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Nanaimo Historical Society Fonds
Series 2 Sound Recordings
History of Soccer in Nanaimo by Arthur “Bud” Sandland, given at the Nanaimo Historical Society meeting, September 16, 1980.
Transcribed by Glenys Wall, October 2005
Unknown Introducer: This is my first venture as a programme director and I’m rather new to this game, so I hope you’ll bear with me. Our subject this evening is soccer; soccer from many years ago and I’ll be introducing our speaker, Mr. Bud Sandland a little later. Soccer is a sport which has really taken an interest in North America in the last few years. According to a producer of the NBC Wide World of Sports, he said that it is the fastest growing sport in North America. Well soccer was always popular in Nanaimo but then again this was not the only sport that was popular. Now I went down to the museum just the other day and I looked at some of the pictures on the wall and guess what was happening in the world of sport in Nanaimo many years ago? There was one big picture, it shows horse racing in 1886 on Haliburton Street; 1891 there was the Nanaimo Cycling Club with twelve members present for the picture; 1893 there was a team of five members, it says 5-a-side, I don’t know if that’s a form of rugby or football but in any case they were champions of B.C. in that year. Can someone tell me a little bit about that game if they want to?
Audience member: Was it called the Violets?
Introducer: No, the Violets I’ll mention a little later. Er… 1893 the Nanaimo Rangers Football team were the B.C. Champs; 1895 the Nanaimo Baseball team and the Nanaimo Stars Junior Baseball team were champions of British Columbia, in 1895. 1896/97 we had the champion rugby team of B.C. here. 1896 there is a picture of a team at the cricket grounds in Robin’s Park In 1899 there was a lacrosse team, field lacrosse, 15 members had their picture taken. Now into the 20th Century, 1902, White Mosquito Basketball team, they were champions of something, either Nanaimo or B.C., it doesn’t say; 1902 Intermediate Mosquito Lacrosse team, Caledonia Grounds; 1902/03 Suburbs Athletic Club, baseball champions; 1907 Nanaimo Eagles Ball Club and then 1907, Nanaimo United Football Team won the B.C. Challenge Cup; 1908/09, Nanaimo Junior Football Club were the B.C. Champs and in 1913 Nanaimo United Football Team were the champions of Canada, the [People’s] Shield and one year later in 1914 the Northfield Violets Football Team were also Champions of Canada. These are all pictures down at the museum. Then I saw a picture of the 1921/22 Owls Baseball team; it seems to me the Owls was a name that was popular for many, many years and they were the champs of the Nanaimo City League; 1922/23 the Nanaimo Football Club were champions of Canada; 1926 the Nanaimo Tarflats Baseball Team had their picture taken. I saw one interesting picture taken in 1928 of a shooting team of their B.C. Champs and they shot 123 out of 125. That sounds like pretty good shooting to me. Now May 15th … er I’m skipping now a few years here, another picture that catches my eye is one taken at the official opening of the Nanaimo Civic Arena, May 15th 1940; I don’t know if they had a forty year celebration this year or not but that would have been forty years of existence for the arena and I see Dr. Larry Giovando’s picture among those that are shown on there. Good evening Dr.Giovando. And the Nanaimo Clippers Hockey team were the champions of Inter City and B.C. Champs in the ‘40/41 series plus the Western Canada semi-finalists and hockey and lacrosse as we know have been popular since that time. I’ve brought a few pictures to the meeting, five in fact; these pictures are also from the museum, but they like many other pictures down there, are placed away in the archives and at the present time we just do not have room to display all the pictures that we would like to. Now one of the names that is very prominent in soccer circles, and there are quite a number over the years, is the name of Sandland and we have a Sandland with us this evening, Bud Sandland, if you would like to come up to the front here, Bud, just have a seat for now. I phoned Bud’s brother, John, first and he seemed very interested in coming here but then he said: “Better phone Bud, he’s a much better talker than I am”. So I phoned Bud and he said: “Oh that sounds great, I’ll be there. But I may be a good talker but I’m not a very good speaker”. So, talkers and speakers are a bit different are they? In any case we’ll help you a long, he has a lot of memories but if someone fires questions at him..[unintelligible]. Mr. Bud Sandland. (applause).
