THE WINDING ROAD
If one looks at the details of the Commonwealth Games regarding Canadian Boxers,
it is a very bright picture with assorted medal winners, But, in 1989 the road was
long and winding, and each stp of the way was not filled with visions of Gold, Silver
and Bronze or the Red & White of Canada's colors.
At times, the path ahead looked bright with a rainbow of color, but then again
nothing is always bright and glittering. Along the way, there were dark days
along the twisting turning path.
Difficult to say what was the first big roadblock, was it the organizing of
volunteers, the side trip to the Seattle Goodwill Games, or the voices of
darkness calling for a boxing ban, or later some members of the public
screaming for the sport of rowing to be in the Games with direct attacks
on the sport of boxing with all the usual talking points.
Before this game of musical chairs began and long before the opening
bell of the first boxing bout, a boxing committee was established in 1989,
It was to part of the sports committee of the
VICTORIA COMMONWEALTH GAMES SOCIETY.
The first four members of the boxing committee were:
HASSAN SUNDERANI, BRIAN W. ZELLEY, MIKE SARTORI and GLYNN JONES.
At the time J. STOTHART was the contact person and the Executive Director
of the VCGS.
THE END GAME
By the time the last flag was lowered and the teams departed,
Canadian boxers shared in a half dozen of medals
due to the efforts of our boxers and the coaches,
The boxers were:
DOMENIC FIGLIOMENI, CASEY PATTON, MICHAEL STRANGE,
WALD FLEMING, R. DONALDSON, DALE BROWN. and ALLAN
EVERYONE HAS A ROAD TO TRAVEL
Step back to 1989, and none of the 1994 medal winners were sitting upon
any senior Canadian title throne, that would come later when the likes of
Scotty Olson, Geronimo Bie and others would step aside and slowly
the boxers from Domenic Figliomeni to Robert Dale Brown
would appear to travel along the boxing highway towards 1994.
In 1990, Michael Strange would replace WESLEY SUNSHINE as
the featherweight champion, but by 1993 he would replace
BILLY IRWIN as lightweight champion. Also in 1993 we would
see the arrival of Casey Patton and Rowan Donaldson.
TEN NAMES & TEN STORIES
A FOOT IN THE DOOR - GREATER VICTORIA BOXING ASSOCIATION
Take four committee members and six medal winners and you end-up
with ten stories. But between 1989 and 1994, there were many others
involved with the planning, organization and execution.
During 1989, it was a lot of meetings to decide the direction that we
would take. One of the first areas was to work on a guide to Boxing
in the Commonwealth Games. Hassan would primarily handle that
job, but I would deal with a brief overview of amateur boxing in
Then in 1990, steps would begin to organize a community of boxing
volunteers. The first official public meeting took place on
April 21, 1990 at the "Victoria Commonwealth Games Society".
The official title of the meeting was
"Meeting of Victoria Boxing Enthusiasts".
It comprised of VCGS's John Stothart, boxing committee members
Sunderani, Zelley, and Sartori, and various interested persons
past Island Commissioners RICK BROUGH and BERT WILKINSON,
Ian Duddy, Ian Weir, Dr. Dan Buie, Wes Byrnell and Pud Smith.
The primary decision reached by the members present was to
formally re-establish the "GREATER VICTORIA BOXING ASSOCIATION"
as a primary vehicle to formally organize a group of volunteers under
a structured organization. Also, all the boxing folks present would
agree to invite interested boxing enthusiasts to the meeting.
Some of the volunteers: