Salt Spring Island Archives

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Robert Akerman (1912-20)

Mr. Akerman talks about the different sports that have been popular on the Island since 1910.

Accession Number 989.031.013 Interviewer Margaret Simons
Date April 28, 1977 Location
Media tape Audio CD mp3




Unknown Speaker 0:00
So this is April the 28th 1977. And we're in full for visiting Bob Aikman.

Unknown Speaker 0:06
How about have we talked for a few minutes about some of the early sports that you're involved in and teams that came to the

Unknown Speaker 0:17
soccer. Soccer is one of the earliest sports that I played on the island it's not appropriate than renting the gentleman's name is Mr. Jackson. He was a New Zealander.

Unknown Speaker 0:41
Again during the century and we started to get the young fellas 1910 interested in soccer, football they call it these days

Unknown Speaker 0:56
so he he showed them the girls they practice pretty hard I guess they have to practice button every day according to my uncle. He was a quite a soccer player about what they want to do is beat Ganges because Ganges had a lot of the English bias that used to come out in the early days and a lot of those boys are good real good soccer players. And they played soccer all their lives in England and I think Ganges at that time that was supposed to be one of the best teams in coaster that Don Johnson said are we can we can take them to practice so 1910 They played Ganges and they were beaten for the McPhillips cup a number of problems here was an eclipse that time and he brought up in very very nice silver cup for that island and Ganges beat them so they practiced all year. My uncle said it even even at night is the real full moon rise out of buying practice in 1911 They played this scavengers team who were really good players and our boys Nathan after one year of practice they'd beat this team

Unknown Speaker 2:26
and and they were one of the best

Unknown Speaker 2:28
they were one of the best again Jason's team was one of the best on the coast the beat them in 19 Aladdin I have a picture I have a picture here of our team at that time with the McDonald's cup so I got I got the crusade and

Unknown Speaker 2:49
it seems fitting Bob at the playing field should now be on your property for poker target

Unknown Speaker 2:57
across the road from urges to me I'm older than I have the cup I have around the coffee cup here the old original cut was paid for for years and I believe that for the Manhattan 19 crowd again in a 1913 dangers went back three years in a row to keep it going Do you want to back in 13 and then the war came along and it wasn't paid for then until after the war I think around 1920 We started again and Fulford I think wanted twice Ganges wanted so they can come give it

Unknown Speaker 3:45
we're going back and forth there for a couple of years I think it was 2526 I think again just next year and then in 1927 they know 2626 They wanted 27 they wanted and a 1928 I remember that very well and

Unknown Speaker 4:12
we want to get one up and 28 we will keep it for you while I was just getting started I was pretty young but down to watch them play and one of the filter boys didn't turn up so Michael asked me if I would just fell in I felt great inside right? For Salford and because I was pretty lucky because I I scored the two goals that we beat them by began just by

Unknown Speaker 4:48
getting into your

Unknown Speaker 4:50
beginning so I I had I had place on the team after that. But I guess I didn't watch me too close. Remember doesn't Dermot Crafton was playing fullback for or for Ganges and I was playing against him and he was a big boy. And I remember him I got the ball he he hit me by but I just got the shot away before he hit me and I bet he knocked me through 20 feet but I got to go and then after that I got one mark all set to one and that that was 1928 And that's when we kept the use of on it that was your third that was our third year in a row I was in in the last year. Sadly we Victor Ganges more than a bit as the last game we played we played for the Macintosh rose ball. And we were close. I mean, there was no it was so close that we tried again Jays to draw. Come back to Fairford guide to another job. So we had to go to Sydney to find a neutral field and you're tied to another job. And we paid overtime in Sydney and doesn't crash to me. Thanks for again Jason, he got by our fallback and scared to go to hell was that I'd say around 35 But that shows how close we were and then we after that we decided to in order to combine our teams and play in the Victoria League. We did win an event around championship I think our combined team did activate a syndicate

Unknown Speaker 6:45
and in the ward came along

Unknown Speaker 6:46
for this was actually right the war came on. And we didn't we didn't get to buying supply for Ganges took out a Baptist asked me to play for him and I remember one time when they're outside team we had a team from Vancouver to say very good team was coming in by the end of the league over there and they're coming in on a picnic on one of the old seeker boats. The company that they paid forgiveness picnic in the Ganges so the Ganges can challenge them to a game so they brought the team over and the the company gave them each feature a gold knife for the chain to be presented to the winners so of course they were going to present it on the way back if they saw they left the real estate knives on the on the boat to get over on and we play them in the Ganges and beat them up and they have to send a man over in the dark to vote to get there to get there

Unknown Speaker 7:49
these knives are presented in a way back so they got a quite a surprise

Unknown Speaker 8:00
basketball to winner of a basketball game here the two Douglas buys two more spice and Jen my brother and myself we had a team of six of us and we practice partner we might go back at home and we got rich to bringing teams three teams Victoria just about every Saturday night. During the winter we'd bring in teams we play this other team and play the seniors again Jays team would play another team because they again just didn't they didn't have the whole practice and they didn't have so they would play a team and the girls and girls and girls teams seem to bring in three teams

