During the summer a group of archers under the auspices of the YMCA and with the guidance of Jack Lee formed the foundation for the first organized archery club since the war. This group was known as the Victoria Archers and Beacon Hill Park was used as a target range for that season. David Odlum was the President
On November 1, the Maquinna Archery Club was formed with Herb Shade as president. Indoor shooting was conducted at the Rainbow Sea Cadet Hall (Work Point Barracks in Esquimalt). Outdoor shooting took place in the area between Shelbourne and Richmond Streets, west of Hillside Avenue. A competition was held with the Cowichan Bowmen. Later that summer a tournament for Vancouver Island was held at Cobble Hill.
|1950||In March, the clubs split with the new Victoria Bowmen formed and on April 20, the first constitution of the new club was adopted. The club joined with the 75th Regiment Bowmen for indoor shooting at the Bay Street Armouries and outdoor shooting at Landsdown field. The club President was David Odlum and then John Askham.|
|1951||Jack Askham was president with Jack Windebank as vice and Mabel Windebank as Secretary/Treasurer. With Jack Askham’s move to Cobble Hill, Jack Windebank took over as president. An outdoor range was set up in Victoria West Park.|
The club name was changed to Victoria Bowmen of the 75th Regiment. An outdoor range was located off Helmken Road between the Old Island Highway and Burnside Road. Bob and Bess Copeman new comers from Edmonton joined along with enthusiastic new comers Frank and Lil (Mac) Jones. Bill Carnes was president with Dave Odlum vice. Irene Stewart was Secretary/Treasurer. Members of the club joined the Canadian Archery Association and participated in the Mailmatches.
Dick Lower was president, Jim Stewart, vice, Irene Stewart Secretary and Dave Odlum treasurer. A new outdoor range was obtained. It was located by the Colquitz River, off Hunter Road in what is now the Cuthbert Holmes Park. A lease from the municipality of Saanich on a year to year basis for $1 year was obtained.
Bob Copeman was president with Bill Carnes vice, Irene Stewart Secretary/Treasurer. The club participated in the Outdoor Mailmatches for Target and Field from the much improved Colquitz Range. Indoor shooting was still at the Armories.
|1955||Bob Copeman was re-elected as president with Bob Akins vice and Irene Stewart acting as secretary. The 75th Regiment was absorbed into the No. 5 West Coast Harbour Defence Battery. This changed the club name to Victoria Bowmen of the 5th West Coast Defence Battery, a rather’ unwieldy handle. Subsequently the club name was changed to Victoria Bowmen. A roofed over picnic table was erected at the range and other improvements undertaken. The club continued to flourish. Target and Field mailmatches were again supported and scores climbed.|
Indoor shooting was held in the Fraser Street Hall. At times during the period between 1953 and 1963, we used a hall above a night club on Broad Street and also a hall above Robinson’s Sporting Goods store. We also had an indoor range in the Williams building. In 1956 and 1959 the club hosted the BCAA Championships with the CAA Regional event. Bob Akins was president. Fred Usher was president in 1959.
In 1962 the club hosted the Pacific Northwest Archery Association Championships along with other island clubs.
