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On 12/5/2016 at 5:15 AM, Robert said:

I just received an email from Andrea Blendl, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Relations, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, informing me that the Whitecaps intend to recognize Harry Manson at some point during the Amway Canadian Championship match at BC Place, Wednesday, June 8th.  The club has also gifted a suite for 22 people to the Manson family for the occasion.

Fabulous Robert, very proud of the reaction of everyone to this great legacy, and good work.

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On 5/17/2016 at 3:40 AM, Unnamed Trialist said:

Fabulous Robert, very proud of the reaction of everyone to this great legacy, and good work.

Thanks. Actually, from the link below it appears that the Whitecaps have been planning to do something like this for a while now:



This weekend’s Premier League action serves as just an appetizer for the really big on Monday, as in-form Arsenal hosts Manchester City.

The Gunners have lost only one of their last 10 league outings and have been scoring plenty of goals along the way. In fact, Arsene Wenger’s side hasn’t been shut out in any competition since Chelsea blanked them 2-0 back in September. His team is also celebrating a big 3-0 win away to Olympiakos in the Champions League, which saw them advance from the group stage despite a poor start in the competition.

Arsenal will face Barcelona when the knockout round kicks off in February.

A key player for Arsenal right now is striker Olivier Giroud. He scored all three goals in the win in Greece, is fifth in Premier League scoring with nine tallies, and has now scored 50 Premier League goals. According to Wenger, Giroud is efficient and mentally very strong, but doesn’t get the credit he deserves, because he is not flashy and fast like so many of Arsenal’s other attackers. The Gunners will need that kind of strength and consistency as they challenge for the league title. They sit in second place, two points behind Leicester.

City meanwhile looks to welcome back striker Sergio Aguero, who has missed the last four matches with a heel injury. City’s Achilles heel, however, is their defence, which has looked vulnerable and disorganized, particularly when without Vincent Kompany. Statistics show that City has conceded goals over five times more frequently this season when their injury-plagued skipper is not on the field.


The 2015 FIFA Club World Cup concludes Sunday in Japan, as Barcelona takes on River Plate of Argentina in the final. Barça overpowered China’s Guangzhou Evergrande 3-0 in Thursday’s semifinal, thanks to a Luis Suarez hat trick, as the Spanish giants look to claim their fifth major trophy of 2015. The win came despite Lionel Messi being a last-minute scratch due to abdominal pain, while Neymar also missed the game through injury. Messi is suffering from renal colic, which is typically caused by kidney stones.

River Plate, meanwhile, advanced thanks to a 1-0 win over Japanese champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima. The Argentine side is led by several key veterans, including goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero, defensive midfielder Leonardo Ponzio, and Uruguayan attackers Carlos Sanchez and Rodrigo Mora. Barovero produced a couple of big saves in the first half against Hiroshima to keep it scoreless.

The hero of the game though was young striker Lucas Alario, who only joined River less than six months ago. Alario was signed to add depth and physicality up front, but he quickly made a name for himself, scoring key goals in the Copa Libertadores semifinals and finals to give River the South American championship. Now Alario has a chance to score in the biggest game of his life.


Congratulations to Carl Valentine, Geri Donnelly, the late Harry Manson, and Steve Nash, for their induction to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, as the Class of 2016 was announced last week.

Valentine has been a fixture and fan favourite in local soccer since arriving here from England in 1979. He played over 400 games in a Vancouver uniform — more than any other player — helped us win the 1979 Soccer Bowl, and represented Canada at the 1986 World Cup. He remains involved today as Whitecaps FC’s club ambassador and residency staff coach.

Steve Nash is of course being inducted for his many years as an NBA superstar, but he’s loved soccer all his life and is part owner of Whitecaps FC. Geri Donnelly was a trailblazer in Canadian women’s soccer and is one of the national team’s all-time best midfielders. She also played two seasons for the Whitecaps women late in her career.

Finally, Harry Manson was a pioneer in the sport over a century ago. Also known by his Snuneymuxw First Nation name Xul-si-malt, he overcame racial prejudice, becoming one of the first aboriginal players to feature on an otherwise all-white team in Nanaimo, as well as to be named a provincial all-star back in 1903. We’re actually looking to honour Harry Manson with a special day at a Whitecaps game next season. Hopefully that comes together, because it’s important to recognize those who helped pioneer the sport.

Bob Lenarduzzi is president of Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Tickets: visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets

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The Friends of Harry Manson are pleased to announce that we are now accepting entries for The Harry Manson Legacy five-a-side women's soccer tournament. The competition will be held in the Judge Alfred Scow Gym, at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, on Saturday, October 22, 2016, at 11 am sharp.