Unknown Speaker 8:49
at that time you wouldn't be students should be going on

Unknown Speaker 8:53
no no we're doing the as I say the senior team I even brought in the Canadian champions that kind of jacket bro ribbon so they played her and with a bacon that we gave them a good a good game it was a Patrick boys and animals Patrick they're quite they were quite high in hockey after beaten boys are great athletes and Victoria

Unknown Speaker 9:28
they they played on their Canadian championship team and agrees to play on this this slide deck is an orchestra who's assigned the fish boats down for them it's under. A couple of fish boils down to Swartz Bay and night

Unknown Speaker 9:54
we went to Vancouver Island senior day championship on yearly Ethical Victoria zone and by Dan Duncan in metal Ireland we played a coordinating championship. That was one year. So we did a pretty good pretty good team to therapy. I have a real good I have a real good hockey team our AAU team Well, we started hockey and you know suffered FDA put the new floor on and make a fly around. Our boys here God and Danny and Donald skate. And they take our rooms down, and then they used to get these. I started out with these big checkers that is big plastic checkers, they take you down, they used to play with these Roman checkers, these checkers. They were up most of the rooms so I got them to turn about some hockey sticks and talk so they started to play football but at home I imagine it was in the 50s. And so they started to play in March of myrrh the young people got interested in it. And then they find a teen here, young fathers and they thought that he would enter the Victoria League. A chat I think 16 Isn't it and they played after the ice at the glaspy arenas and Atari that Grenier either had a roller hockey league they had six teams and our Weissman down most of them are quite young they the first year they won the league and never lost again. Second year the same thing they won the league again never lost again. And they don't happen about three years in a row and in the fourth year. The league officials in Victoria told them they would they couldn't enter that league anymore because they were too good. And no competition no and so they said well we'll let you in if you only bring five players and if you bring five players you'll have to get the rest of your players from the leftovers from our league to say so there was always extra people that wanted to play down there you see so run our biceps Okay, so they took five down there was Daddy and daddy my boys and copper kitchens and Bernie rails so they picked up the rest of the team the rest of our six players from Victoria and they won a game with with a team they want to gain by picking up these spare toys from other teams and that just about kind of some you know Victoria they they said no more bikes are bad. They never lost the game and

Unknown Speaker 13:43
so right now there is still an adult's team

Unknown Speaker 13:49
they play but they're not allowed to play and

Unknown Speaker 13:51
they just play but it is their competition

Unknown Speaker 13:54
let us play they need to pick up teams and play to these to these players in Victoria to or ice hockey players that want to keep in shape and some of them are fairly old cutters. teams want to keep in shape during the summer so let's go into begin shape when they go back to their hockey then just

Unknown Speaker 14:19
I don't want if our boys by code name was pretty Gibsonia number the Gibson thing and we hear

Unknown Speaker 14:28
how good he started hockey here and he played with us for three or four years when I was growing up. And

Unknown Speaker 14:42
he went to Vancouver and he bought himself a pair of ice skates really stick and it was a good stick out. And he stayed and then he got on the school team and The from his guilty and he got onto the junior V. Thanks for cloning an organized League and the Okanagan he paid for and he was judged the the best defenseman in that league that year. And the Denver spurs who are professional team Victoria asked him if he would play if he would play in their fan club. So they know he's down in Denver, he's going to university down there. And they give him a chance to finish his university. And again, I think they gave him a quite I think $25,000 for signing

Unknown Speaker 15:55
started as koji

Unknown Speaker 15:56
started right here and he started with a with a broom and then the big plastic checkers. That's how he got his start. I think that they will say to me, he wants to finish his university first. And then I'll think that's in play. Either for Denver. professional teams,

Unknown Speaker 16:20
Gordon gets them right. I can remember hearing the boxing was quite popular at one point.

Unknown Speaker 16:32
Boxing, boxing. Boxing was quite popular here when I was a young fellow. I started boxing, I started boxing and Ganges and the old jam factory that had no jam factory that was closed down. And we had a couple of boys that were pretty good read hard things and all boxer and Ted burdale And he was another box of the Tuesdays he used to work on the on the CPR boats and they used to tie up maybe in Seattle one night a weekend and they used to go and box in some of the cards and from Seattle and they'd get maybe 10 hours or something and so they've got to be pretty good and then they started this club up again G central bn 28 and lot of young fellas around

Unknown Speaker 17:44
so they put a card on the credit card on

Unknown Speaker 17:53
file on the first box is a local file from Ganges I was 17 I guess he was 24 I was pretty scared so I remember going in the ring with him and when the bell rang to he was He took after me he looked about six feet tall. I was scared. So I just I just threw her I forgot about throwing a left first through a right as he was coming in. He went down I guess it was a tear for a second since I started and he went down and gee I thought I killed him. They carried him out of the ring. And I think it was a couple of hours before he actually walked around. I want to say is what time was I was scared. I was I was scared that for a long time after that. I was scared. No, I stayed. I stayed middle. They thought

