1971 Midwestern Canada & U.S. Tour


ABOVE: Beefeater Band visits Winnipeg (July 1971)

Conductor Gordon Olson directs the colorful British Columbia Beefeater Band on the steps of the Legislature Building Wednesday in one of several performances in Manitoba this week. The band, accompanied by the Jesters Majorettes Corps are to appear at Assiniboine Park at 7:30 today. Performances were held Monday and Tuesday in Portage la Prairie.

On June 30, 1971 the Beefeater Band departed on a four-week tour of Canadian and Midwestern U.S. towns. Their itinerary was a busy one: Kelowna July 1, Grand Forks July 2, Creston July 3, Fernie July 4, Calgary July 5, 6, and 7, Swift Current, Saskatchewan July 8 and 9, Moose Jaw on July 10, Portage La Prairie on July 12 and 13, Winnipeg, July 14 and 15, Minneapolis July 16 through 21, Chicago, July 22 and 23, La Porte City, Iowa, July 24, Watertown, South Dakota, July 25 and 26, Glendive, Montana July 27 and 28, Helena, Montana July 29, 30 and 31, August 1, Kalispell, Montana, August 3, Wenatchee, Washington returning on August 3 at 3:30 in the evening.

Bruce Harris

My Band Years (continued)

1971 Midwestern Canada and U.S. Tour
– On the bus listening to Merle Haggard “Okie from Muskogee” over and over again by our bus driver.
– Also seem to recall the same with Paul McCartney and “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”.
– Buses on the tour were segregated. I had to write letters or notes to my then girlfriend and pass them over when we stopped for lunch or a practice.
On this tour Mr. Olson added a song where the featured instrument was a trombone. Being the section leader at the time I was the featured performer. We practiced and practiced the song as there were some very challenging parts to it. Towards the end of the song there was a riff that was extremely difficult and ended on a high note. The first time we played it I hit the note. The second time we played it I missed the note and that was the end of the song for the rest of the tour. When Mr. Olson announced the song I would make my way to the front of the band. I don’t remember the original name but he had decided to rename it and announced it as “Blues Sophisticate”. Frank Costanzo, a clarinetist sitting close by me in the first row whispered with a big grin on his face “Blues Sophisticate???” I remember it cracked me up because I was so nervous.
Highlights of the U.S. tour were the Minneapolis Aquatennial, the Wisconsin Spectacle of Music and the Chicagoland Summer Festival of Bands. The trip only cost each band member $200 or $350 for two if they were in the same family.

1970 San Francisco

1970Pond in QEPark

ABOVE: Mirrored Fanfare heralds what young musicians of BC Beefeater band hope will be another resoundingly successful year in their music-making careers. Here they are reflected in pond in Queen Elizabeth Park. Rave reviews accompanied tour they made to Britain and Europe last year.

1970Carol Grassi

ABOVE: MAJORETTE CORPS The jesters seek talent (Carol Grassi)

If you are an active, sports-minded girl between the ages of 12 and 16 who would like to perform at BC Lions games, parades and travel, that’s all you need to become a full-fledged member of the new BC Lions Jesters Majorette Corps. Girls joining may qualify for next summer’s cross Canada tour with the famous Beefeater Band. This new group being organized will also have the opportunity to travel to Hawaii in 1973 with the band. In 1969, the Jesters majorettes were a smash hit, appearing with the Beefeater Band at the Edinburgh tattoo. Their Scottish press notices heralded them as “these talented and vivacious young girls from Canada.” No previous experience in baton twirling is necessary. Girls are trained in marching, strutting and baton techniques. Also some basic dancing.

1970 July 28

ABOVE: Coffee break leaves Empire Stadium field dotted with trombones, trumpets, tubas and drums after lengthy practice session Monday for BC Beefeaters band. Junior musicians are perfecting form for performance at Lions-Roughriders game in Vancouver tonight (Tuesday July 28). Bandsmen are invited to San Francisco for half-time program at football game Aug. 6. they took top musical award at Seattle Seafair on weekend.


ABOVE: Monday, July 27, 1970 Practice makes perfect for the Beefeaters

Rehearsing in the rain, the BC Beefeater Band practices Sunday for the football game Tuesday between the BC Lions and the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Empire Stadium. The Beefeaters are the official band of the Lions and play at all home games. 


The band made the trip by air (Pacific Western) to San Francisco in the summer of 1970 as invited guests to perform at a half-time show on August 6. They appeared on television and were seen by 40 million people. There was lots of time for sightseeing as well in the Bay area.

The evenings halftime spectacular presented by the Beefeater band, currently on a tour of California will mark the first time that a Canadian band has provided the halftime entertainment at an American professional football game in the United States.

The band has presented concerts at three World Fairs in North America – New York, Seattle and Montreal. It has also performed at four Canadian Football League playoff bowls.

San Francisco

ABOVE: San Francisco  Ken Grassi, Doug Adkins, Mark McEvoy



1969 Edinburgh Tattoo

If you were a young boy or girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen living in Vancouver in the 1960s, the Kitsie Boys were not the only band you could join. I call that period, the Golden Age of Community Bands. There were no less than five top rated community bands that you could join. Another one of those bands was the British Columbia Beefeater Band, also known as the Lion’s Band. They were the official band for the B.C. Lion’s Football Club and were a show band. They started touring in 1950, but they were not called the Beefeaters back then. That came later in the mid 1960s when they were hired by Dal Richards to perform the halftime show between Lion’s football games. This episode looks at their first overseas trip that they made in the summer of 1969, to play in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.