Sandland: There are a lot of good old soccer players sittin’ here too, Dr. Larry, Ozzie and Tommy Bentley, they played in the old days too. But I can only go back so far from the era of the late ‘20s and on and the Western Fuel, here, the big mining company, they sponsored the ’27 team and they won the Canadian Championship. And then they disbanded it and then Southend Juniors, Tommy played on that team and he played against Larry out at, er Dr. Giovando, out at Granby, was one of our [unintelligible] wasn’t it Larry, you played for Granby, and there was an awful good junior teams in them days too, but the best.. er.. the main object was to make the junior team and get into the city, you know, the big team. Well when it disbanded there was a few mine managers and Nat Davis was one and they wanted to see if something could stack up against the Coast League that was Westminster, Royal, St. Andrews and St. Stevens and they invited St. Andrews over here on the sports ground, one Sunday, we played them and we drew with them, this was the junior team, this was the Southend Junior Team. Well they made such a good show that they invited them into the Coast League. Well from them on it was a battle again with them and Nanaimo was always a good soccer town and they played very good soccer up ‘til ’36 and it seemed to go back, Larry, in ’36. There was a young chap killed in the mine here, Daisy Waugh, and it kinda ….one of our crack players and it seemed to drop and then war started and then we tried to come back again after the war but it took quite a drop. Today, I can see by all the young lads that are playing in it today, it’s comin’ back. They’re very well coached and you’ve got to give the coaches and managers a great thanks for what they’re doin’. The people…I don’t know if they realise what a coach and manager goes through but they put a lot of time in with this game, with any game as far as that goes. But I assure you Nanaimo will be up at it again in a short time the way it’s going. So maybe I could answer a few questions.
Introducer: Perhaps I’ll bring up some of these pictures here. There’s one here taken in 1921, Juvenile Foresters, winners of the Wardill Trophy, well I see a T. Sandland, trainer.
Sandland: Trainer yes.
Introducer: And there’s another Sandland here somewhere.
Sandland: That’s John, my brother.
Introducer: John your brother, I see. And who’s this fella down here in the corner?
Sandland: One is a mascot.
Introducer: Any idea who that maybe?
Sandland: No! (laughing) (Note: The photo referred to shows a very small A.Sandland in the front row).
Audience member: Where did you play most Mr. Sandland? Whereabouts did you play?
Sandland: On the team? Left wing, I was outside left, what we called outside left.
Audience member: And when the team was playing, which sports ground?
Sandland: Right here where the Safeway and Simpson Sears are today. That was one of our big fields at that time. The old big field was still goin’ Robin’s Park they call it now. There were a lot of big games played there. I know when I was only that age, I remember, er, maybe Larry can remember when, and Ozzie and them can remember when the Scotch Internationals come and played on the cricket field and there was the pick of the Island played them and that was a big game too. And there was one thing I can say no matter what team come from the Old Country, whether the Scotch Internationals or the Welsh or the English they always got a remarkable game in Nanaimo! Nanaimo always give them a great game. They were told when they hit the east coast wait until you get to the west coast and meet Nanaimo. They always give them a good game. But tradition played a big part.
Introducer: Here’s another picture: First Division Soccer Champions, they won 2-0 against Forest at Calester Park, Vancouver. Does that picture bring back memories?
Sandland: Yes, I remember quite a few of the boys on here.
Introducer: I see Johnny Eastabrook, there; Doug Kirkbride.
Sandland: [unintelligible, tape quality poor, much discussion about who is in the picture]
Audience member: Bud did you have any kind of way of recruiting kids from school as they got older and helping them and were they taught?
Sandland: Well yes there was quite a few old soccer players took them under their wing, but not in school hours. This was at night, after work and after school.
Audience member: Bud, how about talking about how you played down in the tar-flats [unintelligible] that’s where you learned your football.
Sandland: Yeah, we started a lot, yeah, on our own, yes, we played out there like any other kid in the open fields and if you had a pig’s bladder or something you were out to play. You played good if you owned the ball, you could play all day.
Introducer: But it wasn’t as organised as…..
Sandland: Oh no they have a good organisation going now. You got to give them credit. Kelly’s field….we could go on a long time, try to tell everything, you know.
Audience member: There’s a picture here we want you to look at and name some of these players.
Sandland: O.K. I’ll do my best.
[a lot of discussion which is unintelligible on the tape]
Audience member: How far did you travel with the team?
Sandland: We went back in ’35…we met the east, the east and the west met in Winnipeg; that was in 1935. The ’27 team, I think they went a little further. There was on thing about Nanaimo, they won their share, years ago, of the Canadian Championship, called the Connaught Cup in them days, I don’t know what they call it now.
Introducer: Did they pay your expenses when you went back there?
Sandland: Oh yes, yes, you had your own coach and your own porter.
Introducer: And uniforms and the soccer balls and the equipment were paid by the club?
Sandland: Yes paid by your own club.Audience member: How often did you have competitions or matches?
Sandland: Well, in the Connaught you maybe played two games a week, you know, it was elimination; only one game. It was a real knockout affair. Any team could enter, like the Old Country, you know, junior teams; anybody that wanted to enter could enter. They had to pay a certain fee; but it was a knockout.
Introducer: Were you wondering about the league play during the year?
Sandland: Oh the league. We had lots….er we had the Mainland Cup, the Province Cup. They were all league, your home and home deal; that was on a points system. But the Connaught Cup was a real knockout, you know.
Audience Member: Can you remember the size of the crowds that attended in those days?
