History of the A's


Mann Cup Afterglow






The St. Catharines Standard 

Friday October 14, 1938 

“I am satisfied that box lacrosse is here to stay and it’s the best game that is played in the world today,” declared Hon. Justice W. A. MacDonald of Vancouver, a native of St. Catharines, and honorary president of the Canadian Lacrosse Association at a complimentary banquet tendered the players and management of the championship Athletic team and former old-time lacrosse players of the city last night. 

Failed To Attend 

The dinner, attended by about 100 persons, including many public officials, was presided over by H. B. Burgoyne, chairman of the board of park management. The party, which was tendered by the parks board, was originally planned to honor the New Westminster Adanacs who were eliminated in the Mann Cup series by the Athletics, but the Adanac players failed to attend the celebration. 

The western players and officials were guests of the Rotary Club at a luncheon Thursday, while in the afternoon they were escorted on a two-hour scenic trip about St. Catharines and the district by members of the board of park management. Though they had previously agreed to attend last night’s complimentary dinner, the New Westminister team left for Toronto early last night, from where they departed for Montreal for a brief visit there before returning to their British Columbia homes. 

Enjoyable Program 

The dinner was a gay affair. There was community singing led by Jack Butler, assisted by Clarence Colton at the piano. Eddie “Turk” Kelly of the A’s rendered a solo, “Doodle-Do,” while the blue-shirted homebrew players favored the audience with a rendition of their theme song, “Alexander’s Rag Time Band,” a number which they have sung prior to every one of the last eight games they have played and won. Not to be outdone by the boys, President Harvey Dudley and Coach Art Brown came through with a duet of the Rag Time Band song, with a little help, or course, from Jack Butler and Clarence Colton. 

The singing was only part of a highly enjoyable program, for the old-timers exchanged reminiscences concerning the St. Catharines lacrosse teams of by-gone days and Rev. F. S. Dowling, a former member of the Orangeville team which beat the St. Catharines team to win the Globe Shield the first year it was placed in competition, had an amusing time reminding several of the old-timers in attendance of the victory. 

He pointed out that the people of Orangeville presented the players with watches and now and then when he is in the library he allows William Elliott, the librarian, and a member of the defeated St. Catharines team, to see the time by the watch. 

About The Future 

Other incidents of the past and present were recalled and all in a similar joking vein. 

However, there was a serious side to the remarks of the various speakers and Rev. Mr. Dowling keynoted the future of the group of boys who are now champions. “Let us not forget our boys as their days in lacrosse recede,” he warned. 

“They are all fine young men and let us prepare to weave them into high places of citizenship so that they accept positions of esteem and confidence in much the same way that they now hold positions of esteem and confidence as athletes,” Rev. Dowling asserted amid applause. 

Recalling that the dinner party was intended to welcome the Adanacs to St. Catharines, E. H. Lancaster, K. C., vice-chairman of the Parks Board, explained the arrangements which had been carried on through Cameron McKenzie, New Westminster manager. 

Mr. Lancaster said he was not criticizing the Adanac players or management but only wished to explain the position of the Parks Board. The invitation had been extended to the Adanacs prior to Wednesday night’s game on the basis that they would be welcome to the dinner regardless of the outcome of the third game, and immediately following the deciding game of the series he had visited Mr. McKenzie and completed arrangements. 

City Stadium Improvements 

At that time, the speaker said, the players were advised that they could leave St. Catharines about ten o’clock, at the conclusion of the dinner. However, when they arrived in St. Catharines Thursday about four or five of the party said they would be unable to stay for the dinner as they intended to go to Montreal for a visit. “Seventy-five per cent of the boys wanted to stay here,” Mr. Lancaster stated. 

“I now say to Mr. Justice MacDonald, as the only westerner here, that he will have to take back to them the respects which we would have paid them at tonight’s dinner. They are a great team and they will be a better team two years from now. They lacked only experience and finish around the nets. 

“The Parks Board took a chance on lacrosse four years ago,” continued the vice-chariman, “and if lacrosse wants further improvements at the bowl and surrounding buildings you will get a good hearing from the Board.” 

“Any team that can take 3,000 people from the St. Catharines district to Toronto on three occasions within one week is an amazing team. You have got the people behind you. The spectators know who passed the ball, who caught the pass, and who is likely to get the next pass, and that’s a home-town crowd.” 

