Vancouver Rowing Club

VANCOUVER ROWING CLUB, the city's oldest athletics club, was inaugurated as the VANCOUVER Boating Club in 1886. It merged with the BURRARD INLET Rowing Club as the VRC in 1899. The club was involved exclusively in rowing until 1908 when it fielded a RUGBY team and a variety of other sports has since been part of the club's agenda. Notable builders in the early days included Bob JOHNSTON, Reggie WOODWARD, Harry Senkler, Nelles Stacey and Col Victor Spencer, but the greatest impact on the club's competitive success came from Frank READ, who became coach of the VRC's UBC student rowers in 1949. He established a winning legacy that included a gold and 2 silver Olympic medals and a gold at the 1954 British Empire Games (see BRITISH EMPIRE AND COMMONWEALTH GAMES). In all, the club won 17 international medals in Olympic, Commonwealth and Pan American Games competition before Canada stopped sending club teams in the 1970s. The VRC building, a heritage site in STANLEY PARK, has housed the club since 1911.
by Silas White