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It’s a Try!

April 05th, 2017

Rugby was first played in Victoria, B.C. in 1877. The Rugby Union of Canada existed from 1929 to 1939. Reformed in 1965, it’s now known as Rugby Canada for which Doug Sturrock of Vancouver is an honourary historian. An avid player and coach who was born in 1936, he wrote a Master’s thesis, The History of Rugby in Canada, in 1971, and taught physical education for 32 years at four Vancouver secondary schools, most notably at Magee Secondary for 27 years. His various teams won five provincial championships and made fourteen overseas tours.

Subsequently Doug Sturrock and Tom Keast co-authored Once A Mermaid: The Meraloma Club 1923-1998 (Meraloma Club, 2001), a history of the Kitsilano athletic club that commenced as a swimming group, but soon branched into other sports, most notably rugby. The name Meraloma is derived from Mer for mermaid (ie. swimming), a for alpha (first letter of the Greek alphabet), om for omega (last letter) and a for always. The Mermaid Athletic Club became the Meraloma Club in 1925.

In 2014, Sturrock wrote Magee Secondary 2014 Centennial Memoir and was inducted into the British Columbia Rugby Union Hall of Fame.

Printed in Germany, Doug Sturrock’s 1,000-page It’s a Try! The History of Rugby in Canada (Langley: Sturrock Consulting 2017 / $65.00 / 978-0-9958694-0-0) is his updated and expanded version of his Master’s thesis. According to Sturrock, no other comprehensive history of rugby in Canada exists.

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