ABOVE: Wednesday March 19, 1969 Music goes round and round as french horn section gets special attention from conductor Gordon Olson during BC Beefeater Band’s rehearsal. Group will tour Britain and Europe this summer.

Pageant of Music

On Wednesday, April 16 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre the band performed its Pageant of Music with MC Ted Reynolds.
Selections included Beaded Belts by Erickson, Finlandia by Sibelius, Hornascope by Bennett, George Girl, Die Meistersinger by Wagner, Mountain Greenery by Rodgers, Tailgate Concerto arr. Warrington.
After intermission the band performed Colonel Bogey by Alford, Carnival Variations by Jacoby and McRae, Russian Easter Overture by Korsakoff, Trumpet Voluntary by Purcell, Sound of Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein and Two Familiar Hymns by Ployhar.


The year 1969, marked the first trip off the continent to Europe for the British Columbia Beefeater Band. They arrived in London on July 21 via a PWA charter flight from Vancouver. They were quickly whisked off to Astor College in London where they spent the next three days sightseeing around London and as far away as Oxford, Warwick Castle, Stratford-on-Avon and Banbury as well as Windsor Castle and Eton. Their place of residence in London was in a residential area affiliated with Middlesex Hospital, a medical college.

On July 24th, the Beefeater Band departed England at Dover for Ostende by steamer and then coach to Brussells where they stayed overnight at the Hotel Van Belle..The next day after some sightseeing they were off to Antwerp for more sightseeing, then over the border into Holland for a two night stay in Arnheim at the Hotel Carnegie and Hotel Bakker. They toured nearby Amsterdam in the daytime.
The following day it was off to Germany to visit the famous city of Cologne. Next was a drive along the Rhine River to Bonn, the capital of West Germany and then on to the Hotel Eden in Bad Godesberg for the night.
On July 28th the band continued along the banks of the Rhine to Koblenz and then on into Luxembourg where they stayed the night at the Hotel du Parc in Echternach. In Luxembourg they saw the illuminations.
On the 29th the band drove through Luxembourg to the cathedral city of Rheims for lunch and then on to Paris for a two night stay at the hotels Splendid Lafayette and Citroen. Concerts took place in Brussels, Bonn and Paris.
They left Paris on July 31st and drove through the Picardy countryside and Flanders to Ostend.



1969 off to edinburgh

ABOVE: South Vancouver members of 72 member BEEFEATERS BAND which departs today on tour of British Isles and Europe are pictured above. From left to right: Front row: Nola Brinkworth, 2996 East 27th Avenue, Shirley Williamson, 2811 east 42nd Avenue, Middle Row: Allen Jewall, 5327 Knight Street; Jerry Brebner, 6684 Culloden Street; David Waugh, 4817 Dumfries Street. Back Row: Daryl Bennett, 1372 East 63rd Avenue, Tim Rior, 5303 Fleming Street; Randy Simpson, 922 East 63rd Avenue; Dale Friesen, 1176 East 31st Avenue.

1969 Aug15

ABOVE: Scottish Country Dancers and the massed bands fill the Esplanade at Edinburgh Castle.

Full Color Tattoo Opens Tonight

The 1969 Edinburgh Military Tattoo opened Friday August 15th with a special flourish of trumpets by the Royal Marines to herald what is undoubtedly a colour spectacular. It is sure to delight Princess Alexandra when she takes the salute next Friday, and catch the eye of Prince Georg of Denmark when he takes the salute tomorrow.
The Royal Caadian Mounties unfortunately had their exciting musical ride reduced to walking pace due to the lack of space on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. The performance lacked the life of movement and the impact of the blood-curdling charge, which has had to be missed out.
The RCMP were overshadowed somewhat by their enthusiastic young non-service colleagues in the British Columbia Beefeater Band. It is the first visit to this country by the seventy member group who all wear the Tudor style dress of the Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London. The average age is eighteen and they are led by an enthusiastic drum-major and five female jesters. Both organizations will perform in all twenty-eight performances of the tattoo.

ABOVE LEFT: Back view of the British Columbia Beefeater band.

ABOVE RIGHT: The energetic drum-major, Doug Atkin of the Beefeaters lets himself go.

1969 Maple Leaf Marchers

And the crowds loved them!

ABOVE: The scene is Princes Street, the uniforms are copies of those worn by the Beefeaters who guard the Tower of London, the bandsmen wearing them come from British Columbia in Canada and the tunes they play are jazz-flavored – and that all started in America, or was it Africa? The British Columbia Beefeater band got a great reception when they took part in a special parade of tattoo performers along Princes Street today.

1969 Aug 20

ABOVE: The British Columbia Beefeater Band, closely followed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment, make their way along Princes Street, Edinburgh, yesterday morning during the parade of elements taking part in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo of 1969. Large crowds turned out to watch and cheer the performers.

1969 aug 20-1

ABOVE: A closer look at the young instrumentalists from British Columbia.

1969 Aug 19

ABOVE: Massed military bands march past a crowd of thousands in today’s procession of Edinburgh Military Tattoo performers along Princes Street.

Canadians steal the show with all that jazz

Crowds estimated at between 80,000 and 100,000 lined the route and basked in the sunshine. massed pipes and drums led the march, but the favourites with the crowd were the Canadian contingent, ed by the British Columbia Beefeater Band. Led by five baton-twirling majorettes who pranced their way along the street, the band gave an atmosphere of relaxed joviality, in contrast to the rather dour pomp of some of the military participants. They were followed by a squad of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who also received a tremendous cheer.