For further information visit www.friendsofharrymanson.com 

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2016 has been great. We hosted the 2nd annual HARRY MANSON LEGACY five-a-side co-ed soccer tournament in the Creekside Gym, at Vancouver’s Olympic Village. Players representing the Native Education College, the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre and the Vancouver Street Soccer League competed for commemorative medals and the recently restored 125-year-old Grand Challenge Cup of the Nanaimo Football Association -1891.


In 2017, we will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Snuneymuxw versus Nanaimo YMCA match, played at Deverill Square, in Nanaimo, on November 12, 1892, by hosting the 2017 HARRY MANSON LEGACY, at Nanaimo, British Columbia. Harry Manson, an inductee into four halls of fame across Canada, was one of the young players from the Nanaimo Reserve who competed in this first soccer match to be played in Canada that featured Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal teams.


We depend on supporters like you to help continue uniting communities through THE HARRY MANSON LEGACY soccer tournament. Please consider supporting Friends of Harry Manson and our initiatives today.








Edited by Robert

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Is there any interest in forming a Voyageurs' team that would be willing to take part in the 2017 HARRY MANSON LEGACY, which will commemorate the 125-year anniversary of the first Aboriginal vs. non-Aboriginal match played in British Columbia?

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So busy working on my new book that I did not notice the following 2016 BC SPORTS HALL OF FAME video clip of Harry Manson till today:


Edited by Robert

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The Manson Family hosted a potlatch to honour me in the Snuneymuxw Longhouse, on Saturday, June 10, 2017. I was given the Hul'qumi'num name of Hwu' hwe'e'em kinum. A good friend of mine penned the following account of the ceremony:


Time and eternity filled the Snuneymuxw Longhouse, spring still underway, summer in the air. Reconciliation and healing, the quiet strength of society, to be named this day.

Two men the centre of attention, a thirst to live with honour and respect linking them, the bridge between indigenous and European cultures spanning a century and more.

Harry Manson, Xul-si-malt, had almost been forgotten until Vancouver resident Robert Janning began research that took him to 1898. Robert never expected the discovery of a star athlete to lead him here, to stand before Xul-si-malt's ancestors, to receive the highest honour of his life.

Rare, unknown in the memory of the elders in the Longhouse, a man of European descent was to be given a gift, a name he would carry forever. At a time when relations could use a bit of mending, when Canada has yet to bridge the gulf between indigenous and European cultures, this gift would come from the heart.

‘For as long as the sun shines, as long as the waters flow downhill, and as long as the grass grows green' ...the first peoples have kept their culture alive in Canada. And remembering this, from treaties as far back as the mid-1600's, First Nations have patiently awaited the promised relationship of equity and peace.

As with all cultures however events and circumstances can lead to individuals, even leaders and heroes, being forgotten in history books if not in the hearts of the people. Janning's writings, as he looked into the roots of British Columbia's soccer history, led him to one such forgotten hero.

Seeing more than an indigenous soccer star however Janning was struck by Harry Manson's considerable contribution to family and culture. Here was a man who broke down racial barriers, in the late 1800s. Here was a man who's life should be honoured.

Not one to hide from a challenge Janning set about inviting recognition of Harry Manson, leading to Xul-si-malt, 'one who leaves his mark', being inducted into local, national and international sports halls of fame.

Step by step the legacy of Xul-si-malt has grown since, inspiring pride and confidence, new skills and a dedication to soccer - a sport First Nation youth, elders and communities increasingly call their own. Many indigenous amateur and professional sports are similarly experiencing a renewed energy and team spirit.

Welcoming the interest and attention the Manson family have embraced the memory of a life well-lived by their great-great-grandfather, an athlete who played for and against both indigenous and European soccer teams of the day. Whether it was with the Nanaimo Thistles, the Snuneymuxw Wanderers, or in some other championship game, Harry Xul-si-malt Manson, was the best, the athlete all wanted to be.

And this all-but-forgotten memory came as a gift from the Creator, that Janning had offered, now to be witnessed in a gathering of family, friends, siem and elders.

Into the Longhouse then, where tradition and ceremony would see an ancestor remembered and a name bestowed. Drumming, masked dancers, rings of clam-shells shaking in one hand, cedar boughs waving in the other. Circling, mesmerizing, hypnotic, bare-foot, feathered and caped they wound round and round, tireless and timeless. Then suddenly a charge towards Xul-si-malt's portrait, or to Janning beside him, turning at the last moment, until finally, in drum thunder and a flurry, the dancers disappear.

Xwu-xwi-é:m (Storyteller), a name Robert Janning would now carry, a responsibility of a high order, and a new family for him to belong to.

