Some reflections of a Taverner By Jon Page
I found the attached team list in the 1965 MCA handbook so they must have been in place for a few years then. I have a vague recollection that 1959 was mentioned at one time as their formation. The team was formed by a group of Doctors new to Winnipeg who as newbies couldn’t normally get the weekend off to play but they could usually get a mid week day off. So they formed the team to play only on Wednesdays. So if we take 1960 as their 1st year I dont think there is anyone around to dispute that.
The other attachment might be of interest as it proves that Don Bradman batted in Winnipeg.
A couple of things of interest that show where some of our traditions started.
First the idea of drinking at someones house after the game. Taverners originally drank in The Paddock at Polo Park but that was pulled down & is now A & W. We moved to other spots & ended up in the downstairs bar at The Charleswood (now Co Op gas) one evening a group of us went there after the game & we were the only people in the bar. We pulled a few tables together but the manager told us we couldn’t do that, the explanation being that the waitresses couldn’t get around. There were no waitresses working at that time. So we ordered a dozen Molson Exports (the club beer at the time) & when the manager had opened them all, we all left.
After some discussion we picked up some beer at the Vendors & went to Gwil Evans place which then became the regular destination till he retired & moved away.
Port at the BBQ. This didn’t start with Taverners but on a St Georges tour of the UK. After a cold & damp start to a game it was finally rained off, & we sat in the teams Pavilion around a log fire & by way of an apology for the poor weather their captain opened a bottle of Port to help warm us up. At that time a lot of the St. Georges team were also Taverners so the idea was adopted for the next BBQ & so it continues.
When I joined in the early 70’s the team would gather in the Lounge Bar of the Paddock which was situated where A & W &/or The Red Lobster are now, opposite Polo Park. When the Paddock closed for re-development we then spent a short time in the Lounge of The Viscount Gort being entertained by Chad Alan at the piano. Chad was 1 of the originals of the Guess Who.
After a short time the Gort was deemed to be too expensive so the next venue was the downstairs lounge at The Charleswood Hotel, now the Co-Op Gas Station. We were there on Wednesdays & St. George’s cricket team used the place on Saturdays This continued until 1 Wednesday evening when we went downstairs & as normal the place was empty, we proceeded to pull 3 tables together to accommodate the dozen or so players. With that the “Manager” told us that we couldn’t do that as the waitresses could not get around. As we were the only people there & there were no waitresses we ignored him. But he insisted. So we ordered our 12 Molson Exports & when we heard that they we all open & ready to be served we all stood up & left & never to return.
We picked up some beer at the Vendor & went to 727 Buckingham (The Buckingham Arms) the home of the then Prez, Gwil Evans.
This our became headquarters for the next few years. This is where the tie rule came into effect, but in those days if you were discovered inadequately dressed you had to buy a beer for everyone present. The more astute of us soon realized that if you forgot your tie the idea was to get to the bar very early admit that you had no tie & buy for the 1 or 2 people there.
Food was strictly limited to a maximum of 2 flavours of chips, that had to be purchased at Costco & the beer was Molson Export “illegally” smuggled across Provincial borders by Dr. Evans on his return from the cottage in Kenora.
It was also because of his change, profits accrued from the beer sales & after some discussion it was decided to hold a BBQ to thank our better halves for allowing us out on a Wednesday.Things have grown from there, but after the past couple of weeks maybe the growth has stopped & we are reverting to the “good” old days.