Fonds PR-0003 - Victoria Young Men's Christian Association fonds

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Victoria Young Men's Christian Association fonds

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  • textual record
  • microform
  • moving images
  • multiple media

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1906-[ca. 1952] (Creation)
    Victoria Young Men's Christian Association

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Physical description

54 cm of textual records, 3 film reels

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Administrative history

The Victoria Young Men's Christian Association was founded in 1884. The scope of the YMCA's activities expanded over the years to include religious and educational training, social and athletic activities, dormitory facilities and numerous boys programmes. In 1961, the Victoria YMCA and the Victoria YWCA began to operate jointly and in 1965 a new building was erected to house both organizations.

The idea for the establishment of a Victoria branch of the Y.M.C.A. was first conceived in the summer of 1884 by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Hills of Columbia, Mayor Fell, Noah Shakespeare, John Jessop, and David Spencer, in consultation with the general secretary of the Pacific Northwest field. As a result of their meetings, two delegates were appointed to the first general convention of the Y.M.C.A.'s western division held in Portland, Oregon. Following this, on November 10, 1884, in rooms on the southwest corner of Government St. and Bastion St., the Victoria branch of the Y.M.C.A. was organized; a board of directors was elected and a ladies auxiliary formed.

On September 15, 1886 the association moved to new and better quarters in Spencer's Arcade, Broad St.; in November 1888 the Hon. John Robson, Premier of British Columbia assumed the presidency. Another move was made on March 8, 1890, to more adequate quarters in the Green Warlock Block, corner of Trounce Ave. and Broad St., where work was carried on with varying success for twenty years. Also in the year 1890, the association was duly incorporated and took its place as a leading popular institution in the city. The organization waned in 1899, and was dormant for two years, then it was re-organized and revitalized.

After many years of planning for a new building, 1909 saw the completion of a campaign which raised $100,306 in fourteen days from some 800 subscribers. Property at the corner of View St. and Blanshard St. was purchased, and construction proceeded. The cornerstone of the new building was laid August 16, 1910, by Sir Richard McBride, and it opened in July 1911. During these years the scope of the Y.M.C.A.'s activities increased greatly, to include religious and educational training, social and athletic activities, dormitory facilities, and numerous boys programs. Throughout the war years, the association provided recreational and other services for the soldiers in the city. Growth of the associ ation continued in the years between the wars, new facilities were added, programs expanded, particularly in the boy's department, and the Y.M.C.A.'s popularity increased. Financial troubles constantly plagued the association through the depression, but it remained active.

The Second World War again saw the Y.M.C.A. involved in providing services and facilities to the military, with a canteen for recreation, and several aid programs for war relief. By the 1960's the Y.M.C.A. had expanded to the point where it was again ready for new quarters. An intensive campaign was begun in 1963, under the leadership of Lieutenant-Governor George Pearkes. The climax of this building program came with the laying of the cornerstone of Victoria's new $1,317,000 Y.M.-Y.W.C.A. facility at Broughton St. and Courtney St. June 26, 1964. The new building housed a gymnasium, swimming pool, restaurant, youth center, lounges, meeting and club rooms, health clubs for men and women, and a residence. The Y.M.-Y.W.C.A's programs extend from social and athletic programs for all ages, to youth camps and educational courses.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors, General Secretary's Reports, financial statements and annual reports. It also includes films showing activities at the YMCA in 1938 and at the YMCA's Camp Thunderbird in 1938 and the early 1950s.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Victoria YMCA, 1972 [?] and 1985.


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  • No access restrictions apply.
  • Conservation restriction: material in cool or cold storage requires special retrieval and handling.

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File list available.

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No further accruals are expected.

General note

Archives code(s): MS-0214; F1985:16.

General note

Accession number(s): 72-030; F1985:16


Moving image originals may be in cool or cold storage. Contact staff for specific details.

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