For Xul-si-malt and Xwu-xwi-é:m this is a legacy moment, earned with honour and respect. Personal challenges, injustice and mistakes of the past have been well met with honesty, good humour, friendship and new beginnings.

All who've loved these lands and this country, for 150 years and since time immemorial, stand just so, waiting to be remembered, to once again help us overcome our differences and to build a world our children will inherit, together.

Laurie G.


Edited by Robert

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Sunday, November 12th will mark the 125th-year anniversary of the first-ever Aboriginal versus non-Aboriginal soccer match played in Canada. This match was played at Deverill Square (today known as Gyro 2 Park, on Haliburton Street) and featured a team of Snuneymuxw First Nation youths taking on the Nanaimo YMCA Juniors. Harry Manson played for the Snuneymuxw team that day.

The story of Harry Manson, whose traditional name Xul'si'malt means "One Who Left His Mark," tells of the early relationship between First Nations and European settlers on the east coast of Vancouver Island, and shows us how that relationship has grown over time.

Mr. Manson was a Snuneymuxw soccer player who competed in the late 1800s & early 1900s. Over the past few years, Harry has been recognized for his outstanding achievements on the soccer pitch and his exemplary outlook on life by being inducted into the following 4 sports halls of fame:

2014 - The Soccer Hall of Fame, in Vaughan, Ontario
2015 - Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, in Calgary, Alberta
2015 - The Nanaimo Museum Sports Hall of Fame, in Nanaimo, British Columbia
2016 - The BC Sports Hall of Fame, in Vancouver, British Columbia

Thus the 125th anniversary of this match, coincides with Canada's 150th birthday.


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I received the following email from Leonard Krog, MLA Nanaimo, earlier today. The unveiling ceremony, which commemorates the 125th anniversary of the first Indigenous vs. non-Indigenous match ever played in British Columbia, will take place at the location mentioned in his email. The time of the unveiling will be 11:00 a.m., in case anyone in Nanaimo is interested in attending.


The match in question featured a team of Snuneymuxw youths taking on the Nanaimo YMCA Juniors, at Deverill Square, on November 12, 1892, and ended in a 2-2 draw. 


You are cordially invited to the Stop of Interest sign unveiling for Mr. Harry Manson on Monday, December 18th 2017, at Deverill Square Gyro 2 Park, 200 Irwin Street, Nanaimo.


We very much hope you are able to join us for this special event.


Warm regards,


Leonard Krog, MLA (Nanaimo)

4-77 Victoria Crescent,

Nanaimo, BC 

Phone: 250-714-0630

Fax: 250-714-0859


Website: www.leonardkrog-mla.ca

Edited by Robert

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eff Bell / Times Colonist

DECEMBER 17, 2017 06:00 AM

Harry Manson, an early First Nations soccer star, will be recognized with a sign at the Nanaimo field where a memorable game was played 125 years ago.

The provincial government is erecting the “stop of interest” sign on Monday at Nanaimo’s Deverill Square Park, the site of a Nov. 12, 1892, soccer game that was B.C.’s first between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal teams.

A member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, Manson had the traditional name Xulsimalt, meaning “one who left his mark.”

He overcame the racism of his time with his skill and tenacity.

In 1898 he became one of the first Aboriginal players to play for a non-Aboriginal team and vie for a provincial title. He and the Nanaimo Thistles lost the game — and the B.C. Intermediate Challenge Cup — to the Victoria YMCA. In 1907, as a member of Nanaimo United, he won the B.C. championship.

Manson also organized the all-Aboriginal Nanaimo Indian Wanderers Association Football Club. Reports say that he and other First Nations players had to routinely endure such taunts as “Kill the savages!” from onlookers.

The B.C. Sports Hall of Fame notes that Manson broke down racial barriers long before Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson. It lauds him as “one of B.C.’s great pioneering athletes prior to World War I,” known for his incredible speed and ability to put the ball in the net.

The hall credits author Robert Janning with unearthing Manson’s story while working on the 2012 book Westcoast Reign, a history of soccer in the province. Janning made the point in the publication First Nations Drum that Manson’s exploits came at a time “when structures such as Indian reserves and residential schools were still being constructed.”

Grandson Gary Manson said the acclaim being given to his grandfather is “just awesome.”

“He’s already been inducted into four hall of fames, so this is another step in honouring him.”

Along with the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, Harry Manson was named to the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame in 2014, becoming the first Indigenous athlete to receive that recognition. He is also in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Nanaimo Museum Sports Hall of Fame.

Gary Manson said that finding out more about his grandfather has been a gift.

“We’d lost some of the history, so it’s definitely been a great ride for us the last few years.”

Gary Manson said his family did not know the full scope of his grandfather’s athletic accomplishments before the honours began coming in.

