Part of the story of amateur boxing in British Columbia is the
legacy of the combined South Hill and the Firefighters Boxing
Clubs operated by BERT LOWES and PAT WEST with
a few other trainers and coaches assisting to craft the legend.
BERT LOWES - Coach
South Hill and Firefighters Boxing Clubs
One of seven boxing folk in the BC Sports Hall of Fame
As we reach into the boxing treasure chests of the two clubs,
there are a 1,000 or more stories of the coaches, the boxers,
the club shows, tournaments, the gyms and the travels.
JIMMY WALTERS - Multi-term champion and one of
the core group of 15 inductees in 2010 into the
British Columbia Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame along with:
Harold Mann, Dick Findlay, Freddy Fuller and Frank Scott.
HAROLD MANN - Multi-term champion - Gold Medal 1962
British Empire / Commonwealth Games, Inductee in the
British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame, the Prince George
Sports Hall of Fame and the BC Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame.
Also, served as a coach for the Spruce Capital Boxing Club in
Prince George and served as a Team BC Coach.
DICK FINDLAY - A star boxer of the Sixties. Two time
BC Golden Boy and a Golden Boy runner-up, winner of
numerous competitions and a member of the 1967
Canadian Pan Am Games team and the 1968
Canadian Olympic team. Also, a core member
and honorary director of the BC Amateur Boxing
Hall of Fame. Dick also has served as an official
and a volunteer with Boxing BC.
FREDDY FULLER - A long time star of BC Amateur Boxing
with numerous titles and awards. Member of various boxing
clubs but a valued member of the Firefighters Boxing Club.
Was a champion in the 1968 Pacific Northwest AAU
championships/Seattle Golden Gloves and the 1965
BC Golden Boy. Also, one of the most popular Canadian
boxers to appear in Washington State boxing tournaments.
Was a team member of - Dick Findlay and Frank Scott
in the 1967 Pan Am Games and was a member of the 1970
Canadian Commonwealth Games team.
Freddy is also a core member inductee and an
honorary director of the BC Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame.
FRANK SCOTT - A former member of the Burnaby Boxing Club
and valued member of the Firefighters Boxing Club. Frank was
another outstanding boxer with International standing earning
a Bronze medal in the 1966 Commonwealth Games and
Following his active boxing, he became the founder and
head coach of the Queensborough Boxing Club in
New Westminster and thus passing his excellence to a
new generation of young boxers. Frank is also an
inductee of the Canadian amateur Boxing Hall of Fame
and the BC Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame.
BRIAN ZELLEY - former Nanaimo boxer joined the
Firefighters Club and engaged in numerous tournaments
and club shows. Also a co-founder of the Nanaimo
Boxing Club in 1971 and involved with the revival
of boxing in Victoria in 1974. Also served as a
director with Boxing BC and served as an interim
chairman of the Boxing Committee for the 1994
Commonwealth Games in 1991 Currently and one of
the administrators of the BC Boxing Hall of Fame.
Look through the tapestry of the BC GOLDEN GLOVES
and you will see many threads relating to the alumni of the
clubs. Look through stories of JIMMY WALTERS,
HAROLD MANN, DICK FINDLAY, FREDDY FULLER,
FRANKIE SCOTT, DAVE WYLIE, and GORDIE LAWSON
and we see traces of the South Hill - Firefighters legacy
painted on the wall. Then take another look and see those
such as KALMAN SANTOSI, LINDY LINDMOSER,
LLOYD DUPAS, WINNIE SCHELT, BILL ADAMS,
BOB GINETTI, PADDY CLARK, JIMMY MACMILLAN,
STEVE TOHILL, DEL DEUGAU, JOHN GAMBLE
and others - it paints a glowing picture of amateur boxing.
PAT WEST - BERT LOWES
A NEW DECADE - SIZZLING SIXTIES
1960 BC GOLDEN GLOVES
South Hill Champions
Winnie Schelt - Bill Adams - Bob Ginetti
Lindy Lindmoser - Paddy Clark
DAVE WYLIE - 1967 DIAMOND BOY
1967 BC GOLDEN GLOVES - FIREFIGHTERS
A JANUARY 1968 FIREFIGHTERS BOXING CARD
An important boxing card hosted by the Fire Fighters took
place on January 5, 1968 in Vancouver but the key objective
was to assist in the selection of the BC Team for the
1968 Tacoma Golden Gloves which would kick-off
the tournaments in the PACIFIC NORTHWEST.
Firefighters in the first 7 bouts were John Gamble,
Alf Cool, Danny Gontes, Eddie Ostapovich,
Nicky MacDonald, Jake Wiebe and John Carr.
The top four bouts in-order featured
Brian Zelley, Frank Scott, Freddy Fuller, Dave Wylie
A sample of the open class opponents were
Brian Gray, Jim Dixon, Chester Douglas,
Dave Allerdice, Ron McEcherin, Derek Austin
Ken Henderson, Pat O'Reilly Jr., Les Vegas
Coaches in attendance were
Len Barker, Jack Lucas, Walter Austin, Earl Thompson,
John Wylie, Elio Ius, Terry Cooke,
Pat O'Reilly, Bert Lowes, Pat West.
