canadian Archery Championships using the Wilfret Road property and MacDonald Park in James Bay.
1971      The Club hosted numerous Pacific Northwest Outdoor, Vancouver Island Indoor and Outdoor and BC Outdoor and Indoor tournaments. The D.R.A. hall was turned into a club and the Victoria Bowmen moved back to the hall above Robinson’s Sporting Goods Store.
1972 - 1974     The Club moved their indoor facility to St. Adian’s Church Hall near the Shelbourne plaza and then to the Henderson Park Pavilion on Cedar Hill Road a part of the Oak Bay Recreation complex.
1975   The club hosted the World Team Trials (Grenoble) at the University of Victoria.
1976       The Club hosts the Canadian Archery Championships combined with the 1976 Olympic Trials at the Wilfret Road Range (Field) and St. Michael’s University School (Target). With the assistance of Victoria High School wood shop, the club builds a 'temporary clubhouse', the centre of all club activities.
1978   The Club again moved their indoor program to the Marigold Activity Centre and Royal Oak School.
1979     Work begins on the lower FITA field a swamp in the spring with many large stumps and logging debris. Most of the initial work (stump removal) is done by hand! The final work is done with bull dozers under the guidance of a professional landscaper.
1980     Due to heavy vandalism and dwindling numbers the Seaview Archers folds and is absorbed by the Victoria Bowmen, the Colquitz range is no longer used.
1981     The Club moved the indoor program to the MacCauley Point Gym in Esquimalt only a stone’s throw from its original indoor facility. Many members of the club had shot here for years as members of the former Cedar Forest Bowmen a club sponsored by the base. When this club folded their members joined Victoria Bowmen.
1982   The club hosts the Canadian Archery Championships with the Target being held at the Juan de Fuca Recreation complex, the first of many successful partnerships at this facility.
1986 & 1989   The club again hosts the Canadian Outdoor Championships
1991     The Victoria Bowmen are awarded the XXXIX World Archery Championships for 1997
1996    The Club hosts the Canadian again as a test tournament for the ’97 Worlds again at JDF and Wilfret Road. The current Thunderbird logo was commissioned from local artist Sue Coleman for this event.
original vb tb logo
1997      More than 400 of the world's top archers came to Victoria to compete in the second largest world championships ever. The championships were held at the University of Victoria's Centennial Stadium. In May the club hosted the inaugural Canada Cup tournament as a test tournament for the Worlds.
2000   Finding a suitable indoor facility again becomes a challenge as the club moves to the Naden Drill shed, cold shooting days are the norm!
2002   The indoor program moves to John Stubbs School in Belmont Park.
03CDNlogo The Club hosts the Canadian Archery Championships, again at Wilfret Road and Juan De Fuca Recreation Centre
2008   The indoor program moves to Sangster School on Metchosin Rd.
2009   The Club cannot afford the new rental charges announced by DND, the last arrow is shot on the Wilfret Road property in October. The Club's outdoor program moves to Sangster School.
2010   The club finds new property from the Provincial Capital Commission on West Burnside Road near the corner of Watkiss way
2011   Feb '11 Work begins on the new property. The club also adds Thursday/Sunday shooting at the Commonwealth Place.
    April '11 Shooting begins at the new property, terrain is rough, but it's a place to shoot!
    May '11 Work stops while environmental assessments are carried out shooting continues.   
   October '11 Work recommences on the road and the shooting field after approval from View Royal Council
     October 20, Grading completed container moved. Rock picking, seeding and raking commence
     We finally get a weekday shooting time at Commonwealth Place
2012 Spring: A compound is built around the containers, the parking lot is enlarged, more grass seed and we finally have an archery range.
12 Cdn logo The club hosts one of the most successful and largest Canadian Championships

2014   The club continues to work on the property, more grass has been planted, a shooting shelter built, new shooting line installed. The club continues to shoot outdoors at the Saanich Commonwealth Place.