History of the Squamish Valley Rod and Gun Club

1942 - 2017

 

 

The Club was founded under the Societies Act October 2, 1942. Canada was at the time engaged in fighting the Second World War. Several residents of Squamish were serving overseas in all of the military services and were or became Club members. These are some of the original and early members:

Ross Chapman

Len Gorsuch

Bert Rai

John Westski

Ed Bishop

Keith Kennedy

Dick Yeomen

Roy Binnings

Thor Halvorson

R. Ferguson

H. Hedan

Ted Harkley - who was part owner of Harkly and Haywood, a large sporting goods store in Vancouver was an early member.


It is believed that Orville Van Horlick - donated the property for the Club although most of the site was Crown land.

 

Club members met at the original Legion hall that was located on Cleveland Avenue. There were a few sites that members used for shooting, a gravel pit north of what was then town and trap shooting off the dyke at the confluence of the Squamish and Mamquam rivers.

 

The present Club location was established in 1960 with no club house. The rifle range was cleared in the 1960's by John Hunters and Sons. Construction took about six months . All facilities were built by members with Club money and the donation of materials.

 

There was no caretaker on the Club grounds that resulted in careless firearm use and saw everything being used as targets. Vandalism resulted in the Club house windows being covered with steel covers.

 

In the early 1980's rock climbers attempted to occupy the rock faces at the end of the firearm ranges as climbing sites. They claimed the rock faces had natural hand holds that in fact were the result of the Canadian Military use of the rifle range for practice that included 50 caliber ammunition that left pockets in the rock.

 

The club maintained a membership of 150 to over 200 during the 70, 80 and 90's and had a caretaker living on site, The trap range was closed in 2005 due to the operations at the asphalt plant being showered with shot.

 

When Vancouver /Whistler were awarded the 2010 winter Olympics, a major upgrade of Highway 99 was required. The contractor Peter Kiewit was awarded the contract and chose in conjunction with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to use the Rayonier Pit adjacent to the Club as their quarry and crushing site. There operations took over a large part of what is now the trap range. There was no consultation with the Club and the Executive of the Club chose to not challenge the occupation.

 

Kiewit began their operations in 2007 that resulted (for the reason of safety for their workers), in severe restrictions on the use of the rifle range and closure of the handgun range.

 

On the conclusion of Kiewit operations they agreed to construct the berm that now encloses the trap range and re-contour the site where the new trap ranges are located. The Club undertook to complete the trap range, constructing drainage ditches and building two new trap houses.

 

During the Kiewit occupation had it not been for the Archery section of the club keeping the Club running, the Club would have most likely folded due to the curtailment on the firearm ranges.

 

Membership was less than 150 and the rifle range was being used intermittently by members and non members. In addition targets of all description, frying pans, propane bottles, glass objects, old television sets etc were brought, shot and left.

 

With the completion of the Kiewit operations the Club built a new trap and handgun range and upgraded the rifle range. New facilities and accessibility resulted in the membership increasing over the next few years to over 700 members, both Squamish and non Squamish residents. A new washroom and septic system were built to address the increasing membership.

 

In 2011, the Olympic Legacy fund was set-up providing funds for legacy projects. Discussions with the Squamish Valley Rod and Gun Club and the proponents of a Legacy Park took place whereby the Club agreed that a Legacy Park adjacent to the south side of our Club would be beneficial for the Club in securing the location.

 

The Legacy Park proposal was for a summer site to train biathlon and ski jumping competitors. The Squamish Valley Rod and Gun Club would build the biathlon range. Work began on the biathlon range in 2014 that required an extension of the Club Lease area to accommodate the range. The biathlon range became operational in 2016.

 

The Archery section grew with the addition of the Junior Olympic Programme that has boys and girls age competing and winning at Provincial and Canadian archery events. This programme is run on each Monday during the school year. Wednesday evenings are for adult archers with Friday evening for family archery.

 

Currently there are seven firearms sections where friendly competitions are held each month or some more regularly:

  • Handgun Section that includes an IPSC division

  • Old Farts Pistol Section - Various handguns in use on a variety of targets at 25 yards.

  • Frontier Shoot - Vintage large bore rifles at distances from 25 to 200 yards,

  • .22 Silhouette shoot at distances from 25 to 200 yards,

  • Hunter Shoot - all large caliber rifles from 25 to 200 yards

  • 22. - Two Gun shoot on the handgun range - .22 handguns and rifles at distances from 10 to 25 yards

  • Trap - There are two trap ranges houses where competition are held twice a month.


During 2016 the Club undertook with the District of Squamish, a programme to monitor firearm noise at various locations around the Club from 500 m out to 2500m. This assessment will be completed in the fall of 2017 followed by a review of the data and consultation with experts in making recommendation on what systems are available that will reduce the noise level.

 

Currently membership is capped at 750.

2050 Centennial Way PO Box 384 Squamish BC V8B 0A3 | Map
PRESIDENT : Mike Morgan | president@svrgc.org
MEMBERSHIP : svrgcmembership@svrgc.org
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