Continuity and Gloving - Timekeepers
Tommy Yule, Henry Wolfe, Bob Smith
Bill Cowie and Barney Deslauriers
Garry Wallace and Geo. Metkovich
CON ETHIER KEY VOLUNTEER
Len Robertson - Dave Brown - Ron Hollard
Stan Smith - George Sargen
A PERSONAL TOUCHFor a moment in time, I was a member of the Firefighters.
Three of the former members of the club would be part of
another legacy - DAN WRIGHT and BRIAN ZELLEY
would be the co-founders of the NANAIMO BOXING CLUB
in 1971 and in 1973 JACK SNAITH would be the first Nanaimo
Canadian champion. Part of the Nanaimo legacy
can be traced to the FIREFIGHTERS, Lowes and West
and every boxer that trained with the club.
Dan Wright - Brian Zelley in 2010
POST 1968 - coach PAT WEST retired and his place was filled by
former boxing star Lindy Lindmoser and others. By 1970, two of
the key boxers were JOHN GAMBLE and GORDIE LAWSON
also FREDDY FULLER would be in the game for 1970
while FRANKIE SCOTT formed a club in New West.
called the Queensborough Boxing Club.
However, in the Seventies coach Bert Lowes would primarily
focus on Officiating - refereeing & judging and hosting clinics
Best known on an International basis for fighting Cassius Clay
now known as Muhammad Ali
1957 USA National
1967/1968 A YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY
There were also other young boxers that would be part of
the club such as Gordie Lawson and Jack Snaith.
Gordie made and impression when he entered the
1968 Silver Gloves in Richmond. but that was nothing
like his performance in the 1975 BC Golden Gloves.
He scored the only knockout that left his opponent
on the deck for over a minute.
The Firefighters of March 1968 :
SCOTT - MACDONALD - FULLER - ZELLEY- GAMBLE
1968 OREGON GOLDEN GLOVES - Portland
Three Firefighters in the finals were -
SCOTT - ZELLEY - JAKE WIEBE
Other BC boxers in the finals were
Earl McLeay, Dick Findlay, Wayne Boyce,
and Pat O'Reilly. Former Firefighter Findlay was
competing for the East Vancouver Optimists club.
1968 BC GOLDEN GLOVES
At the end of the tournament, the trio of Lennie Walters,
Bill Dickinson and Don Bullough had the task of
selecting - GOLDEN BOY - GOLDEN BOY RUNNER-UP
Runner-up was former Firefighter DICK FINDLAY and
GOLDEN BOY was Portlandès own RAY LAMPKIN.
Firefighters in semi-finals and or finals
Frankie Scott - Brian Zelley - John Carr
Dave Codville - Ted Kellenger - Nicky MacDonald
1968 SEATTLE GOLDEN GLOVES
- PNW AAU CHAMPIONSHIPS-
Of the 19 BC Team, the Firefighters were:
Zelley, Gontes, Wylie, Scott, Fuller, Carr, Sinitsin, and MacDonald.
STARS OF THE SEVENTIES:
Other one time Firefighters in the Seventies:
Steve Tohill, Freddy Fuller, Frank Scott, John Gamble and others.
JOHN GAMBLE reported as a Scientific Boxer, but
lost a decision to FRANK SCOTT (former Firefighter)
but now in New Westminster.
1970 BC AMATEUR BOXING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Firefighters in action:
Larry Sinitsin, Gordie Lawson,John Gamble,
Tommy MacDonald, Steve Tohill. Dave Wylie
1970 CANADIAN CHAMPIONS
A Team Photo including Frank Scott and Freddy Fuller
1968 OLYMPIC GAMES
Donato Paduano and former Firefighter's Dick Findlay
preparing for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.
THE PARADE OF BOXERS and COACHES
Vancouver, British Columbia
South Hill - Firefighters Boxing
Alf Cool - Bert Lowes - Bill Adams - Bob Ginetti - Bobv Lohvin
Brian Zelley - Butch O'Gurien - Colin Coleridge - Dan Wright
Danny Crawford - Danny Gontes - Dave Wylie - Del Deugau
Dick Coulson - Dick Findlay - Eddie Ostapovich - Frank Scott
Freddy Fuller - Fritz Breismeiser - Gordie Lawson - Harold Mann
Jack Snaith - Jake Wiebe - Jimmy Walters - John Cowan
John Gamble - Kalman Santosi - Ken MacDonald - Larry Sinitsin
Lindy Lindmoser - Lloyd Dupas - Nick MacDonald - Paddy Clark
Pat West-Pete Key-Sandy Lorenzen-Steve Tohill-Winnie Schelt
Dave Codville - Jimmy MacMillan - Terry Eastman - Roger Adolph
Ted Kellenger - Tommy MacDonald - Phil Ethier - Kai Yip
(note - these are not all of the boxers that fought for the clubs, but they
represent many of the known boxes - other names will be added if possible)
Roger Adolph - South Hill boxer
ONCE WE WERE YOUNG AND WARRIORS
("It all fades so quickly, like a sunny summers day" - Phil Ochs)
- Training in the dusty old gyms and touching gloves under
the bright lights. But, soon the lights fade to black and we move
in a hundred different directions looking for the answers or searching
for some lost or hidden treasure with no guarantees of success.
GORDIE LAWSON - DAVE WYLIE
LINDY LINDMOSER - BRIAN ZELLEY