Sandland: Well, the sports ground, I’d imagine it would hold 3,000 to 4,000 when it was packed, would it be Larry and Tom?
Audience member: I would say that, at least, we’d get about 2,000. See you had that league, Cumberland, Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Victoria West, and then eventually [unintelligible] came in. [unintelligible] laughter.
Sandland: Ladysmith always had a good following; they always had a good team.
Introducer: Where did the football club get its money to buy these uniforms and things?
Sandland: Out of the gates. They had, they had..you know, like any club, they got the money end of it and that.
Audience member: What would it cost you to see a game in those days?
Sandland: Well on a Sunday, it was collection. If you come over to Scotsman’s Bluff, which they called it, it was free (laughter). But if you went in the gate it was 25 cents I think the big amount.
Introducer: I think they passed the plate around up there too didn’t they? You didn’t always get away with paying nothing?
Sandland: Well I can’t remember them, maybe some of the other boys can remember them passing the plate on the Scotsman Bluff, I can’t. But they police up there, but they out manoeuvred them (laughter).
Introducer: Mr. Logan, in the background there.
Logan: Bud, in your days were the rules any different than they are today? Were the rules any different, basically, than they are today in soccer?
Logan: The reason I ask that question, isn’t it true that when you were playing soccer that you did run down the side of the field one day on a foggy day, come out of the fog and the referee saw you and you were carrying the ball? (laughter)
Sandland: Yeah, that happened in Vancouver once, that [Con] Jones Park, maybe some of the other boys played on it; but Vancouver, it fogged in pretty quick, when it did, you know, and we were playing there….this is boasting, you know, but I did get caught, he was waiting on me at the other end. But the sideline, you know, the Grandstand was here and the sideline was here and you had all the ones here squealing, the spectators squealed on you. But it did happen, he was waiting at the other end for me.
Audience member: Sometimes you used to get tired, and you used to sit with the spectators, sometimes.
Sandland: Yeah, and you had to stay away from the umbrellas too.
Audience member: Did you play in Vancouver at the old [Con] Jones Park?
Sandland: And then it was called Calester Park.
Audience member: Yeah, but before that it was [Con] Jones….
Sandland: And [Athletic} Park, where the Vancouver baseball team…that was the two big parks over there. But Nanaimo always had a good following over there. No matter where they went, people really liked Nanaimo teams. They were good boys (laughter).
Introducer: How did you travel to Ladysmith, on the train or by private car or buses?
Sandland: Oh when we were juniors it was private car, and in days before me I heard them say it was trains. And they were on top and loaded. Larry maybe could do this.
[Larry]: Yeah, they ran special trains, special trains for the games. I would say there would be 2000 on every trip.
Sandland: And they talk about the Whitecaps and that with these professionals, all the Vancouver teams had Old Country players, they brought them out at that time. Even Nanaimo had quite a few.
Introducer: I guess you grow up and played with most of the same players over the years did you?
Sandland: Yes we did. The Southend Foresters we were called when we were juniors, and then I played for a juvenile team, the Gordon Estate Rangers. Mrs. Williams was talking about Daisy Field but Gordon Estate wasn’t far from Daisy Field. But the young fellas today, young children today have got a wonderful opportunity ahead of them with the coaching they get and executives that are looking after their business.
Introducer: Were the crowds more or less good-natured or was there the odd, not violence, but antagonism?
Sandland: No they were good. There was only one little, bad guy, they called him Mr. Dog, when he had the cane over on the sideline he used to tap the opposing players on the knee when he got mad, you know (laughter). He was from Northfield. He was quite a spectator. But all through the crowds were good.
Audience member: You spoke of Old Country players; I was rather interested; I had a phone call from an old gentleman here who said he came to Nanaimo from England to play soccer. He had to work in the mines for his living but he [unintelligible] brought him out here and his brother in law wanted him to come and play soccer for Nanaimo.
Sandland: Oh yeah, well Larry and Tommy and Ozzie maybe they can remember, maybe Reggie can too….when the Corinthians come out here; they were, they were a first class amateur team in the Old Country; they were all professional men in different businesses; they were the best in the Old Country. And the local boys played them here, and I think they beat them 4-2 was it Tommy, can any of yous remember?
Audience member: I remember [unintelligible] Davis played on that team.
Sandland: Well he played for Ladysmith.
Audience member: Yeah well he played on that team against the Corinthians.
Sandland: Well the team I’m talking about was all Nanaimo boys; Daisy [Wad], Jimmy Tantrum, Tommy, maybe played that day.
Audience member: Would you remember to tell the audience how you got along with the mine manager when you were working.
Sandland: [unintelligible] (laughter). That’s when I got sent home for two weeks for taking a day off one Saturday to go and play. You know you used to have to ask them to do these things and I got a big-head and said no I’m not going to ask him and he fixed me when I went to work the next Monday.
