Jimmy Grier, the perfect person to meld the Wanderers and the Castaways, was CW's first President. Pictured here, he tells the tale.


Last Friday a gathering of Castaway and Wanderers ex-players gathered at The Temple to meet new and returning players of our men’s teams and to relate some of the history of the club.


Alun Rees, David Clarke, Allan Oliver were all present. Oliver (CASTAWAYS President at the time), opened a few formal words by leading the assembled (who knew the tune), with piano accompaniment to the old Castaways club song. Bob Strachan (CASTAWAYS)*, current VP of the BCRU Board, then gave a brief precise of finances at the time of amalgamation. Finally, Rees (CASTAWAYS), former Manager of Canada NSMT XV’s, a great player, coach, and raconteur gave a thumbnail of the history and the need to revitalise connectedness with the players – men and women and The Temple. One element of extreme significance that Alun pointed out was the number of Men & Women on the club’s Honour Board, all of whom had represented their country in VII’s or XV’s.



Present on the evening were Gareth Rees, Ken Goodland, Ed Knaggs, and Jake Ilnicki. All these men are connected actively, one way or another, to our club today.



There were a number of these people present. Mention has been given to Jimmy Grier’s (CASTAWAYS), significance. As the inaugural President, his task to bring the clubs together in the face of considerable disagreement and negativity (such was loyalty back in the day), was massive. Jimmy set the club off on the right foot.

Ian MacLean (OAK BAY), 3rd President. Macca played with, and had a brief coaching stint with the Wanderers.  His key legacy has been the CW Mini Rugby program which is in its twentieth year.

Chris Noel (CASTAWAYS). 4th President Chris’s timing to step into the role was crucial in that a glaring void had occurred with no candidate in sight. He continued the growth of the club. Chris’s passion for DSC remains today as he sits on the Board of the Sports Club and provides experienced counsel.

Chris Spicer (CASTAWAYS), 5th President.  As a player Spice was “all over the park”.  He brought that high energy level as a leader with many initiatives. His legacy is our 20 Club a venture that is moving the club towards financial stability and growth.

Don Swainson (OAK BAY), 6th President. The Don returned to Victoria from full involvement at all levels of club rugby in Ontario. Don’s legacy is that he was instrumental for advocacy for women’s rugby at CW.  This program at both the Junior and Senior level thrives today.

This is just a glimpse of what these volunteers did for the club.

Although never in the President’s chair, Brent Johnston (OAK BAY), was in the background for these Presidents, along with #7, #8 and our current 9th President, Brian Huse.  He did a stint Managing the NSMT VII’s & XV’s teams, a task which required detail. Brent has dealt with all matters CW, from soup to nuts, in great detail. The club is deeply indebted to him.

A great night was had by all. Look at this site for the posting of the 2023 Men’s & Women’s Schedules this week.

Alan Oliver tickles the ivories.

Alun Rees speaks with true Rees passion. The Don and Gareth enjoy the moment.

Macca and Braddock confer about the past.

Spice, always looking for an opportunity.

Johno capers with Premier Men's Team Captain, Mike Finnemore.

                                               Hutch, current Men's Team Manager, winds it up.
                                                                    (Photos - Alistair Howes)
[*Edit and apologies - Bob Strachan is not the nominated President of BCRU, rather, the current VP of the BCRU Board, as corrected above.  Aplogies to Bob and BCRU for any embarrassment caused by this error!]