Women In Sport : Pre-Confederation Newfoundland
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The ladies of Burin and Grand Bank also participated in a home-and-home series in which the honours were evenly divided. We believe that this is the only ladies inter-town basketball competition in the country. - (Evening Telegram, 9 June 1945)

Basketball is believed to have been introduced into Newfoundland by the Catholic Cadet Corps (CCC) around 1910. The sport became very popular among the women's colleges in the early 1920s, so much so that basketball was quickly labeled a "girl's game".

The first organized girls' basketball team was at Bishop Spencer College, which was followed by the establishment of an inter-collegiate league. Memorial University College students entered the league in 1930, when the college built a basketball court. Games were played in the college gyms as well as outdoors on the Ayre Athletic Grounds. Teams competed for trophies, including the City League Basketball Cup, the Lady Crosbie Cup, the Gosling Trophy, and the Lady Winter trophy. The colleges had sufficient players to support both junior and senior teams.

The local papers nicknamed each team according to uniform colours. The Memorial College team were known as "red-skirts" or the "scarlets"; Bishop Spencer College players were tagged the "blue blouses" and the "Spencer maids in blue"; Prince of Wales College were the "reds and blues," the "women Warriors" or the "white-clad women Warriors".

In addition to the inter-collegiate league, there were two extra-curricular leagues. In the 1930s, there was a Ladies' City Basketball League, with three teams: the YMCA team, the Memorial Girls and the Old Spencerians.

There was also an inter-service league during the war years. In 1945, there were regular exhibition games between the Women's Royal Naval Service (Wrens) and teams representing the women's division of the RCAF. Larger towns, such as Grand Falls and Corner Brook, organized extra-curricular basketball leagues. In the early 1940s, the Grand Falls Athletic Club had an active women's basketball league with four teams: the Hurricanes, the Brownies, the Bluebirds, and the Navy Blue Gold.

In 1945, the Burin Peninsula Athletic Association was formed to renew and promote local interest in organized sport and inter-community competition, including women's basketball teams from Burin and Grand Bank.


Methodist College Ladies Basketball Team 1920
Front row: G. Knight; Ruby Roberts; M. Fenwick; E. Perkins; Marjorie Mews; E. Parsons
Back row: G.G. Palfrey (coach); Muriel Lawrence; G. Sparkes; Frances Soper; O.G. Bishop; E. Martin (M. Robertson, absent)

Ladies’ Basketball Team of Memorial University College 1930
Left to right: M. McRae; F. Swyers; P. Gardiner; M. Butt; M. Cooke; B. Marshall;
N. Clarke; J. Dawe; O.F. Field

Prince of Wales College Basketball Champions [193-?]
Floor: Dorothy Bishop; Jean Randell
Second row: Emma Angel; Marg Randell; Grace Bartram; Ruth Story
Back row: Vera Adams; Dorothy Parsons; Olive Percy

The Wrens [pre-1949]

Grand Falls Hurricanes 1942-43

Left to right:
Joan Carter, Jean Goodyear, Evelyn Snow, Edith (Mercer) Dean, Vera (Morgan) Taylor

Picture courtesy of Vera Taylor

Memorial College Basketball [pre-1949]

Front Row, left to right:
Jess Case, Betty Jamieson, Janet Story, Gert Peters

Back Row, left to right:
Jane Clouston, Ruth Fraser, Betty Bastow, Marg Garland, Elizabeth Carter

Picture courtesy of MUN Office of Alumni Affairs.


Prince of Wales Girls, 1945

Front Row, left to right:
Mary Neal (Vice-Captain), Margaret Gosse (Substitute), Dorothy Smith

Back Row, left to right:
Miss Wright (College Games Mistress, from Victoria), Anne Elton, Lorraine Carter, Margaret Pottle, Joyce Roblin (Captain)


Bishop Spencer College Basketball Team 1936-1937 Champions

Semi-circle reading left to right:
Hilda Nichols, Marjorie Nichols, Leila Suckling, Janet Ayre, Gertrude Burden, Margaret Carnell, Doris Cake, Jean Harnett and Ruth LeMessurier

Miss Freda Berry, gym teacher and coach in center


Vera Taylor
Audio "Grand Falls Hurricanes"