1969 Aug 15-2

ABOVE: Majorettes lead the British Columbia Beefeater Band, from Canada, along the castle Esplanade in Edinburgh at last night’s Tattoo dress rehearsal. In earlier years band leaders at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo have invariably been in the military mould, but this year things are different. A high-stepping majorette (she’s one of six) leads British Columbia’s Beefeater Band.

Strike up the band!

1969 4

1969 - 2

ABOVE: Grand Finale…the moment that stirred the hearts of thousands at this year’s Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Massed on the Esplanade at the close of the tattoo are the regimental bands, the Danish Guards and the Mounties where the castle makes a dramatic backdrop.


ABOVE: Mrs. McKinnon pictured with members of the Canadian Beefeaters who visited her last week

Mrs. Gene McKinnon, and her restless urge for meeting young people,  has seen the Canadian Mounties and Beefeaters visit her Linlithgow home. Mrs. McKinnon (85) is “queen” of the world’s liqueur industry and has Williamcraigs farm as a busy sideline to the profitable Drambuie firm of which she is chairman.


ABOVE: George Hunter listening to Doug Adkin and George Yea. When George was given a saxophone to play he said, “It’s terrific. I’ve never seen anything like it. Wow!” 

Children’s eyes sparkled for an hour as they were transported from their world of nurses and doctors. The occasion was a special show by Edinburgh Tattoo performers at the Princess Margaret Rose Hospital at Fairmilehead. Children sat in beds and looked on enthralled as kilted pipers marched up and down and red-coated soldiers playing flutes and drums wheeled and turned on the lawn.


ABOVE: Sandra and Shelley McClellan are in Edinburgh to play clarinet in the Beefeater Band. They are thrilled by the event of course. And there’s easily enough excitement for two.

1969Kathy Naples

B.C. Beefeater Band Back; British Show a ‘Smash Hit’

“We were a complete smash hit at the tattoo,” said Gordon Olson. The festival producer and many others said we were the number one item there and the producer hopes to have us back in the tattoo in 1971 or 1972. “We definitely put Canada and B.C. on the map.”
Olson said the band played before about 250,000 people at the festival and about 85 million television viewers when one night of the tatoo was broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corp.
The band, whose members range in age from 14 to 19 was the only Canadian youth group participating in the festival, which also included the R.C.M.P. Musical Ride.
The seven week tour, the first overseas tour for the band, began with performances in Belgium, Holland, West Germany, Luxembourg and France.
It then performed for a month in the 90-minute tattoo, giving 28 performances consisting of a 12-minute individual act and a part in the finale of massed bands.
“We were the first of what are called show bands to appear in the tattoo,” said Olson.
Band members also included the Jesters majorette group.
“The young people in the band did a great job representing Canada, both musically and personally in the way they conducted themselves,” said Olson.
The youths paid for much of the $29,000 cost of the trip themselves by raising money through bazaars and fund drives.
Festival organizers paid $5,000 of the cost and the B.C. government contributed $4,200. Each band member paid $550.
A homecoming concert is scheduled for September 17 at the B.C. Lions football game in Empire Stadium.

Beefeaters Band – A Letter!
I hope you will forgive me the liberty of writing you, but I felt I would like you and your readers o know how much the Edinburgh people, nay, everyone who saw and heard the youngsters of the B.C. Beefeaters Band, appreciated the refreshing enthusiasm of these kids, and their wonderful show at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
If this is an example of Canadian youth, then it;s time they were sponsered on a world tour and I know this may sound a bit far-fetched but in this modern permissive age of flower people, hippies, mods and rockers and what have you these youngsters were like a breath of clean spring air in a smuttly world.
This performance at Edinburgh will be remembered for many a long day, and if I say that the sight and sound of them in the old esplanade of the Castle stirred an thrilled you the same as the skirl of the pipes to a Scotsman, you have an idea how well they went down here.
Vancouver can be very proud of its sons and daughters.
I was involved in a very minor part, being the Tattoo transport clerk, and a colleague of Sgt. Val Bragan, who looked after the kids as if they were all his own and I amsure after 20 odd years service, this is one assignment he will remember all the days of his life.
I can hear him telling his great-grandchildren all about the time he looked after the kids of the British Columbia Beefeater’s Band at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo of ‘69.
Well sir, I sincerely hope I haven’t bored you, but as I’ve said I felt I had to do something as a tribute, as these youngsters were a joy to watch and listen to.
Jas Duffy, Tattoo Transport Clerk, 25 Loaning Crescent, Edinburgh, Scotland


ABOVE: Headline news in Scotland, Vancouver’s Beefeater Band took Edinburgh by storm when they performed in city’s famed tattoo. Sheila Peterson scans press clippings of Scottish press coverage, all ecstatic in praise of Beefeaters and RCMP Musical Ride, which shared the bill.


ABOVE: On Saturday, October 4, the United Appeal entertainers visited Brentwood Shopping Centre on behalf of the Giant Effort. Emcee was well-known band leader Dal Richards, performers were a group from the Beefeaters Band.


ABOVE: December 11, 1969 Bully for the Beefeater Band Boys

1968 Seattle Seafair Parade


ABOVE: Jolly Jester 16 year-old Lynne Trembley eyes Grand Musical Award won by Vancouver Junior Beefeater Band at Seattle Seafair.


