About Football Nanaimo
1963, The organization was first
called Hub City Minor Football and the Nanaimo Redmen won
the 1963 Little Grey Cup. The team was coached by Ed Burke
and a player, Wayne Squire (RCMP retired), donated his team
jacket to the club.
In the early 70's the Jr. Bantam
and Bantam teams were established and some of the players
who played in the Jr. Bantam House League and at the Bantam
level were Jim Lynch, Mark Renton, Jim Mills and Louis Dubyna.
In 1976 Al Francis became the first
President of Football Nanaimo and the Nanaimo Headhunters
were formed which included players from 17 - 20 years of age.
This team played in the Junior B League, which would have
been just a step below the present BCJFL. The first coach
of the team was Dave McLeod with Howie Gade as the team manager. The second coach was Fraser
Yule. Our home games were at Beban Park and the practices were held at NDSS. The Headhunters recruited from Duncan to Parksville just to get enough players for the game, but Al Francis made sure we had a lot of trophies to hand out at the end of the year! The Junior B league existed for about five years.
Robin Monk became President later
in the 70's and was the driving force behind the construction
of the football field at May Bennett Park. The field is still
in fine shape today thanks to Robin's attention to detail
during its construction. Later the field was dedicated to
Robin Monk Jr. who died in a logging accident.
Grant Renton and Jim Lynch started
coaching football in the late seventies and both men spent
many years involved with Football Nanaimo .Jim was President
in 1983 and 1988 and helped coach the Bantam team to an Island
title in 1987.Jim left in the early 90's and was one of the
founding members of Oceanside Football in Parksville along
with Joe Martino who managed the Nanaimo Midget Redmen in
the mid 90's.
Grant served as both a coach and/or
a board member and was President in 2001 , dedicating over
20 years to football and the youth of Nanaimo. He was one
of the central figures at Football Nanaimo and his experience
and countless hours of service helped ensure that the organization
would continue to provide a positive experience to players
and fellow volunteers.
Jerry McWhinnie began his involvement
with Football Nanaimo in the late 80's and over the next decade
helped to expand and improve the facilities at May Bennett
Park as the organization continued to grow. There were now
teams at the Jr. Bantam, Bantam and Midget levels and more
room was required. Gaming revenues helped create a starting
point for improvement. Jim Lynch was largely responsible for
establishing a positive relationship with Commonwealth Bingo.
Along with efforts provided by accountant and Football Nanaimo
treasurer Fred McCreath, and land donated by the City of Nanaimo,
the organization had reached the starting point for the construction
of the Football Nanaimo Clubhouse. Jerry took on the challenge
of seeing the project through to completion and local contractors
Braun and Dyck created it. Today the clubhouse is used for
the day to day operations of the club, equipment storage,
meetings and registration.
The lights on one side of the field
and the field tower were other improvements to the facility
as a result of Jerry's initiative, along with the help of
Glen Calder and other executive members at that time. Glen
was responsible for locating the present goal posts in Oregon
and having them shipped up to Nanaimo and installed at the
field. He also lent a hand with any task around the clubhouse
for years before finally leaving for Victoria to oversee the
new photo radar program.
Jerry received the Builder's Award
from Football B.C. in 1999 and was also honoured by the City
of Nanaimo for contributions to the City through sports while
at Football Nanaimo.
The Silva family, father Vince
and son Todd also dedicated many years to Football Nanaimo. Vince coached and was an executive member while Todd played
up until 1990 and then began coaching himself. Todd resigned
as Defensive Coordinator of the Nanaimo Redmen in 2002 after
20 years with the organization. A trophy has been named in
honour of the Silva family for their commitment to Football
Football Nanaimo hosted the B.C.
Championships in 2000 and President Kim Burden took on the
task, with the help of Grant Renton and directors Git Lim
and Howard Quinn, to have lights installed on the other side
of the field as well, creating a great football environment