“We are proud of you, and the Parks Board is glad to have a little part in your success, and all I can say is keep that cup here for many years to come,” Mr. Lancaster concluded. 

Champions “Introduced” 

Rex Stimers, CKTB sports commentator, who was highly commended by the various speakers for the part he played in promoting lacrosse in St. Catharines and throughout Ontario, introduced the following players, their fathers and the management. 

President Harvey Dudley, Coach Art Brown, Bill Whittaker, his father W. Whittaker, Carl Madsen, Roy Barnard, George Hope, his father Billy Hope, Frank Madsen, Jack McMahon, his father John MaMahon, Harry Green, Joe Cheevers, his father Jim Cheevers, George Urquhart, Jr. his father George Urquhart, Sr., Bill Fitzgerald, Bill Wilson, his father C. B. Wilson, Tom Teather and George Teather, and their father “Tip” Teather, Roy Morton, Winston Millar, Eddie Kelly, Walter Coupland, and his father J. Coupland. 

Dan Millar, secretary and members of the executive, Dr. Joe Longley, George Begy, Jack Manning, R. J. Harrison, Thomas Cook, Jim Cove, Charles Cornelius, Ivan Corrigan and Oscar Shultz; trainer, Mel Soper; assistant trainer, Norm MacDonald; property man, James MacDonald; C. E. Browne, of the Standard; A. J. (Bunny) Morganson, of the Toronto Evening Telegram; E. T. Sandell of Radio Station CKTB; Ed Downey, former St. Catharines player and his father, Tod Downey; Alex McKenzie, city sports park superintendent. 

“Not Good Cricket” 

Hon. Mr. Justice MacDonald, who addressed the gathering as “Fellow Citizens,” recalled that he had been born on Chestnut street in St. Catharines, only a short distance away from the site of the banquet hall where he was then speaking. 

A fine appearing man and an excellent speaker. Hon. Mr. MacDonald, who played with St. Catharines lacrosse teams in 1877 and following years skipped over judicial dignity to say in modern parlance that the Adanacs had “scrammed.” 

“It is not good cricket for the Adanacs not to be here when the dinner was planned in their honor,” he commented. 

“Lacrosse is Canada’s national game and it will be kept to the fore by box lacrosse,” he said, suggesting that frequent substitutions was a favourable factor from the standpoint of the player’s health. 

The chief reason, he explained, for the popularity of box lacrosse is that the spectators knows what the players are trying to do and that’s why you have the grand game on top where it should be. 

President Dudley commended the players, Coach Art Brown and former officials of the association for their zealous efforts to promote lacrosse in St. Catharines. He stressed co-operation from the “honorary president down to the water boy” as the chief reason for the club’s success. 

A Commendable Victory 

Mr. Dudley also referred to the co-operation of the Parks Board, and mentioned Bert Gray, park superintendent, and Max Peart, for his refereeing during the Mann Cup series, a point which was also mentioned by Mr. Justice MacDonald. 

Among the old time players in attendance, Mr. Dudley introduced Rube Williams, Andrew Riddell, Tod Downey, William Elliott, Frank McIlwain and Jack Richardson. 

The co-operation on the part of everyone connected with the club was one of the main things which caused us to win the Mann Cup,” said Art Brown. 

Judge J. G. S. Stanbury spoke of the support afforded the team during the Mann Cup series by St. Catharines fans who attended the Toronto games. The Adanacs, he explained, were one of the best teams ever to come out of the west, and in the view of this fact the Athletics victory was all the more commendable. 

Judge Stanbury congratulated Max Peart for his officiating, and expressed the hope that the completion of the arena would bring a hockey team to follow in the path of the Athletics. 

Rev. Mr. Dowling spoke of the assistance provided by radio, St. Catharines and Toronto newspapers in promoting lacrosse. 

Messages Read 

N. J. M. Lockhart, M. P. in congratulating the team, said he spoke as one of the few persons in the room who had never played lacrosse though he was an ardent follower of former and present St. Catharines teams. 

Mr. Lockhart commented upon the co-operation offered by the Parks Board at times when their financial resources were low. 