ABOVE: July 27, 1968 Jester Wendy Mackay, 17, a member of the Vancouver Junior Band, tootles a trumpet in a salute to the Beefeaters for winning – for the fifth time – the grand musical award for junior bands at the Seattle Seafair. The band won the award earlier in 1961, 1963, 1965 and 1966. The band has 78 members.

1967 Montreal Expo


Another Jesters Night was held on February 28 at Annie B. Jamieson School. MC for the evening was Ron Morrier. Jesters included: Sandra Brodie, Judy Binding, Lindsay Cheeseman, Linda Cowieson, Diane Fulcher, Carol Grassi, Joy Hofer, Adiane Middleton, Wendy McKay, Cloria O’Sullivan, Suzanne Roy. The Intermediates: Kathy Brownlee, Carol Monroe, Janice Manuck, Melany Walsh

1967 Expo 67

ABOVE: (back to front) Suzanne Roy, Barbara Williamson, Carol Grassi, Lindsay Cheesman, Joy Hofer, _________.

1967Pageantof Music QE

ABOVE: March 31, 1967 Massive puff by bug-eyed musician, 13 year-old Robbie Habkirk, of 8350 Fremlin, blasts a high note from trombone during pageant of Music by Vancouver Junior Band Thursday night. brightly clad “Beefeaters” thrilled audience of more than 2,000 at Queen Elizabeth Theatre with works ranging from symphonic to modern pop tunes.

1967Jim Albertson

ABOVE: Friday Hune 16, 1967 Vancouver Junior (Beefeater) band member Jim Albertson demonstrates heraldic trumpet to Mrs. Denny Veitch, left, and Mrs. Gordon Olson of the band’s auxiliary, which plans a carnival and bazaar Saturday. The band and majorette Corps will entertain at the event, to be held in Vancouver College gymnasium, Thirty-eighth and Cartier, from 2 to 10 p.m.

1967 Tour departing Vancouver

In 1967, the 80 member strong Vancouver Junior Band under the direction Gordon C. Olson, accompanied by the Jesters Majorette Corps flew to Winnipeg for Pan American Games rehearsals. Then they were off to the mid western U.S. where the band appeared in Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis. The Chicago appearance was at the Lion’s International convention where 137 countries were represented. The band appeared in the bandshell at Expo 67 in Montreal on July 13, 14 and 15.

In Winnipeg the band was featured in a 15 minute tabloid in the opening ceremonies which was televised nationally.
Highlights were the 10 heraldic trumpeters of the band playing a fanfare to announce the arrival of the Duke of Edinburgh who opened the games. They played the Royal Fanfare as well as the fanfares marking the principal events surrounding the ceremonies.
The band also appeared in London, Oshawa, Cornwall, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie and Port Arthur before returning home and another season of half-time shows for the B.C. Lions’ football games.


1967 Aug 17

August 1967 Parade Sports 100 Entries
This year’s Pacific National Exhibition parade was the biggest ever, with almost 100 floats, exhibits and bands.
Lt. Gov. George Pearkes and Mrs. Pearkes will head the parade.
Labor and Education Minister Leslie Peterson, world swimmer Elaine Tanner and sprinter Harry Jerome will also appear.
The parade began at 10 a.m. Saturday and was an hour long.
The procession started at Thurlow Street and travelled along Georgia, Burrard, Hastings to Clark Drive were it ended at 12:30 noon.
The PNE Century float was one of the highlights and one of the longest at 40 feet.
The float saluted 100 years of confederation.


1966 Pasadena Rose Bowl Parade

1966 Nov 4 catch em

ABOVE Pageant of Music at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre


On March 8th another Jesters Night was held at Annie B. Jamieson School. Louisa Olson was again the director accompanied by her majorettes and some of the members of the VJB. Ted Reynolds MC’d the evening.


On Thursday April 21, 1966 the Vancouver Beefeater Band, under the direction of Gordon C. Olson put on a Pageant of Music at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The Master of Ceremonies was Ted Reynolds. By this date the band had won over 150 awards for musical excellence in top competitions in Canada and the U.S.A. Citations for artistic achievemnet and public service has been received from the Provincial governments of many provinces and from governors of eastern and western States. The band had appeared on many radio and T.V. networks including C.B.U.T.. C.T.V., A.B.C. and N.B.C.
Besides the concert and marching groups, the famous Vancouver Beefeaters Band features specialty groups from its ranks, such as the trim and lovely Jesters Majorette Corps, Dixieland band, specialty artists and dancers. Selections played at their Pageant of Music included Carnival by Rimsky Korsakov, Variations on a Folk Song by Shumann and Erikson, Buglers Holiday, Leroy Anderson, Chicago by Fred Fisher, Tournaments of Horns by David Bennett, Clarinet Carousel by David Bennett, Procession of Nobles by Rimsky Korsakov, Dixieland Jamboree, Arr. Warrington, Symphony No.5 by Anton Dvorak.

1966 January 3 Bennett Rose Bowl

At 5:00 a.m. on December 29, 1965, the band assembled at Vancouver International Airport for the 6:00 a.m. flight to California for the 1966 Rose Bowl Parade. They were to officially represent the Province of British Columbia at the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. There were so many large instruments and cargo that each band member was only allowed to take one bag (30 pounds) and a carry-on bag. While in California the band stayed at the California State College. After their arrival and settling in, the next day (December 30) the band appeared in Santa Anita and played at the race course with the RCMP contingent that also came down for the Rose Bowl Parade. December 31 was a free day for a sightseeing trip to Los Angeles, Hollywood and Knott’s Berry Farm. On January 1st they marched in the Rose Bowl Parade. Entertainment at the Rose Bowl was by the Robin Hood Band. The next day on January 2nd they performed at Disneyland, followed by a tour.

