Tuesday, March 16, 2010


1994 COMMONWEALTH GAMES BOXING Story: By Brian W. Zelley, B.Com., CA -

.As I look back into the past and revisit the 1994 Commonwealth Games boxing event that took place
in Esquimalt, BC (Greater Victoria), I remember seeing Prince Philip sitting in the audience observing the
action, I remember seeing one of my old coaches BERT LOWES from 1968 volunteering as part of security
(in earlier years, he had been an referee and judge at International events and local club shows),
Then there was Gold River coach MONTY BROWN helping in the corner for one of the foreign boxers.

But the real story for amateur boxing begins in 1989 with the appointment of a boxing committee as part of
the sports committee - the original committee was comprised of Hassan Sunderani, Brian Zelley,
Mike Sartori, Glynn Jones and later Ian Weir and then others such as Bert Lowes and George Armson.

At the time of my appointment, I was a School Trustee with the Greater Victoria School Board,
but my term was coming to an end and there would be more time to get involved with the organizing
process. One of the first requirements was for chairman Sunderani to put together a report. As part of the report,
I put together a mini-history of boxing from Greater Victoria, but much of the data was from my previous work
when I was the editor of the "BC Amateur Boxing News" and publicity chairman for the 1984 Vancouver Island
Amateur Boxing Championships which was a big deal as it was a revival of a tournament that last took place in 1964
with one of the boxers being FRED DESROSIERS who would be one of our 1964 Olympic boxers.

As 1989 turned into 1990, the boxing committee needed to build a volunteer base that would make things happen.
To begin the process of reaching out to ex-boxing folks and supporters of the sport, a public meeting was
arranged in the boardroom of the Victoria Commonwealth Games Society - April 21, 1990.

The first public meeting:
Attending the first public meeting were John Stothart of the VCGS, and boxing committee members
Hassan Sunderani, Brian Zelley and Mike Sartori, and others including Dr. Dan Buie,
Wes Byrnell, Pud Smith, Ian Duddy, Bert Wilkinson, Rick Brough, Ian Weir.

(photo: Pud Smith)

From the first wave of volunteers, Victoria had a good cross section of experienced folks including two
former Vancouver Island Amateur Boxing Commissioners in BERT WILKINSON and RICK BROUGH.
Also, MIKE SARTORI was a boxing coach and at one time he was one of the Team BC coaches for
National competition. Dr. Dan had been a ringside doctor at some pro boxing cards. IAN WEIR
was one of the Victoria boxers that would be part of the revival of amateur boxing in Greater Victoria
in 1974. IAN DUDDY was one of the founding directors of the Victoria Athletic Association in 1976
and would serve for a couple of years as the manager of the VAA boxing program along with coaches
Lou Bujdoso, Brian Zelley and Mike Caird. Lou would later spin-off and form the Victoria Jaycees
Boxing Club of which Sartori and Zelley would join as coaches. Sartori would also continue to host
the BC Diamond Belt tournament after a revival in 1980 into the mid-Eighties such as the 1985 tournament.

1. Establish a training Centre,
2. Revive the Greater Victoria Amateur Boxing Association
3. Spreading the Word - A general public meeting for volunteers.


The earlier meeting with 11 bodies was important, but there was work to do to reach out to more
potential volunteers at a public site. On May 13, 1990 the group of eleven picked a perfect public site
at the popular Princess Mary Restaurant . By the start of the 10:00 a.m. meeting the list of potential
volunteers was raised to 25 with more in future days.

Some of the additional persons with a backgound in boxing included:
Don Orr, Tommy Black, Alan Curtis, and Mike Caird.


Members of the various Sports Committees were given the opportunity to send at least two members to observe
the International event. For boxing, two of us were set to go but the boxing chairman didn't go. So, I went alone
but it was for the finals and not the beginning which would have been more of a learning experience. But it was kind of cool going to the event and running into folks like MONTY BROWN and RON WHALLEY. But due to the timing on the last day

it was too late to get the proper ID to move freely and speak with official and competitors. And unless you get the right access
and freedom of movement, it is reduced to a moment of entertainment rather than an information gathering process to help
future planning.

                                             The Canadian Team some of the members.

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