Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 140 years

 

Pay & Donate in the MHS Online Shop

Endangered Top 10
Endangered
Top 10
2019

Manitoba History No. 89
Manitoba
History

No. 89

Summer Field Trip 2019
MHS
Summer
Field Trip

Fall Field Trip 2019
MHS
Fall
Field Trip

War Memorials in Manitoba
War
Memorials
in Manitoba

This Old Elevator
This Old
Elevator

Abandoned Manitoba
Abandoned
Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans
Memorable
Manitobans

Historic Sites of Manitoba
Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Toilers Memorial Park (46 Riverside Drive, Winnipeg)

In 1913, members of the Winnipeg Toilers Basketball Club purchased this Fort Garry property and built a clubhouse. They dubbed the riverside retreat “Toilers Camp” and used the sites as a gathering place for club members and their families. The Toilers won many city and provincial basketball championships and were the Canadian Senior Men’s Basketball Champions in 1926, 1927, and 1932.

On 31 March 1933, two team members were killed in a tragic plane crash, along with aircraft owner J. H. “Jack” O’Brien, team business manager Roy H. “Ray” Bonynge, pilot Avlie H. Hakes, and co-pilot H. E. Eggens, all of Minnesota. All other members of the team were injured in the crash. The team had been returning to Winnipeg from Tulsa, Oklahoma where they had played a series of games. Their tri-motored aircraft crashed in a rain-soaked farm field at Neodesha, Kansas.

In later years, Toilers alumni and crash survivors Walter “Waddy” Ferguson and Charles Harold “Steppy” Fairman owned the property and sought to have it designated as a public park to commemorate their deceased teammates and to preserve the memory of their team. On 30 October 1965, their plans came to fruition when Fort Garry Mayor Leslie Raymond “Ray” Fennell officially dedicated the Toilers Memorial Park. Attending the ceremony were Fort Garry Parks Board Chairman Gary Ross Hobson, former team captain George Wilson, team padre Gordon Maclean, and local residents. A bronze commemorative plaque was unveiled in the park but was later removed. In 1990, it was replaced with a new plaque by the City of Winnipeg and the Fort Garry Historical Society.

Toilers Memorial Park

Torn wreckage of the front of the Toilers aircraft (March 1933)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough, 2014-0327

Toilers Memorial Park

Toilers Memorial Park (September 2014)
Source: Nathan Kramer

Toilers Memorial Park

Toilers Memorial Park (October 2015)
Source: Nathan Kramer

Site Location (lat/long): N49.85089, W97.14775
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Manitoba Organization: Winnipeg Toilers Basketball Club

Sources:

“Who Toilers are,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 April 1933, page 8.

“Memorial to famed Toilers,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 October 1965, page 24.

“Memorial honors Toilers,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 October 1965, page 57.

“Story of the Toilers,” by Bruce Boreham, Winnipeg Free Press, 30 October 1965, page 57.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 27 December 2015

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Browse lists of:
Museums/Archives | Buildings | Monuments | Cemeteries | Locations | Other

Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.


Search Tips | Suggest a Site | FAQ | Acknowledgements

Send inquiries to the MHS Webmaster.

Back to top of page

   


To report an error on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2019 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.