On January 3rd the band left Los Angeles around 5:00 p.m. on a CP Air charter flight. The flight was diverted to Calgary due to a snow storm that hit the Lower Mainland causing Vancouver International Airport to divert all in-bound flights to other airports. When their flight landed it was bitterly cold (way below 0 degrees F) and they spent the night at a Calgary hotel. They were all dressed in light clothing as it was very warm when they left Los Angeles and the walk from the plane to the terminal was like a trip to the North Pole.

1966 June 9

ABOVE: Beefeaters see themselves in action. Holding Momento of Vancouver Junior Band’s trip to Pasadena Tournament of Roses in California Jan.1 are Sandra (left) and Jeff McClellan, two members of the Beefeaters. The band was presented with picture of itself in Rose Bowl parade in a ceremony at Vancouver City Hall Wednesday.

1966 Aug 2 Seafairer Award

ABOVE: August 2, 1966 Beefeaters bring home the bacon

New Fame, New Awards came back from Seattle’s Seafair celebrations with vancouver’s famous Beefeater Band Monday. Barbara Williamson, 16, holds up two first place trophies won by the 100-member group – Seattle Seafare Grande Musical Award and the High School Marching Band Award.

On Monday night August 29th old-style political campaigning with bands, dancing girls and baby-kissing candidates came back to Vancouver and collided head-on with modern-day red tape. Before a “gay-nineties” show, in support of Vancouver Centre Social Credit candidates Herb Capozzi and Evan Wolfe, got on the rails at Alexandra Park over looking English Bay, there was Musicians’ Union trouble and illegal parking trouble. The featured band was the Vancouver Junior Band. Because of this, the Musician’s Union demanded a 25-member standby band at the union’s $5-an hour-per-man scale. The promoters had planned that at least one band would play in the park grandstand. The standby band couldn’t play there because the union didn’t have an agreement that year with the park board.

So the standby band played unobtrusively in a corner of the park until the junior band arrived from the PNE a half-hour late. But the junior band couldn’t play in the bandstand either because bandmaster Gordon Olson was a member of the Musician’s Union. Two chartered flat-deck trucks were corralled in a hurry for a temporary bandstand at curbside on Burnaby Street bordering the park. But the police said no, this is a “no parking any time zone.” It was an impasse until a special parking dispensation was obtained from City Traffic Engineer Kenneth Vaughan-Birch.
Only then did the fun start. Dwellers from towering apartment blocks frowning down on the park came out of their cubicles and tourists stopped to wonder at the ways of the west and Social Credit. Capozzi, the resigned general manager of the Lion’s football club, and Wolfe, his motor dealer running mate, circulated in the grand style shaking hands, pinning on campaign buttons, and kissing a baby or two. The campaign speeches were short. The music was swingy and sweet. The elderly ladies cooed, and the young lasses and laddies were invited to a Capozzi-Wolfe “go-go” a week Wednesday. Said first-time campaigner Wolfe: “By a coincidence, I just happened to be here.” Said second-time campaigner Capozzi: “This is more fun than some of the speeches I’ve heard in the past two weeks.” Said the junior band: “We’re doing it for our old friend Capozzi.” The standby musicians grinned. The crowd of 500 clapped loudly and danced jigs. And the band played on.


The Vancouver Junior Band was invited by the Province of British Columbia to represent the Province at the Convention of A.S.T.A. (American Society of Travel Agents). The convention was being held that year in the Seattle Opera House on October 2nd and 3rd. Other outstanding musical aggregations had been selected to perform as well (a 350 piece select high school band from Washington State., the U.S. State Department Choir recently returned from a European Tour, John Scott Trotter and his 50 piece orchestra).

1965 20th Anniversary Vancouver Junior Band


The Passing of Sir Winston Churchill
Photo: Sunday January 14th, 1965. Heads Bowed in silent prayer, they stood, nearly 4,000-strong, in the PNE Agrodome Sunday and paused to remember…when one gruff voice rang out alone through a dark world to challenge the Nazi menace….when one voice stirred the British people to fight on in the name of freedom. Vancouver churches had scheduled the inter-denominational Christian unity service before the British statesman’s death. The VJB offered musical selections.

Photo: Tuesday August 3rd, 1965 Harken All to sound of victory by Lindsay Cheesman, 14, to mark Vancouver’s Junior Band’s third win in Seattle Seafair band competition on July 31st. She’s flanked by Jean Wilson, 16, Doug Smith, 14

In August it won 1st Place at the PNE Band Competition as well.

2oth Anniversary of the Vancouver Junior Band

On the evening of February 8th more than 640 people gathered in the banquet room of the Bayshore Inn to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Vancouver Junior Band. After the banquet an evening of entertainment was planned. The show featured a 120 piece massed band made up of former students over the past 20 years. The former students had been rehearsing and were up to the challenge. The present band of 65 presented the musical highlight’s of the evening. In all there were 200 young musicians and 40 majorettes at the celebration. “It will really be wonderful getting together with so many of my former students and finding out what they’re doing now,: Mr.Olson commented before the event.

The band group now consisted of 175 musicians and 40 majorettes. During the football season it performs as the B.C. Lion’s marching band and has been featured in halftime shows at three Grey Cup games. It hd toured almost every major sity in North America and won 40 first place awards in competition with bands in Canada and the USA. It had played at two World Faiirs (Seattle and New York).

