TENNIS IN VICTORIA IN THE EARLY DAYS
In the early years of tennis in Victoria, the game was largely based on the Victoria Lawn Tennis Club. In his book, “First Service” (One Hundred Years of Tennis in British Columbia), published in 1987, Alan Stevenson gives us an early glimpse. “The original Victoria Lawn Tennis Club began in 1886 in a location on Belcher Street, now Rockland Avenue, between Cook and Vancouver Streets. This was the setting for the first grass court tournament in 1886. By 1910 tennis had become so popular that more courts were needed, and the Victoria Lawn Tennis club moved to the Foul Bay Road and Fort Street location. 1910-1914 were great years for the club”. Stevenson suggests that Victoria was the epicenter of tennis in Canada.
“The Canadian Davis Cup Team of 1913 was, in the record of achievement, the best team that Canada or B.C. has yet produced. All four members of the team, captained by R.B. (Bobby) Powell, were all British Columbians, either natives or adoptees. They all played at the Victoria Tennis Club”.
“The captain was left-handed Bobby Powell, and the second was the famed Bernie Schewengers, who is a member of both the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. The third was Captain J.F. Foulkes who won the Canadian singles championship three times and the B.C. singles nine times. The fourth was Col. H.C.Myers a globe-trotting soldier from Winnipeg, who was a friend and coach of the fables Suzanne Lenglen of France”.