1936 Crystal Palace


Buckingham Palace 1936
Card provided by Carson Manzer
Scanned version courtesy: Vintage Brass Band Pictures (www.harrogateband.org)

The following three quotations were taken from a small booklet “The Vancouver Kitsilano Boys Band – Woodwinds, Brass, and Glory” published sometime after 1961:



– Ottawa, June 26, 1936 From directly under the arch of the Peace Tower, the strains of “O Canada” poured out into the air at 11:40 o’clock this morning to inaugurate the concert being given by the Vancouver Kitsilano Boys’ Band and also to create a unique record.

It is the first time that a band concert has been given from directly under the arch of the Peace Tower, and it fell to the Vancouver band to have the honor, only because the location chosen for the concert was in the sun and the arch was shaded.

When the Citizen representative called this morning at the special cars in which the boys were travelling, he found them cleaning up after breakfast. Some of the boys were cleaning the tables, others, wearing rubber aprons, were washing dishes, while others were wiping the dishes. And through it all there was a spirit of play, the boys talking, laughing and singing. Mrs. Delamont said her boys were very capable and well able to look after themselves. Minor infractions of rules, she said, resulted in extra detail in washing dishes, etc., but the boys took it all in good nature.



Dublin, August 5, 1936 Traffic was suspended in Dawson St. when the Vancouver Boys’ Band, which arrived on Tuesday morning at Dun Laoghaire, played the Free State and Canadian National Anthems outside the Mansion House before leaving for the R. D. S. Show Grounds.

Attired in white silk shirts with red and blue capes, the fifty members of the band presented a smart and colourful appearance. They were accompanied by their conductor, Mr. Arthur Delamont, and manager of the tour, Mr. C. Stockwell (London). The Lord Mayor, (Ald. A. Byrne, T. D.), who stood on the Mansion House steps while the band played, welcomed them and hoped that their first visit to Ireland would be enjoyable.Mr. Delamont said they were honoured to be asked to play in Dublin, which was famed for its musical talent.

The Lord Mayor entertained the boys at the Mansion House, and presented each with a souvenir. Mr. J. Cormack, Canadian Trade Commissioner, was present. The boys, who range from 14 to 19 years, purchase their own instruments and pay for tuition. Their tour is largely educational. After the Horse Show, the band will fill engagements in Southport, Morecambe, Dunfermline, Bath, Newbury, London and finally Eastbourne.



Our boys are winning again!

London, Sept. 27, 1936 The Kitsilano Boys’ Band climaxed its triumphant tour of England Saturday when it won the Cassell’s Challenge Shield for junior bands at the Crystal Palace.

Competing against 35 other bands, each of them composed of adult musicians, the youthful Vancouver aggregation thus scored the outstanding success of its career.

The “Junior” band competition is one of the big features of the annual band day at the Palace, and the shield is one of the sought-after trophies hung up for competition. The word “Junior” really means small bands, the number being limited to 25, including the conductor. Only brass instruments are permitted in the class.

“It is a magnificent band, brilliant in tone, technically first-rate, and sensitive in response. It is true that the program soared no higher than Offenbach’s ‘Orpheus in the Underworld’ Overture – but it would be churlish to stint praise for really fine work.”

Arthur Delamont, the conductor, had been training for six weeks specially for the contest and finally selecting the 25 he considered the best group.

“A Lancastrian near me remarked: ‘By goom, you lads wi’ t’ trombones show up the men as have been playing in t’ contest.’ I could not deny it.”

ABOVE: The bus the boys used to tour Scotland, the Vancouver Girls’ Band on the steps of the old courthouse in downtown Vancouver.


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