On Tuesday April 27 the band performed in a Pageant of Music at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Special guests were the Mount Baker High School Band directed by Gordon Ford. Selections included Little March For Band by John Morrissey, Hey Pedro, Sit Down by Arthur Jasper, Go Down Moses Arr. by Maurice Whitney, Allegro, Adagio, Allelulia by Howard Akers, A Symphonic Prelude by Alfred Reed, Trombone Troubadours by David Bennett, Variations on a Folk Song by Schuman and Erickson, Pink Panther by Mancini, Original Dixieland Concerto by Warrington, Procession of the Knights of the Holy Grail by Wagner, Tournament of Trumpets by David Bennett, Totem Pole by Eric Osterling and Die Meistersinger by Wagner.

Photo: April 24: Linda Baker, 16, charms an Easter lily as a prelude to the Vancouver Junior Band’s “Pageant of Music” at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Tuesday at 8 p.m. The Mount Baker High School Band from Mount Baker, Wash., will also take part.

ABOVE: JESTERS NIGHT – Barb Williamson left

65 April Vancouver

                                                   Beefeater Band Plays On

For six months, 113 Vancouver youngsters under the direction of Gordon Olson have been rehearsing for a world wide television appearance, Jan 1. They are members of the Vancouver Junior band which will be part of B.C.s big display at the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day. B.C. is sending a float accompanied by a mounted RCMP detachment and the band in its spectacular Beefeater uniforms for the parade which will be seen around the world via telestar.

Appearances at major events is no novelty to the Vancouver Junior Band, now in its 21st year. For 10 seasons it has been a major attraction at the B.C. Lion’s professional football games in Empire Stadium. It has appeared on three telecasts of the Grey Cup national football final. It has toured extensively in the U.S. and Canada, including as appearance last year at the New York World’s Fair. Dozens of youngsters have received valuable additions to their education through the tours. And the personnel is always changing. The group that will make the trip to Pasadena includes 100 musicians and 13 girls from the Jesters majorette corps, aged 15-19. Concerts are also scheduled at Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.



1964 Canada & Northeastern U.S Tour


ABOVE: Pageant of Music at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 10th

This is was the last concert before the band left for their extended 6 week tour of Eastern Canada and the Eastern USA. Selections included Allegro, Adagio and Alleluia by Howard Akers, Drumsticks by Edwards, Trumpet Tango with soloists Rick Francis, Jeff McLellan, Jim Chow and Jim Albertson, The Traveler Overture by Coffield, Trumpet Voluntary by Henry Purcell, Blues and Badinage by Bennett, soloist Dan Lutz, Percussion Espagnole by Robert Price, Symphonic Prelude by John Cacavas, Seascape by Alfred Reed and Dixieland Festival.

JESTERS NIGHT: February 15th

Jesters’ Night turned put to be quite a success. A good turn out of of more than 400 people saw the majorettes present a nice variety of numbers with the assistance of several band members who added a great deal of enjoyment with special selected numbers. There was a spirit of gaiety in the show and all lot of hard work went into putting all together. It was the first presentation of this kind and we hope there will be many more. Thanks to all who donated candy and baked goods. The sale from these alone netted enough to pay for the hall.

ABOVE: PNE Parade with the Lion’s Cheerleaders

 ABOVE: Two photos of the Carnival Event held June 13th at Vancouver College to raise money for the pending trip! Ken Klakowich, Mrs. Williamson, Mrs. Lynch and Allen Lynch. Jean Wilson showing Mrs. Purves (Mothers Auxilary President) how to play the clarinet. ABOVE: With his Herald’s trumpet spanning a map of Canada, Vancouver Junior Band member Allen Lynch helps publicize the upcoming concert at the Q.E. Theatre tonight to raise money for the band’s across-Canada tour. The highlight of the trip is an engagement at the New York World’s Fair.

1963 October 23

ABOVE: Four members of musical family discuss plans for cross-country tour by Vancouver Junior Band. Barbara 14, left and Shirley, 9, are majorettes. Ken, 19, left, plays baritone, and Stan, 16, is a drummer. Their parents, Mr. and Mrs. William E. Williamson are helping raise funds for band’s expenses.


Garage Bands were the rage in those days. Schools had sock hops and often put on dances throughout the school year. The Beatles made their first appearance at Empire Stadium in 1964. But local garage bands on Vancouver’s east side included The CFUN Classics, The Checkmates, The Viscounts, The Shamrocks and The Night Trains. A new band was set to launch as well called the V.I.Ps. One such dance was held at the Killarney Community Centre on March 6 and was billed as a Battle of the Bands. Over 668 attended the musical battle between The Shamrocks and The Night Trains. Not sure who won! Another such dance was held on April 3 so they were very popular. These dances at Killarney  were bi-monthly Friday night dances put on by the Shamrock Teen Club to raise money for the bands.

ABOVE: Photos courtesy of Linda Baker Williamson

There is always something grand about a band. In 1964, 56 members of the Vancouver Junior Band left on a six week tour of Canada and the northeastern U.S.A on June 18. They left as ambassadors of Vancouver to fulfill an official invitation at the Lions International Convention in Toronto and two days at the World’s Fair in New York City. With smart original costumes, shining instruments, trim discipline, well-regearsed routines, this band always set out to make it as grand as possible. They will participate in an international Band Competition in Toronto, summer festivals in Brockville, Ontario and Waterbury, New York, a half-time show with the B.C. Lions Football Club in Winnipeg, August 4 and concerts throughout Quebec, Maritime provinces and the New England states.