Chairman Burgoyne read messages of congratulations from J. C. Notman, who was unable to attend, and Ken Johnston of Winnipeg, former St. Catharines lacrosse player, and referred to the fact that R. T. Kelly of Hamilton, president of the O.L.A. and Mayor John D. Wright were unable to attend due to previous engagements. 

H. H. Smith, city clerk, and Magistrate J. H. Campbell were seated at the head table, while members of the Parks Board who were in attendance were James Wood, James Kernahan, James McIntosh and Jacob Smith. 

Through the courtesy of the R. L. Dunn Estate carnation boutonnieres were provided for the guests and the tables were decorated by lovely bouquets of gladioli.

Eddie "Turk" Kelly

Artful dodger on the lacrosse floor, plus a fine singer (St. Catharines Standard photo)



The St. Catharines Standard

Friday October 14, 1938

St. Catharines these days is doing itself proud in paying tribute to our gallant senior Athletics. They are being feted on all sides by various organizations, their magnificent efforts extolled and ovations are being tendered them wherever and whenever they appear. McKinnon Columbus Chain, where the Pres. Harvey Dudley is an executive, was most appreciative of the physical strain on the players they employ.

The company most generously gave "their" Athletics the remainder of the week with full pay, which fact they probably do not wish disclosed. But it was so courteous an act, by the management, that the players naturally wish the general public to know their efforts were appreciated by a grateful executive to that splendid extent.

Last night saw the board of parks management of the city tender them an appreciation dinner. Players of both teams were guests of the parks board yesterday on a tour of the Niagara escarpment and a slight token of the act of owner-to-tenant was exemplified by the board toward the Athletics as proof of the harmony with which the two have worked during the past season in the furtherance of lacrosse here.

Current street talk has it that Harry Green who was one of the three stars of the final game (Bun Barnard and Billy Whittaker being the others) will become a resident of the Garden City. Green as the lone import in 1938, carved a niche for himself in the affections of sportdom here. His steady play made him a pronounced favorite and he fitted in to the Athletics club as not only a magnificent asset to the team but a splendid type of young man who was modest of the physical assets that gave him stellar ranking.



The St. Catharines Standard

Saturday October 15, 1938

As far as describing our feelings regarding the victory of the A's goes, there is nothing to say that hasn't already been said. They are the Mann Cup winners and that means world's champions. When we say we are glad, we mean not only because of the personal glory it brings the team, but also because the victory bore out our year-long contention.

Which is a nice way of saying we told you so.

What a battle that final game was. It had everything that a game of lacrosse should have. Both teams played a superb brand of the pastime and it was the old ingredient of experience and stick-to-it-iveness that brought the ultimate victory.

Was there ever a fightier band of players than our double blues? Almost any team can carry a fight when they are out in front, but was there ever a gang that could show the fire your own Athletics dispense when they have a deficit to overcome.

Never in our fondest dreams have we visualized a reception like the one on Wednesday night. It was terrific. And the crowd wasn't there to view a bunch of curiosities who had suddenly reached the top in their particular branch of sport. They were there because every individual felt that the team was their own particular gang.

To the vast majority of fans the victory was a personal thing. On dozens of occasions we heard the remark "I am glad it is all over." It was a battle in which not only the players participated, but in which every supporter had a deep and personal victory.

Wednesday's celebration was the outlet to pent-up emotions that gripped the whole city during all the playoffs. What a team to inspire such a spirit.

To our mind, the most touching part of the whole program was the speech that "Buster" Green made when he was presented to the crowd. Imagine the sincerity behind the words of Green when he acknowledged the plaudits of the crowd with tears streaming down his face. The fans showed their appreciation of his stellar efforts and he showed that he appreciated their adulation.

Just by the way of comment, we want to congratulate Rex Stimers on the way he handled the introductions. It was a smooth performance and on each individual presentation he chose words with discrimination and showed no favoritism. Gosh, that guy can talk!

With all the Stimers' gift for oratory, he wasn't able to talk his way into the Gardens around that well-known hockey broadcaster, Foster (Hewitt) is boss as far as Maple Leaf Garden radio concessions are concerned, but as far as being the king pin of lacrosse broadcasters...well, that is another story.

It is hard to imagine anything more spectacular than the goals scored by Bun Barnard, Bill Wilson and George Hope in that final frame at Toronto. When Bun went in to score it would have taken three Maginot lines to keep the big boy out. Wilson, who plays the game with the same precision as a scientist, tied the score and the 3,000 St. Kitts fans who sounded like twice that number, really tore the roof off. He could have had the whole town about then wrapped in cellophane.

