Welcome to the August edition of our 50 in 50 blog series, where we highlight 5 different artifacts from the Transcona Museum's collections every month. There will be a total of 50 artifacts discussed by the time we reach our last post in October 2018. This series is done in commemoration of our 50th Opening Anniversary of the Transcona Museum. This month we are highlighting artifacts that are celebrating the strong community of sports in Transcona: curling, football, baseball, hockey, speed skating, basketball and more. Whether it's by coming together to cheer our teams on during a game or to celebrate triumphs and commiserate over losses, sports have a way of bringing people together.
#36 - TH85.5.1
During the historically cold and biting winters here in Manitoba, children and adults have found ways to make the winter season pass by more quickly. Skating is just one example of an enjoyable winter activity. Speed skating in particular has been a sport in Transcona since the 1930s. The most famous speed skater from Transcona is Susan Auch. She began competition speed skating in 1975 and participated in numerous competitions at local, national, and world championship levels. One of her greatest accomplishments includes competing in five different Winter Olympics where she won two silver and one bronze medal.
Although these speed skates did not belong to Susan Auch, they were donated to the Transcona Museum in 1985 by a local resident.
#37 - TH95.123.3
Rugby Champs Patch
This patch comes from the 1941 Transcona Rugby champions, in the intermediate division. We don’t have much information on the team, but what we do know is that this patch was donated by Municipal Official Bernie Wolfe (whom Bernie Wolfe School was named after). Presumably, the colouring on this patch would have matched the team's uniforms with the team mascot being the feline figurehead.
#38 - TH2012.7.4
Curling club Pin
Here in Manitoba, as much as the rest of Canada, we love to Curl. Back in the early days of Transcona, curling was one of the more popular sporting activities available at the time. This pin is from an unknown year but it has “Transcona Ladies Curling Association” on the front side border, circled around a picture of a classic curling rock and corn broom. These traditional emblems of curling are not used anymore as they have been upgraded in recent years. This pin was most likely given to the members of the Ladies League at the end of a season to celebrate a successful year.
#39 - TH220.127.116.11-2
Transcona Girls Legion Baseball Team Captain's Uniform, ca. 1960's
The Transcona Girls Intermediate Softball League was formed in 1932, consisting of 4 initial teams. The British Empire Services League Royal Canadian Legion Transcona Girls Baseball team has been around since the 1940s with the team winning a softball championship in the 1950s.
Although beautiful, the design and the type of fabric the uniform top is made of does not really seem to lend itself to the playing of such a rigorous activity! The royal blue satin, or rayon, top does not seem very breathable and should the fabric rip, or be damaged in any way, is not very easily repaired. Though this specific top does show signs of repair, specifically in the underarm area and on the bottom-front of the top. The bottoms are slightly better designed. It's made with sturdy fabric, possibly canvas, and a high waist and elasticized legs. The elasticized legs are likely to ensure that the women could move without worrying about the shorts getting caught on anything. In photographs of team members, they all wore dark coloured, likely blue or navy, ribbed knit stockings or tights.
The uniform is currently on display in our front gallery at Transcona Museum for our "Fabric of Transcona" exhibition. Feel free to come by the museum and see it.
#40 - TH97.44.1
Transcona Nationals Jacket
The name Transcona Nationals has been around for a long time. In 1912 a Transcona Nationals Football team was formed, but they did not play American Football, rather they played Soccer. Sponsored by the Canadian National Recreation Association, they participated in the 3 Division Winnipeg and District League. Starting in the second division, they captured the title in 1923 and moved into the first division the following season. All that good luck, however, could not stop the Great Depression from hitting and the team was disbanded sometime in 1932. In 1957, the Nationals returned to Transcona. On 28 March 1958, the Transcona Nationals Football Club was officially formed. This particular jacket was worn by Mr. George Nys who was a member and the president of the club.
While they took a little bit of a break, the Nationals are still going strong today and foster great community spirit in Transcona!
Come back in September to read about #40-45
Transcona Museum Archives.
Transcona Museum Collection.
Transcona Museum Exhibition Inventory.