|1963-1964||An affiliation with the Dockyard Recreation Association (D.R.A.) allowed for indoor shooting in the D.R.A. hall. President was William Gerry, William Gill was vice and Bob Copeman was Secretary/Treasurer.|
|1964||A fine new outdoor range was located within the D.N.D. property off Wilfert Road. Development of this property was started. With the acquisition of this fine new property, the Victoria Bowmen turned its Colquitz River range over to the Seaview Archers.|
|1969||The Victoria Bowmen host their first Canadian Archery Championships using the Wilfret Road property and MacDonald Park in James Bay.|
|1971||The Club hosted numerous Pacific Northwest Outdoor, Vancouver Island Indoor and Outdoor and BC Outdoor and Indoor tournaments. The D.R.A. hall was turned into a club and the Victoria Bowmen moved back to the hall above Robinson’s Sporting Goods Store.|
|1972-1974||The Club moved their indoor facility to St. Adian’s Church Hall near the Shelbourne plaza and then to the Henderson Park Pavilion on Cedar Hill Road a part of the Oak Bay Recreation complex.|
|1975||The club hosted the World Team Trials (Grenoble) at the University of Victoria.|
|1976||The Club hosts the Canadian Archery Championships combined with the 1976 Olympic Trials at the Wilfret Road Range (Field) and St. Michael’s University School (Target). With the assistance of Victoria High School wood shop, the club builds a ‘temporary club house’, the centre of all club activities. The clubhouse was opened by then FCA President Ray Crawford cutting the bowstring across the doorway with a broadhead.|
|1978||The Club again moved their indoor program to the Marigold Activity Centre and Royal Oak School.|
|1979||Work begins on the lower FITA field, a swamp in the spring with many large stumps and logging debris. Most of the initial work (stump removal) is done by hand! The final work is done with bull dozers under the guidance of a professional landscaper.|
|1980||Due to heavy vandalism and dwindling numbers the Seaview Archers folds and is absorbed by the Victoria Bowmen, the Colquitz range is no longer used.|
|1981||The Club moved the indoor program to the MacCauley Point Gym in Esquimalt only a stone’s throw from its original indoor facility. Many members of the club had shot here for years as members of the former Cedar Forest Bowmen a club sponsored by the base. When this club folded their members joined Victoria Bowmen.|
|1982||The club hosts the Canadian Archery Championships with the Target being held at the Juan de Fuca Recreation complex, the first of many successful partnerships at this facility.|
|1986 & 1989||The club again hosts the Canadian Outdoor Championships.|
|1991||The Victoria Bowmen are awarded the 39th World Archery Championships for 1997.|
|1996||The Club hosts the Canadian again as a test tournament for the ’97 Worlds again at JDF and Wilfret Road. The current Thunderbird logo was commissioned from local artist Sue Coleman for this event.|
More than 400 of the world’s top archers came to Victoria to compete in the second largest world championships ever. The championships were held at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium. In May the club hosted the inaugural Canada Cup tournament as a test tournament for the Worlds.
|2000||Finding a suitable indoor facility again becomes a challenge as the club moves to the Naden drill shed, cold shooting days are the norm!|
|2002||The indoor program moves to John Stubbs School in Belmont Park.|
|2003||The Club hosts the Canadian Archery Championships, again at Wilfret Road and Juan DeFuca Recreation Centre.|
|2008||The indoor program moves to Sangster School on Metchosin Rd.|
|2009||The Club cannot afford the new rental charges announced by DND, the last arrow is shot on the Wilfret Road property in October. The Club’s outdoor program moves to Sangster School.|
|2010||The club finds new property from the Provincial Capital Commission on West Burnside Road near the corner of Watkiss Way.|
|2011||February: Work begins on the new property. The club also adds Thursday/Sunday shooting at the Commonwealth Place.
April: Shooting begins at the new property. Terrain is rough, but it’s a place to shoot!
May: Work stops while environmental assessments are carried out. Shooting continues.
October: Work recommences on the road and the shooting field after approval from View Royal Council. Grading completed container moved. Rock picking, seeding and raking commence. We finally get a weekday shooting time at Commonwealth Place.
|2012||A compound is built around the containers, the parking lot is enlarged, more grass seed and we finally have an archery range. The club hosts one of the most successful and largest Canadian Championships.|
|2014||The club continues to work on the property, more grass has been planted, a shooting shelter built, new shooting line installed. The club continues to shoot indoors at the Saanich Commonwealth Place.|
|2015||A new website is launched for the club! The old site is kept online for archival purposes.|
2018 – 2019 – The Club hosts the BC Indoor Championships at the West Shore Recreation facilities on Sooke Road – both events are most successful incorporating the first money shoots for BC.
2021 – The property is transferred to BC Transit to build a new Handi-Dart facility, the club moved out effective 15 August – The search for new property continues as of this writing.