Audience member: He let you walk all the way to [unintelligible].
Sandland: [unintelligible] and don’t do it again. (laughter)
Audience member: Did you say that the natives had their own team or did some of them play on your team?
Sandland: There were a few Indian boys played on my team. But years ago there were some good ones too and they played. They did have their own team but not in the senior division, in like juniors or something like that.
Audience member: What was the trip to Winnipeg like?
Sandland: Lovely! Yes it was good.
Audience member: You went by train?
Sandland: Yeah all by train.
Audience member: How long did it take you?
Sandland: We were away pretty near two weeks. Well we were in Lethbridge, we played one game there and we were there two or three days and then in the last week we played four games in five days.
Audience member: Were you billeted in homes?
Sandland: No in a big hotel, we were first class, yes, oh yes, everything supplied.
Audience member: Mr. Sandland, the Nanaimo team travelled to a lot of other places, just in Canada or did you go abroad as well?
Sandland: No, well we had one team go abroad to New Zealand and that …er…no they didn’t go, but there was a Canada picked team went to New Zealand and they played Nanaimo City and Nanaimo beat ‘em so you can tell which team should have went to New Zealand (laughter). [unintelligible] Larry and them can remember that when..er and Ozzie and Tommy, when Nanaimo beat the pick of Canada to go to New Zealand?
Larry: I don’t know what actually happened there.
Sandland: Yeah Nanaimo beat ‘em 3-1.
Larry: I was talking to someone the other day who was telling me the first time [unintelligible] played the Connaught Cup I think he was seventeen, never been away from home.
Sandland: Oh that would be Daisy, Larry.
Larry: Oh that was Daisy.
Sandland: Yes, Daisy played for the Royals. They picked Daisy up and played him at fullback, I think, the youngest player that ever played in Canada. Yeah that was Daisy.
Audience member: Two names come to my mind Fat Edmunds and Dave Stubbard.
Sandland: Oh yes, Dickie Stubbard; very good players. Two of the best in Canada, I guess, in their day, in their positions.
Audience member: Did they play on your team, or on the Championship Teams?
Sandland: Fat did, Edmunds, and Dickie, he left here and went to Vancouver. When the team broke up here in ’27 a lot of them went to Vancouver, see: Dickie, Dave, Fat and Jimmy Knight. When we started again in ’30, Jimmy and Fat come back to us; Dickie stayed over.
Audience member: A lot of them went to the Royals, didn’t they?
Sandland: Yeah, yes; to New Westminster.
Audience member: Nelson Wilson played on the other wing, you played on the left and Nelson played on the right.
Sandland: Nelson played right, yeah.
Audience member [Larry?]: Pardon me but there’s one story you forgot about [unintelligible] Ladysmith about the Scotchmen who walked to the games at Ladysmith and then was too tired to climb over the fence (laughter).
Sandland: Yeah, yeah. There are lots of old stories you forget. But it was very nice to come here and reminisce a bit but there a lot of other things you could talk for a week on, you know.
Introducer: I see there was a women’s soccer team with Pete [McPhail] as manager in 1922. There’s a picture here.
Sandland: Yes, yes, Pete.
Introducer: You here that [Merle], even in 1922 women’s soccer here? In 1922 they had women’s soccer here.
Audience member: Yes I read something..[unintelligible]
(There is a bit of general chitchat on the tape which is unintelligible)
Audience member: Well how long did this women’s team last? How did the women’s team last?
Sandland: I couldn’t really tell you. I remember them talking about it, that was in ’22 was it?
Introducer: There’s two pictures of women’s soccer teams and this one in particular is 1922.
Audience member: There must have been other women’s teams, then, for them to play against?
Introducer: Yes, that’s right.
Audience member: Did any of the girls here play on the women’s soccer team?
Introducer: Does anyone else have a comment, on at a time, or a question?
Audience member: Well the Violets now, they were the Hamilton Powder Company team, and most of them came from Glasgow.
Sandland: At Northfield way?
Audience member: Played in Northfield. Rogers, and do you remember Rogers?
Sandland: No not me.
Introducer: In 1914.
Audience member: …..who scored on the corner kicks.
Audience member: I lived in Victoria and I used to play rugby against the Nanaimo Hornets and they were certainly always very rough and they’d call out “kill ‘em, kill ‘em” (laughter). No wonder they won! (more laughter).
Introducer: How many years did the Violets, did they have a team?
Audience member: Since 1910.
Introducer: In 1914 they won the Championship according to that picture.
Audience member: That’s right and they were all from the Hamilton Powder Company.
Sandland: A lot of them were from …Scots.
Audience member: They came from Glasgow.
Sandland: Yeah a lot of good players ..
Introducer: That’s quite a gentle name for a soccer team, did they have violet coloured uniforms?
