CP: Now what activities did you participate in as a child?
RW: Well, I liked swimming, I liked riding my bike. When it came to sports at Kitsilano High I was in the semi-finals in the running broad jump, in four different items, so very active physically.
CP: Yes, I can see that.
RW: Certainly when it came to university because we lived on Cornwall Street near the pool and didn’t have a, I didn’t have a car, in order to get to university I had to hike from the beach right up to Broadway everyday and back again.
CP: That’s a hike up that hill [laughs].
RW: A lot of physical activity there, I can tell you.
RW: And later on I joined a carpool and it was better.
CP: Well, you’ve answered several of the questions I was going to ask you.
RW: As far as Jewish items are concerned I was active in Young Judaea at the time. I think I was president at the time. And participated in a lot of activities. Oh, I used to like tennis particularly. I played a lot of tennis in Kitsilano beach…
CP: Yes, of course.
RW: And at English Bay too.
HS: Other things like big presents like my mom and dad would go away and come back and Audrey and I were each given an English bike, a Raleigh, and they were beautiful.
HW: I was always a good, good athlete. When, in the early years, when we used to go to the rink in Winnipeg. Do you know Winnipeg at all?
CL: Oh yeah, born in Winnipeg, brought up in Winnipeg.
HW: Oh yes, well, you know the Drewery’s? Yeah, right by Drewery, alongside of the brewery. We used to go there Saturday night, all the Jewish crowd at that time. We’d all skate together. The Weidmans, the Wodlingers, the Zimmermans, the whole flock. And we’d skate there until whatever time, 11, 11:30 and about every three or four weeks we’d have a hockey game between the Weidmans and the Wodlingers. We had a team each.
CL: [There was enough of you].
HW: We had to bring in one boy only from Selkirk that was one of Sam Wodlinger’s, he was a goalkeeper for the Selkirk team. He used to come and play goal for us. Weidmans had a full compliment. We used to play…and all these Jewish people stayed to see these games, you know, after the skating time was over we’d take over the ice and have a game.
Judy Zaitzow was interviewed with her sister Dorothy Grad and Michael Zaitzow.
DG: Yeah, let me go back a little bit to our growing up years. Some of the activities that we did that which we haven’t talked about. Lillian and Judy were both excellent tennis players. Judy to this day still plays tennis. She never put her tennis racquet down. I put mine down and picked it up again at age 40 and played for about 15 years until I wrecked a knee. But Judy has carried on doing that. But I think these are sort of important activities that sort of carry on. And there’s a core of people who have carried on. I know some people sort of picked it up later on.
JZ: But we were interested in tennis because our mother was a tennis player.
JZ: And she got to the city finals in about 1912 or something so I mean, you know, that’s how we picked it up. But I used to, that was another activity we used to do in Stanley Park. They boys, we’d go down and play tennis with the boys when we were growing up.
DG: Yeah, yeah, the boys were good tennis players.
JZ: You know like Norman Archek and…
DG: Will Becker.
JZ: Will Becker who built western indoor tennis, I mean, you know, and he to this day plays brilliant and one of his kids was on the tour. And…Norman and who else played? Izzy Diamond played, we all played. I mean, we all went and played tennis when we were kids and I just never stopped. I stopped for about five years while I had children.
ID: I know that you were instrumental in getting the Gleneagles Golf Course going, tell me about that and the Richmond Golf Course.
EL: Well, the Gleneagles Golf Course, we’d reached a stage where we had quite a few fellows playing and they were playing at the public golf course and a bottle of scotch got you on and if you didn’t have a bottle of scotch you had to go line up under an umbrella and Dave Sears came to me and said, “This estate has Gleneagles for sale.” I think they wanted 52 or $53,000 for it and I called two or three meetings at our house with Dave Sears and there was Alfie Evans, Meyer Brown, Norman Brown, the whole crowd was there then and the interesting thing was that we had a hell of a time persuading them that if they put up $500 a piece you might buy it and while this as going on they were investigating and searching title. I put up $500. A friend of mine ran the trust company at that time, I went to see him and he incorporated a group there and he held the shares in trust and over a period of time we were able to collect enough money from guys to pay off $50,000. That was the beginning of the golf course. We bought this property with 30 lots surveyed complete.
MB: Some of kids I guess still have [the photo], I kept it around for years, and years, and years. The basketball team that we had, not that we won anything in particular, but at that particular time Benny Pastinsky was a cub reporter for the Vancouver Province and he arranged for us to have a picture taken. We became a little bit infamous. We were amateurs, and to do anything outside of BC for instance, you have to get permission from the amateur association. We used to go down to Seattle and Portland and play the Jewish boys down there, the YMHA, or if it wasn’t YMHA, it was still...[Tape cuts out]...or whether we had a little publicity about it or what, I don’t recall. They were going to suspend us. Big deal. We were all 15 years old, but anyway, that blew over in any case.
RT: Now I understand Bill that you were a curling star [laughs].
WM: Yeah, I was involved in most sports throughout high school and in university. But curling was my forte, because I had curled back in Saskatchewan where I was born. When I joined the curling club in Kimberley, I had my own rink, as per se. However, I joined another chap to try out for the provincial championships in 1956 and we were lucky enough to win and we represented British Columbia back in Moncton that year, unfortunately we didn’t do very well [laughs]. I think our record was four wins and six loses but at least it was a real memorable event for me. It really stood out in my mind. It still has. I curled oh, for approximately six or seven years after that until my knees finally gave out, [the] cartilage. And at that time I quit.
DS: Actually in 1934 I came out here, I didn’t know anything about golf. I came up to play football and basketball for Vancouver from the Prairies. I took up golf about ’47. ’46 or ’47. Shortly after that we organized a group of players that used to play at a public course called Langara. And from that, [we] developed a [golf] organization. Cedarcrest was, consisted of about 50 players of various means. They weren’t all rich golfers, some of them just worked in stores and they played…But we joined together at that time so we could have some tournaments or some little get togethers.
CL: This was…Was Cedarcrest entirely Jewish golfers?
DS: Yes, and what we used to do was go over to Peace Portal for tournaments as well. And we had the odd one at Langara or Fraser golf course, all of which were public courses.
[Tape cuts out].
CL: Okay, we can proceed. This was really post-World War II…
CL: …at that time. What was the instigation for the Jewish golfers to get together? Did they naturally band together or were they prevented from joining other clubs?
DS: Well, unfortunately at that particular time there was an antipathy, I guess, of most private clubs towards having Jewish golfers come in any large numbers. And a few of us who wished to join private clubs and get away from this standing in line to try to get on to the golf course, found that the only way we could have a private course would be to have our own. And so we had a meeting of Cedarcrest golfers and a committee was struck to go out and look for a golf course which we could possibly purchase. Gleneagles in West Van turned out to be that course. We bought it for a very nominal sum, we only paid $50,000 for it originally.