Unknown Speaker 19:09
they wanted to bring in some nerf boxers. You know for me then from the oldest town that in the meantime we we thought we'd have to fight for the Welterweight Championship with the items here golf. I was put against the champion at Ryan he was one of quite a few fights. And we had a real good fight three rounds. I was lucky that the decision was closed because quite a few times during that fight by river and I only I got it and then after that day there was a chap by the name of Jimmy Whitesides isn't Glasgow, Scotland, his champion, the British Navy, and he came in here He was actually a British navy fellow professional in Glasgow in our knowledge I used to see him fight there and he came in and they wanted me to box and I was like lighting and I guess we boxed in I got a decision and I thought well you must be getting better we're bringing in Vancouver so handsome

Unknown Speaker 20:38
middled it was 10 pounds and boxed him and knocked him out. I think I think I've told her I was I was scared and I was just trying well punches

Unknown Speaker 20:56
that I had, I think 23 sites during that time and I went 21 of them so I can the chapter one chapter became the British Columbia golden Victoria. He wanted me in the finals for the basic championship. So that was Vandelay my boxing and my boys started about 50s Gavin Marino's was one of the coaches here we we box box all over BC practically. Box the name already Smith tinnitus, Victoria fires

Unknown Speaker 21:57
up the Fraser Valley Prince George Vancouver, Westminster. And they did very well as I was the homeless, a feature of his anyway. Mari I guess in my second day,

Unknown Speaker 22:19
he he boxed in him. I gave him a few years about going to college. And he won several championships theory and three trophies one night. He won his class, he won the best prospect and they went left hand on one night, which

Unknown Speaker 22:41
is the mid 60s.

Unknown Speaker 22:43
Yeah, yes. I read that letter then the 60s in the 60s. He he lost the last two fights I think and as Kerry won, I think 40 fights out again. There was 30 fights the last two

Unknown Speaker 23:03
boxing go for a period of time. And then there's no boxing. I guess it depends on the coaches who's available to

Unknown Speaker 23:13
coach with Yeah, that's right. Yeah. And he's a good coach and they listen to me as a follow they listen to a lot of coaches advice and not too much the data was pretty strict. He was pretty strict with and

Unknown Speaker 23:33
trained hard. Tim Wallace by he was he was basically gotten to be the Canadian Army champion which is one of the highlights of his career and any younger brother tamari, he won the BC junior golf but there are three of them are better Bryce around just as good day Reynolds they got all cameras jacking

Unknown Speaker 24:21
is the younger brother

Unknown Speaker 24:32
name is Marcin wise

Unknown Speaker 24:41
I'm stating. Ganges there is very, very good that our boys renovate the same. And I think that's where they got their good training because they're also matched to get down there they would they were all top boxers too. It's

Unknown Speaker 25:01
really the volatility but then it is something just like any other thing.

Unknown Speaker 25:12
Peter, I guess that I don't I didn't want to go any higher anyway because as long as they want everything in amateur and manicures, I don't want to say professional because I don't think it's a fantasy. That sounds like a professional I didn't say the odd faking the 33 for $5 But I didn't tell anybody I wouldn't want to see my voice do that because they're fighting anybody and everybody

Unknown Speaker 25:54
although our boys didn't pay professionals to when they were fighting because a lot of the chaps from Montreal a professional, not draw they used to they came in and joined the army in the Navy. And they used to come up and fight on our cards. Our voices to fight them to get voted by professionals. But they didn't bite professionally they fallen into cars. As soon as these biases professionals join the army or navy they revert back to amateurs so they can fight on the Army Navy had real competitors anyway so we didn't have you know

Unknown Speaker 26:48
I think over the top and talking and singing Baseball, baseball, best baseball teams on NBC at one time,

Unknown Speaker 26:58
thanks to the system. They've been playing baseball haven't been

Unknown Speaker 27:03
speaking about hardball now. It's a different game. It is a different type of where we left off on our fastball. In those days we had heard

Unknown Speaker 27:14
that was when you were playing the

Unknown Speaker 27:17
other place. And we did we went off to get our trophies put away and I'd like to afford again. I'd like to get Holly's trophies back out again and of the mark is to show that he didn't ask.

Unknown Speaker 27:31
I think we did need

Unknown Speaker 27:32
a movie adequate.

Unknown Speaker 27:35
I find more and more with this. As we're talking to people, they have things in their house they'd like to put in a museum or so many people are just interested in the history of the right to be really interesting to be able to see it and be able to

Unknown Speaker 27:56
have my I have touching of the artifacts and I have the silver King godziny driftwood I'd be glad to give it to him as well I know of several other collections of artifacts. So we started goodness, just artifacts of

Unknown Speaker 28:34
trophies and a little history of sports. The earn six the cane exam, just so many things

Unknown Speaker 28:43
like the Philips cup, a test by connecting Tennessee which is funded in the 1919 pin fans and good teams

Unknown Speaker 29:03
with an interest now says rambling