Sandland: I think they only played one game, somebody was telling me and they won the Canadian Championship. I don’t know if there’s any truth to that.
(more general discussion out of reach of microphone)
Introducer: Mrs. Mar, did you have a question?
Mrs. Mar: Did you get a lot of women coming to watch soccer or was it only men that were there?
Sandland: I guess it would be half and half, you know.
Mrs. Mar: Women were they yelling as much as they are now?
Sandland: You had parents, er, mothers there, they were the big ones with the umbrellas. You had to stay away from them in the grandstand (laughter).
Introducer: And everyone thought they knew more about the game than the players.
(more general discussion)
Introducer: Mr. Logan, did you have another comment or question?
Logan: Yes, Bud,
First side of tape endsSide 2
Sandland: What’s that one about the dance? Well when we were at Lethbridge, the artificial lake there, the big dancehall and the boys all went to the dance. Our porter, Al Davis, he was a negro boy, but he was really a swell guy; he’d do anything for you, oh my golly. So we were all in the dancehall and one of the boys went over to ask one of the girls for a dance; she got up to dance with him and Al, a very good dancer, and a gentleman you know, Al went over and asked the other girl for a dance and she refused him. So the fellow that got up to dance, he says: “O.K. boys, time to go home” so everybody went home. If they couldn’t dance with our porter they weren’t going to dance with the team. So he never forgot that. I met him about three years after and he says to me, he says: ”Bud”, he says, “I’ve never met a finer bunch of boys in all my life” he says; it made his world you know, sticking up for him. Them days there was no discrimination with Nanaimo boys; everybody was the same. And I think it was a very good thing to do at the time.
Introducer: Did you work in the coalmines?
Sandland: Yes this was what the boys are telling me to tell you about when I got sent home.
Introducer: Oh yes. (laughter)
Sandland: Yeah the mines were a big backers of the soccer years ago but when we……
Audience member: Bud, didn’t you graduate from the coalmines to the machine shop?
Sandland: Yeah I did get a job, yeah I did, that’s right, yes I did, yeah. I got up in the world. That was only because I was going to play for St. Xavier’s; they found a job for me up on top when I went to leave.
Introducer: Mrs. Mar, you got a question?
Mrs. [Mar]: Yes, nowadays, with soccer, it seems to go on practically all the year but they used to be a very defined soccer season that started after the summer and you ended up again finishing in the spring. What did you do in the summer when there wasn’t soccer?
Sandland: Oh we played softball and there was a bit of field lacrosse going.
Mrs. Mar: Were you on teams as well?
Sandland: Well there were make up teams, but, you know, you found your own sport if there wasn’t soccer going, but soccer went all summer; you played in different yards, you kept it up, you didn’t leave it go and you played these other little games along the way too, but soccer was always the main thing for a lot of players, you know.
Audience member: Bud, Mrs. Mar asked you what you did in the summer besides play soccer [unintelligible].
Mrs. Mar: I wasn’t hinting at anything! (laughter)
Sandland: Well we did a lot of swimming down there; we did after the games, yeah.
Audience member: I heard lots of tales at [unintelligible] Hole but I was never there. (laughter)
Sandland: You didn’t get down sneaking around did you? (laughter)
Audience member: No, I didn’t live in that part of town, I lived on top.
Sandland: Well if you swam there in a bathing suit you were sent home! (laughter) They wouldn’t let you swim there if you had bathing suit on.
Audience member: My cousins used to come home with their bathing suits wet and I used to ask them why.
Sandland: They’d dump them in the creek on the way home, I bet.
Introducer: What position did you say you played on the team?
Sandland: Outside left, when I played for Nanaimo.
Introducer: What about your brother, John?
Sandland: He was an inside man, inside right.
Introducer: What difference is there in your ages may I ask?
Sandland: Six years.
Introducer: Six years. Was he always telling you how to play or did you both play your own way?
Sandland: No we played our own way. No he never did tell me how to play. We all had different ways of playing, different positions. Tommy used to holler at me once in a while, but I didn’t take no heed of him neither, and Dr. Larry there, he said I kicked him once (laughter) I don’t think I did.
Larry: That was my nickname, Boots.
Sandland: Boots, yeah (laughter).
Larry: The style of soccer is different today than what it was in those days. You’ve got strikers instead of centre forward.
Sandland: Well the striker, the striker’s nothing but an inside man, I guess.