ABOVE: Photos courtesy of Linda Baker Williamson

They departed Vancouver on June 28th and their first concert was in Medicine Hat on June 29 sponsored by the Optimist Club. Next stop, Brockville, Ontario for their Summer Carnival Week. Concerts were played on July 3, 4 and 5. They played on Block House Island and gave a marching display on July 4th. Marched in a parade on the 5th and gave a concert in the afternoon in a shopping centre. Next stop, Toronto July 6,7 and 8. They marched in the Lions International Convention Parade followed by the BC Lions FC. They had to stay in a school gymnasium because all the hotels were filled. Drummondville July 9 and 10. they were given a tour of the city and refreshments at the Drummondville Golf & Curling Club. Lunch was at the Molson’s office. That evening they marched in a parade and gave a concert at the Civic Centre.

On July 11 they stayed in Quebec City. July 12 and 13 they were in Edmunston, New Brunswick and Fredericton on July 14. Truro, Nova Scotia was July 15th and Charlottetown, P.E.I. on July 16 and 17. St. John was on July 18th. In Augusta, Maine they were made honorary citizens of the State of Maine. They gave several concerts around town in Capitol Park and on street corners and marched up to the State House. They marched to the athletic field and performed a concert. On July 21st they were in Providence, Rhode Island. Finally they reached New York City where they stayed at the famous Hotel Knickerbocker from July 22 through 25. After a wonderful time in New York playing at the World’s Fair they departed New York for Waterbury, Connecticut on July 26. July 27 and 28 they spent in Oneida, New York. Here they saw Niagara Falls. Then it was back on the train and long ride back to Winnipeg for three days of concerts on August 2,3 and 4. They arrived back in Vancouver on August 7th at 8:am in the morning.

A letter was written to a Quebec newspaper, shortly after the band played in Montreal that summer. It was written by Maurice D. DeCelles, head of Music and Professor of Wind Instruments at Laval University and Music Co-ordinator of C.B.C.
“I was impressed with the serius manner in which this leader discharged his responibilties as an educator. We have seen a group without pretensions, but with such a discipline; a discipline accepted, not imposed. Everything about these young people shows professional honesty, distinction and accuracy. This group plays with a precision which is not common in junior groups, and the orchestral ensemble had a balance which is remarkable. The brass section always keeps a proper reserve, and the woodwinds have a particularly interesting quality. As for the horns and tubas, the players impressed me by their comprehensive yet properly subdued playing in the thankless role assigned to them.
Briefly – an exemplary group sustained by a leader whom I can criticize only for too great a modesty and effort. Knowing the limitations of their means, these young people and their director had not attempted to dazzle us by a spectacular production, but on the contrary have given us a sincere message seconded by a great honesty in the service of music. Bravo – young people of Vancouver; you have given us a recital which was culture. This Canadian culture we must develop and enrich by mutual contacts if we are going to be distinguished, on this continent, from the American “melting pot.”
I know that there exists in this country other similar groups, for I have often directed them in the English parts of Ontario and in Western Canada. Unfortunately, in our “Belle Province,” I know of no groups of this calibre. Only in those rare exceptions which one could count on the fingers of the hand could one make a certain comparison with the work and the results obtained elsewhere.
Why cannot all our local groups give a helping hand to start such an instrumental group as this Vancouver Junior Band. The upkeep and susequent progress of such a group could be sponsored by individual clubs, each in turn. We have here in our city everything necessary to establish as excellent youth group. Our young people are remarkably endowed musically, and competent teachers are not lacking. We have only to find material and financial support.”

ABOVE: Drumondville, Quebec and Augusta, Maine

ABOVE: Al Lynch’s photos of the trip to NY

64 Home Again!


ABOVE: Photo of trumpeters courtesy of Al Lynch (2nd from left). The other photos courtesy of Linda Baker Williamson.

Want to be in picture?

Three hours a week and six dollars a month. If you are an able-bodied boy or girl from 12 to 17 that’s all you need to become a full-fledged member of the Vancouver Junior Band. The band is the official marching band for the B.C. Lions football games and is looking for 25 or 30 new members – and you don’t need to be experienced. Band director Gordon Olson says the organization looks after all the instruction, for $6 monthly dues, and even supplies instruments for you. The group started in 1944 with 23 members, all beginners. Today it has about 125, an impressive number, especially when you see them marching in full formation, in the bright red uniforms which are the traditional garb of the British beefeater. On these occasions they are flanked by a corps of 30 baton-twirling majorettes, the Jesters, also in costume. They too are looking for new members, girls between 13 and 18. The band plays and marches in half-time shows at all B.C.Lions games, as well as putting on concerts both locally and nationally.





ABOVE: Linda Baker in her Junior Band West Point uniform

ABOVE: PNE PARADE, 1963 The band is now wearing their famous Beefeater uniforms.

ABOVE: Seafair Parade Seattle

B.C.Lions FC – Putting on a Show!

ABOVE: Halftime chart showing the bands marching formations. Bottom, Dal Richards with Gordon Olson, Beefeaters and Jesters.

Between the “House Band,” the Lionettes and the Beefeaters, the three conjure up 10 entertainment units. Costs include payment of union musicians and special guests, various props and the services of two dressmakers – all costumes are custom made. Themes are decided on by April preceding each season – which begins at the end of July. Richards charts out the over-all movements of the marching bands and Lionettes, calculates the number of individuals required to form each letter or symbol on the field, and co-ordinates their individual displays.