“We knew he played soccer, but not to the extent that’s been brought forward so far.”

Soccer serves as a connection with his grandfather, said Gary Manson, who has been involved in the sport for years as a player and coach.

“My whole family’s into it, all my kids, grandkids.”

He said his grandfather stands out as a role model.

“He can give our young people someone to look up to.”

As an elder-in-residence at Vancouver Island University, Gary Manson often hears his grandfather mentioned in conversation.

“We do talk about reconciliation and history, and they do bring up my grandfather.”

Harry Manson died in 1912 when he was 32. He had gone into Nanaimo to get medicine for his son and tried to jump aboard a coal train to get back to the reserve, but fell onto the tracks and died.

His death was front-page news. “Manson was well-known to football enthusiasts in this district, having been a member of the Indian team which made quite a reputation a few years back,” the Daily Colonist reported.


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Picture #1 - Nanaimo United, British Columbia champions 1903, Harry Manson sitting on the right next to the Grand Challenge Cup.

Picture #2 - Snuneymuxw children at the December 18, 2017, Harry Manson "Stop of Interest" sign unveiling.

Picture #3 -  The Harry Manson ""Stop of Interest" sign, located one block from the Snuneymuxw First Nation Reserve, in Nanaimo.

Picture #4 - Robert and Gary Manson, with the Grand Challenge Cup that his grandfather won 114 years ago.

Edited by Robert

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The following online article appeared in the Nanaimo Bulletin:



Author Robert Janning holds the Grand Challenge Cup, a trophy once awarded to the province’s top soccer team between 1892 and 1904. Janning has been in possession of the cup since 2014 and wants to donate the cup to an organization in Nanaimo due to its unique historical connection to the city. He hopes the cup will go on public display and can be competed for once again. (Nicholas Pescod/NEWS BULLETIN)

Vancouver Island author wants to donate historic trophy to Nanaimo

The Grand Challenge Cup was awarded during the 19th and 20th centuries.



Nanaimo News Bulletin

The owner of a trophy older than the Stanley Cup says its time to give it a new lease on life.

For nearly four years, Robert Janning has been in possession of The Grand Challenge Cup, a 90 centimetre silver-plated trophy that was once owned by the Nanaimo Football Association and awarded to the best soccer team in British Columbia between 1892 and 1925.

Janning, the author of Westcoast Reign: The British Columbia Soccer Championships 1892-1905, said he wants to see the trophy returned to an organization in Nanaimo, where it can be on display for the public and can be competed for once again.

“It does no good in a box,” he said.

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Here are a couple of photos from sign unveiling honouring Harry Manson in #Nanaimo the other day. Kids got a chance to look at the Grand Challenge Cup, a trophy older than the Stanley Cup.



The Grand Challenge Cup was manufactured in 1891 by the Toronto Silver Plate Company and given out to the best soccer team in the province by the British Columbia Football Association until 1904. The winners of the first challenge cup were the Nanaimo Rangers in 1892 according to Janning’s website FriendsofHarryManson.com.

Janning said when the cup was purchased by British Columbia Football Association, there were some strings attached.

“There were a couple of conditions attached to them awarding the trophy to this association,” Janning said.

“One was that final would have to be played in Nanaimo every year and the second was that the annual general meeting had to be held in Nanaimo every year.”

That agreement worked out well in the early years of the British Columbia Football Association’s existence. However, as soccer became more popular across the province, things began to change.

“As the game grew and the population of the province grew, teams from New Westminster, Vancouver and Victoria did not think that was a fair arrangement,” said Janning.

“The people in Nanaimo, there position was well we put $360 for this trophy and we organization the competition, we’re entitled to these conditions and they were unwilling to compromise.”

However, the larger communities such as Vancouver, New Westminster and Victoria grew tired of the conditions and decided to breakaway from the British Columbia Football Association and form their own league according to Janning, who said that led to the cup being awarded by an Upper Island champion annually until 1925 when the Pacific Coast League was formed.

The Grand Challenge Cup’s whereabouts from 1925 until the early 2000s isn’t entirely clear. Janning said while conducting research for his book he discovered that a family in Ladysmith had the cup.

After months of discussion and negotiations, Janning ended up purchasing the cup, which was in rough shape, on behalf of a partnership group made up of donors committed to restoring and reviving the trophy.

“It was in a cardboard box and it was all tarnished and black and beat up,” he said. “It was in pretty sad shape. It wasn’t lovingly taken care of it.”

Since taking possession of the cup, Janning and his group have restored it and purchased a custom-built case for it. Janning said they want to donate to an organization who will commit to putting it on display for the public in Nanaimo.

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