We played a different style than what they play now. They’re playing a European style of game now, they say it is but I don’t know. Yous have all seen games most of the years, but what really gets me I was watching the American station and they had Sir Stanley Matthews on as a guest at this game, and he was the finest outside right in the Old Country, he was knighted, that’s how he got his “Sir”. And they asked him what do you think of this American stuff and he says: “Well I’ve never seen so many balls passed back,” he says, “how they’re going to score if they pass back to the goalkeeper all the time?” And that same day the inside man was in the 20 yard line, practically the 20 yard line and he passed it and it went right back to the goalkeeper and one of the fellas says “Oh they’re planning another attack”; well the goalkeeper [unintelligible] was the goalkeeper and he bounced it and booted it out and the halfback of the other team headed it and where was their attack? You know, it’s a different kind of game they play now than what we did. If you were on the 20 yard line and you had a clear shot you know where that ball was going! It was either going in the net or over in the bay, it was going somewhere .It was more exciting soccer, I think, it was more attack to our style of game than what there really is now. You see them get up there in the opponents 18 yard line and the next thing you know they’re way back with it which is not as exciting as hitting it and letting it fly.
Audience member: There were more goals scored then too.
Sandland: Well right Tom; you’re only going to score when you take a shot at the opponent’s goal.
Introducer: Today they have the artificial turf; what was the surface in your day?
Sandland: Just about as hard, I guess, but there’s one…where we played on the sports ground, you always had a big, black scar if you went in. There’s one of the soccer player’s today got that coal black mark on them. Granby’d be the same; it was real mine dumpings, the ash.
Introducer: How was that in the rain or were the games called?
Sandland: When you hear them say the track’s muddy, well, (laughter) that’s the way the field was.
Audience member: You wouldn’t have worn padding presumably; I don’t think you wore padding in those days; it doesn’t look like it from the pictures.
Sandland: Oh yes, you had your shin gear on, but it didn’t stop your bare flesh and that hitting the…that’s one thing about the nationals from the Old Country; I’ll never forget one Scotch fella, he says: “Don’t tell me we’re gonna play on this. We play for our livin’”, I says, “Well that’s it”, he says “ Well I dinna think I’d a want to play”. But they played, but they watched themselves, you know. Nice fast bounce! (Laughter)
Audience member: In your day what was the life of a soccer player in any given week, say from Monday to Sunday? How you went to work in the mine, what did you do at night, what was your activities – your social life, just what was it like in those days? I know you got no TV., you got radio.
Sandland: Well you had lots of things to do. You’d train two and three nights a week and then they had a thing here one year when Warren was the manager of the Capitol, he give free passes to the boys that went out and trained. There were some good things in Nanaimo, like that fella was a nice fella to do that, oh, we had lots of other things.
Audience member: [unintelligible]
Sandland: But you never caught them all together, you know, they stuck pretty well at home. Only for a few, they got caught shooting pool a few times (laughter). No they tried to keep tab on you but the boys they had their own activities. They weren’t bad boys, you know.
Mrs. Mar: Did you have a soccer picnic or anything where you got together or any social do as a team?
Sandland: Only at the end of the season; there was one I can remember, Pete Maffeo, he put it on. Good old Pete! That was the only one I can remember.
Audience member: You would have soccer banquets.
Sandland: Oh we’ve had a few of them but she don’t mean that do you?
Mrs. Mar: Yes, yes anything you did to promote the game, yeah, whatever, social.
Sandland: Not for the public, it wasn’t. It was just for the team. Oh yeah we’ve had a few of them.
Mrs. [Mar]: And where were they held?
Sandland: Different halls, Forester’s Hall, [Ambulance?] Hall where Stevedoring is, that was one of our big halls at that time.
Mrs. Mar: What is the biggest and most exciting success from this soccer career of yours?
Sandland: There are so many of them; well the biggest thrill I got was when a scout come to me in Winnipeg and wanted to know if I would go to the Old Country for a try out with Heart of Midlothian, that was in the first division Scotch team er league. And I thought that was a great thing but I …the letter come but I passed it on. I was courting at the time and I didn’t want to leave my girlfriend (laughter). But that’s one time I did have a chance to go and have a try out but I turned it down for a stupid reason er I think I said it was (laughter).
Mrs. Mar: You didn’t want to leave one heart for another?
Sandland: No, well I could see far enough ahead I guess; I had a chance to go try the bigger time but…
Mrs. Mar: Who do you remember among your coaches in those days?
Sandland: They were all good, they were all good. Oh they’d been with associated with it, they grew up with it, you know, they were…
Audience member: [Unintelligible]
Sandland: Well in ’35, Archie….er…no…Phillips, Archie Phillips was our manager; Bill Rafter was a manager, Nat Beavis, in my time, you know, but in ’27 there was different ones. In the years I played they were the senior managers.
Introducer: Did any of the local players go to England and play in Britain?
Sandland: Oh yes, there were a few from back east but they wasn’t many here until the later years like I think Gobie Stewart went, there was a few went from Vancouver but the first one I did run across played for the Rangers, Whitie McDonald; he was a right-half. And Tommy can remember this Southend Foresters took the junior team over to watch that game, can you remember, Tom, when the Glasgow Rangers come out and the pick of Vancouver played them? Well Jimmy Knight and Fat Edmunds played with them, at Vancouver.