There are six practices of about two hours for the Beefeater Band and the Lionettes, for each game, and one dress rehearsal with everyone participating. Grey Cup shows require more rehearsals. Marching in formation and forming messages and symbols on the field is done in reference to the yard-line markings and the hash lines, which run the length of the field, 20 yards in from the sidelines.

Timing is imperative. The Lionettes, Beefeater Band and Stadium Band enter from different corners of the field at the same time – when the scoreboard clocks run out for half time. Once arranged in their alloted areas, starting from either block (rectangular) or company front (face-front, single file) formation, they move from formation to formation, aware of guidelines ….. (more to come)

1963 BC Lion's Junior Marching Band

ABOVE: B.C. Lion’s Stadium Band, Cheerleaders, Majorettes and B.C. Lions’ Junior Marching Band

Today’s halftime show – CANADIAN HOLIDAY – will feature 250 performers. They are: B.C. Lion’s Stadium Band, directed by Dal Richards, The B.C. Lions’ Cheerleaders with Leo mascots Susan Drake and Jeffrey Hyslop and choreography by Grace Macdonald.

Our holiday includes a visit to Easteern Canada for winter-time sports, to the Maritimes for summertime water skiing, to the Pacific Coast for golf and tennis, and a visit to the Calgary Stampede on the prairies.

The show is climaxed by the formation of the Maple Leaf, nine football players representing the member clubs of the Canadian Football League, and a huge replica of the Grey Cup.


1962 Western U.S. Tour


ABOVE: On the evenings of Friday May 25 and Saturday 26 at the Queen Elizabeth Playhouse the Vancouver Junior Band put on a Pageant of Music. The Master of Ceremonies was Ted Reynolds. Selections included Chilcothian Sentinel by Hall, Danse Pavanne by Cacavas, Hymn to Diana by Gluck, Armada by Bennett, Two familiar Hymns by Cruger, March and Chorus by Handel, Americana by Buchtel, Annie laurie A La Moderne by Leonard, Fiesta Finale by Kepner, Drummin’ Thro’ The Rye by Ostling, Prayer and Dream Pantomine by Humperdinck and Finlandia by Sibelius.




ABOVE: Don Jewell

There was always activity surrounding the Vancouver Junior Band and 1962 was a big year. The band was putting emphasis in two major fields, in musical accomplishment and in precision marching instead of concentrating on one. While on a concert tour of the western US where they performed at the Seattle World’s Fair, in Los Angeles and in Salt Lake City they took 1st Place in the California State Marching Band Competition (Alameda County Fair in San Francisco) and 1st Place in the Southern Oregon Band Competition (Ashland, Oregon parade). Back home once again they took 1st Place in the PNE Band Competition.

BOTTOM: San Francisco, California. Gil McKinnon, Richard Huber, Andrea Mattinson, Lorraine Hepting, Cathy Olar. Night out at Fisherman’s Wharf.  BELOW: Gavin Beveridge, Bill Hallett, Bill Keyes, Gil McKinnon , Stan Williamson

TOP: Time on the tour bus. Dave Purves, Bill Keyes, Tom Mackie (girls unknown)

MIDDLE: Monterey, California. Dan Mattinson, Andrea Mattinson. Touring antique car collection.

MIDDLE LEFT: Brownsville, Oregon. Gil McKinnon, Andrea Mattinson, Stan Williamson, Bill Hallett   Thanks to Dan Mattinson for the above photos.

ABOVE: Photos courtesy of Don Jewell

ABOVE: Al Lynch’s photos


1962 - June 30

Above: Beefeater Uniforms have been adopted by the B.C. Junior Marching Band. Modelling new attire are, from left, Herb Neufeld, Andrea Mattinson, Bill Hallett, Gil McKinnon and Phylis Surgess. Stan Williamson, extreme right, shows the band’s old West Point-style uniform.


Joe Mogush, a former Bayshore Hotel Manager decided the band’s quality was way ahead of its name. “Call em Beefeaters,” he suggested. “Dress em up like Beefeaters. You’ll get famous.”

Mogush was right, although the odd band member may have cursed his name a few miles into a long parade on a hot day, decked out in the pure wool orange and black rig of tights, knickers, blouse, tunic top and skirt panels, topped with distinctive, rosetted hat and bottomed out by clunky black shoes. The uniforms cost $700 apiece and over the years will be let out, taken in and passed down to hundreds of players.

The B.C. Lions FC

“We love the L – the I – the O – N – S…”

When Chrysler of Canada became stricken with the promotional value of the Lions’ halftime entertainment in 1962, the budget climbed to $22,000 a season. For a Grey Cup game, Richards got $5,000 to play around with. Even in those days of Dinah Shores, Frank Sinatras and Bing Crosbys, that was musical extravagance at its best. And to think it all started with a song, a girl from Edmonton with a talent for writing lyrics, and a band-leader who originally didn’t know Indian Jack from Hiawatha. The song was Sunshine of Your Smile. The new lyrics, which have since become a Lions’ trademark, were written by Peggy Nichol, a script writer for an Edmonton radio station and a friend of the B.C. Lions’ first treasurer, Ned Wigington. The band leader of course, was Dal Richards.

1962 Seattle Fiar

Vancouver’s Junior Band at World’s Fair
University of Washington majorette Carole Peterson, inspects Vancouver’s Junior Band and its majorettes on the International Mall at Seattle World’s Fair Wednesday. Band captain Mike Hardon, stands at left. Miss Peterson is a judge for the two-day international baton-twirling contest.

1962 Seattle Fair - 2