If there is a hall of fame for lacrosse goalies, Bill Whittaker carved a niche on Wednesday night. It didn't matter how close in they came, Bill was on the ball. Probably the most brilliant stop of the series came in the third quarter when Bradberry wormed his way in from the corner, went around a player and was right in on top. He let go from inches out and Bill nudged it out with his shoulder. Talk about sensations.

The players and officials of the Athletics wish to thank Ed Ray of the Welland House and his committee for arranging the party for the boys after the reception. Refreshments were donated by Jack Burke, J. McVicar, Fred Beattie and Ray Bookmillar.

At a shin-dig held last spring, Joe Cheevers managed to eke out a close decision over the writer of this column in a wrestling bout. It took all summer to get Joe back on the mat again but in Wednesday night we succeeded and it gave me quite a thrill to have Referee Frank Stuart hold up my right hand in token of victory. It looks like the "rubber" match will take place when the Hogcallers hold their party for them.

There isn't much more to say because the cup is ours. They all did their parts gloriously. Fitzgerald, Wilson, the Madsens, Green, Cheevers, Teather, Hope, Barnard, McMahon, Kelly, Coupland and all the rest of them. St. Catharines salutes you. Next year it will be another campaign and, we hope, another victory.

Which brings us to the end of my job for the summer. To all those who have directed boos and cheers toward this corner, we wish to say thanks a thousand times, you have enjoyed reading it half as much as we have writing it, everything is just dandy. We sincerely hope that the "Things We'd Like To Know" dept. has at all times been received in the spirit in which it was dished out. It was all in fun and here's hoping you all took it that way. We want to take a minute to thank the editor of the Standard for giving us a free hand and the necessary space. Thanks Freddie.

So we say good-bye, and go away to join the regulars in the winter-time hot stove league. See you next year...we hope.



The St. Catharines Standard

Monday October 17, 1938

The champion Athletics bolstered their scoring averages on Sunday afternoon but on this occasion they should have been cutting down their point-getting, for the double-blue boys were trying their hand at the ancient game of golf.

Hand Mashers Used

The Athletics were the guests of the St. Catharines Golf Club at a most enjoyable outing on the city course yesterday. Many of the lacrosse champs demonstrated marked ability with the golf clubs, but others would have been far more effective with a lacrosse stick in the matter of distance and accuracy.

However, it was all in fun and an air of good fellowship dominated the entire affair from the tee-off until brief speeches and thanks had been extended in the club house.

At the conclusion of 18 holes of hard-fought and high-scoring golf, the players were entertained at a buffet luncheon in the club house. Rex Stimers introduced Gus Madsen, team captain, who as "one champion to another" presented Frank J. Murphy, 1938 club champion, with a lacrosse stick autographed by the members of the Athletics.

Autographed Stick

Mr. Murphy, in accepting the stick, said that it would be hung in a place of honor in the club house. President James Woods and Art Widdicombe also spoke briefly thanking the boys for turning out and congratulating them on winning the Mann Cup. W. H. Cunningham, the pro, also spoke.

Jack Butler entertained the gathering with humorous stories and songs, and many of the A's came through with individual vocal efforts and yarns.

The following figures have just come back from the adding machine department, so the box score follows:

George Urquhart 68 57 125
Mel Soper 63 53 116
Frank Brown 61 59 120
Jim McDonald 76 65 141
Bill Wilson 52 44 96
Joe Cheevers 65 66 131
Roy Morton 54 53 107
Gus Madsen 58 55 113
Roy Barnard 58 50 108
Wandy McMahon 81 66 147
Bill Fitzgerald 71 65 136
Eddie Kelly 66 72 138
Frank Madsen 56 55 111
Walter Coupland 70 58 128
Bill Whittaker 58 66 124
Tank Teather 74 77 151
George Teather 80 72 152

Incidentally, the par at the city layout is 70.

Others who played in foursomes with the team were: Dr. V. P. McMahon, A. A. Schmon, Art Widdicombe, Frank Murphy, Rex Stimers, Wilf Newman, Ted Graves, Hal Collins, H. A. Collins, Ivan McSloy and Lou Cahill.