Audience member: [Unintelligible]
Sandland: No they were with us in juniors, they weren’t in seniors at that time. But that was one of the finest teams I did witness, that played soccer out here was the Glasgow Rangers, they put on a wonderful show. They were the best in Scotland, Alan Morton er, a lot of internationals.
Audience member: What was the name of the team that you actually played on most of your career as a footballer?
Sandland: Nanaimo City, in the senior years and Southend in the juvenile years.
Audience member: Southend United was it?
Sandland: Well Southend Foresters and then Ozzie, they were from the north end they had their different teams; and Ladysmith, they had a lot of good teams.
Audience member: Well did the Southend Foresters differ from these Foresters, the Juvenile Foresters, that were winners of…. I remember..
Sandland: Well that’s the team ahead of us.
Audience member: I remember practically every man on this, er every boy on this team and the men too, [?] Busby, and Joe Sutton and my Dad and Charlie Wharton..
Sandland: Who was your Dad, Williams?
Audience member: Yes.
Sandland: Oh for goodness sakes.
Audience member: Is this you here? (referring to a photograph)
Sandland: That’s me sitting there and that’s Bobby Sutton at the other end.
Audience member: Yes but it shows the influence of the Sandlands, there are three of them on here.
Audience member: What year is that?
Audience member: This is 1921.
Sandland: ‘21 and ‘23.
Audience member: J. Sandland, is that John?
Sandland: That’s my brother John.
Audience member: And Tom was the trainer.
Sandland: My cousin, yeah.
Introducer: Speaking of doctors, er, players’ injuries were they covered in any way by the football team, broken legs, the costs of them, losing time from work.
Sandland: Yes, and they had these games put on for them, benefit games, you know, that’s the only thing I can remember, if you got your leg broke, they had a benefit game for you. There was no compensation through the club and that. You got what they made at the gates. And the benefit gates always used to seem smaller and you know, when you really could stand a good gate they seem to drop off, I don’t know why. And that’s in all sports, not just in soccer.
Introducer: Did CPR put on special sailings for soccer fans going to big games?
Sandland: Not as I can remember. We got a letter once that if we didn’t stop carrying on they wouldn’t ride us over there (laughter)! Big fights started, well coming back with some loggers coming over this way and the loggers got out of hand. There was never no reduction in fares for us.
Introducer: Was there every any betting going on amongst the miners, or shouldn’t I ask that question?
Sandland: I guess there was, ‘cos they bet on anything, them days, Horseshoes, brassies, behind any bar in Ladysmith they’d be the same; they’d be there with their short shoes and brassies if soccer wasn’t on. Sundays too mind you, the bad boys (laughter). Oh yes they’d have their bets, none of the players would bet. We played penny ante.
Audience member: I don’t know, but if my memory serves me right the soccer teams weren’t such little angels. I grew up behind the Globe Hotel and that’s where all you boys used to go afterwards in the [?] room and have your showers etc. etc. and I think the liquor flowed plentiful.
Sandland: Where was that?
Audience member: Back of the Globe Hotel.
Sandland: That’s where they played paper chase. We used to play paper chase. Yeah all the way around there.
Audience member: In and out of the courthouse grounds.
Sandland: Yep. They let you, see; with you being a soccer player they let you. They give you a bit of free roam (laughter).
Introducer: Well all games were day games weren’t they? There wasn’t any night lighting?
Sandland: Oh yes there was, later parts in Conn Jones they had night soccer. We played under the lights over there quite a few times.
Introducer: How did that effect your game, considerably or not very much?
Sandland: Well it wasn’t as good as daylight, you know. You could see the play all right, but when you looked up the lights across….if you kept the ball low you were all right, but if it went up in the sky a little bit it got into your eyes. It wasn’t as good as daylight.
Introducer: I believe when I visited you yesterday, you said your parents came from England and were you born there or…
Sandland: That’s right. Born in the Old Country, yeah, Tamworth, Staffordshire.
Introducer: Did your father come out to work in the coalmines?
Sandland: Coalmines, yeah.
Introducer: With some other fellas?
Sandland: Well with the miners at that time, there was quite a few miners that companies here would send for coalminers. A lot come before him and there was quite a bunch come at that time, in 1912 and ’13.
Audience member: How old were you when you arrived in Nanaimo?
Sandland: Eighteen months old, so my mother told me.
Audience member: In what year was that, that you came out here?
Sandland: About 1913 or ’14. I was born in 1912, February ’12 so it would have been ’13.
Introducer: Did your father play football as well?
Sandland: No but he was on Southend, you know associated with it, he was on the executive. Like I say we learned like they did in the Old Country, we learned our soccer on the streets, you know, little balls; any sponge ball you could get. But it’s different today; you got more population, you gotta bigger turnout in youngsters.
Mrs. Mar: When you say your father was on the executive, what do you mean by that?
