Another Island sports club faces a looming shutdown. The twist on this one, however, is that it has nothing to do with COVID-19.
The Victoria Bowmen Archery Club will lose its home outdoor range in View Royal on Sept. 1, due not to the pandemic, but a contentious new handyDART bus facility.
The Victoria Bowmen have a proud history and produced four Olympians — Vi Muir at Munich in 1972, Wanda Allan at Montreal in 1976 and Los Angeles in 1984, and John McDonald and Brenda Cuming at Seoul in 1988.
“Archery only came into the Olympics in 1972, so that’s a big deal and quite impressive for our club,” said Al Wills, president of the Victoria Bowmen.
The Bowmen also hosted the 1997 world championships at Centennial Stadium.
The Bowmen club started in 1949 in the area between Shelbourne and Richmond streets west of Hillside Avenue. It moved in 1953 to Cuthbert Holmes Park before relocation to DND land off Wilfert Road in Colwood from 1965 to 2005 and then to the current View Royal location on provincially owned land, which is now designated to be a handyDART bus depot.
The depot will spell the demise of the 100-plus member Bowmen as an outdoor club. The club will still shoot at Saanich Commonwealth Place, its indoor home in fall and winter for more than 20 years, and where netting protects the walls from errant arrows.