Sandland: Well the Southend, they run the club, you got your little committee, yeah, like on that picture there, all them fellas….
Mrs. Mar: This would be quite a few people would it, how many?
Sandland: Four or five.
Mrs. [Mar]: Four or five.
Sandland: You see these big teams have still got that, they got their board, you know, any trouble they have their meeting and they settle it and the manager he does what they tell him.Introducer: Mr. Logan, you have a question?
Logan: [unintelligible] what did you wear when you played?
Sandland: Well when I was a kid I know there were a few red roses passed me and five roses flour (laughter) and mother made them out of the flour sacks for the shorts. They were not strips like they have these days and catalogues for shin-pads and anything you could get down…
Introducer: What about shoes or boots?
Sandland: Oh them [Leckies] were nice shoes, them old big [Leckies] clodhoppers, they were good shoes. The real work shoes, the kids used to wear them to go to school, they were well made them boots. And then you put your bars on them what the soccer shoes had. But now it’s smart to see these young guys come out now fully dressed in their strips. You know, if you can’t play you sure look like one (laughter). And that story, you forgot about that story didn’t you. We had Edson, he was an Indian boy and he was a good player, but in our day Absorbine Jnr. was expensive stuff and Edson was rubbing it on and Archie Phillips says: “Edson, that costs quite a bit, you know, go easy on it.” Edson says: “Well, manager” he says, “if I can’t play I’m going smell….if I don’t look like a soccer player I’m going to smell like one (laughter). So Edson was getting the Absorbine on. Like any other sport, I guess you have your …lot of fun, good for you, meet a lot of people.
Mrs. Mar: Did you ever get injured on the field at all?
Sandland: No, no, not serious. Never went close enough to these big, robust fullbacks, kept away.
Audience member: Talk about what a soccer player eats [unintelligible] he mentioned that pancakes were great for soccer players about three hours before a match and I read an article that said that the national coach of the English team said that sardines were great before a soccer match [unintelligible] there’s no way I’m going to have sardines and pancakes before I play soccer. What did you fellas eat, roughly, before you played soccer?
Sandland: Well, very little (laughter). No you didn’t…you couldn’t run around 90 minutes with a big t-bone steak smothered with onions, no way. I remember when we were going…before the game you had a very light supper. Like in the summer time Connaught was always in the hot weather when you played that cup off and there was fruit salads, you could have anything like that. No drinks of rum before.
Introducer: Does anyone else have a question or a comment?
Audience member: There’s one thing I’d like to ask. I’d like to ask you all a favour; I think most of you know I do write a column in the Nanaimo Times on soccer and I love history and we all get older and I’d like you to give me the names of all the people here tonight so I can have the opportunity in the future [unintelligible]. A lot of people here I don’t know and I’d like as the season goes on [unintelligible] the next twenty years to get a chance to talk to you and get some of your stories. We’ve only heard a tenth, probably an eighth of what goes on twenty or thirty years ago and I’d appreciate very much if I can get your cooperation so we can get it all down. Thank you very much.
Sandland: Yes I’m surprised, like I say Mel there’s a lot of other fellas who could go back further than me and tell more about soccer, you know. I’ve just give you my little bit to it.
Audience member: Well there’s something I remember from well back when, when automobiles first came in, I remember I used to go to lots of games in Ladysmith. One thing I noticed, automobiles were packed all the way from New Westminster, that hotel…er…I didn’t get the right name.
Another Audience member: New Western.
Audience member: New Western Hotel, both sides, I thought that was something. Everybody racing then to come back to Nanaimo, [unintelligible] four cylinder cars mostly too, I tell you that. The roads were dusty; exciting times! (laughter)
Introducer: Well we could go on listening to you all night and you could go on telling us things all night but if there’s no further questions…..
Sandland: I’ve enjoyed reminiscing a bit and I’m glad I could give you a bit of that on the old times. Others could say more, I guess, but they don’t seem to show up.
[Unintelligible in background]
Audience member: Bud you should tell them about five-a-side.
Sandland: Oh that was a [unintelligible] contest. You had to have your third breath not your second breath in that game. You played the real running game in that one. That’s what they called a real running game. The Indians had a good five-a-side team, here.
Introducer: Was that like rugby or was it like soccer.
Sandland: No you had five on a field and you kick and run, kick and run. They seemed to have a lot of 24th May tournament up at the cricket field or at Ladysmith.
Audience member: They started indoor soccer five-a-side [unintelligible].
Audience member: Of course there was field lacrosse.
Audience member: This five-a-side team, was that on a regulation football field.
Sandland: Regulation, yes, what I’ve seen of it. You had to be in shape for that.
Indtroducer: Well, Bud, I’d like just to say thank you very much on behalf of the Society and we’ll be giving you a more formal thank you in a few days.
Sandland: It’s been a pleasure.
Applause.End of Tape