Tennis in the Cowichan Valley since 1887
Tucked away behind high green fences, close to the historic waterfront village of Cowichan Bay, you will find the lush grass courts of the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club. We are one of the oldest lawn tennis clubs in the world and the oldest club in Canada still playing on grass. The club was founded in 1887, a mere 10 years after the All England Club, or Wimbledon as it is more commonly known.
The club has weathered decades of changing fortunes and it is only through the dedication, energy, and passion of previous generations of members that we are now the privileged beneficiaries. The club is still run and staffed by volunteer members. We take great pride in showing off our beautiful facilities... the courts, clubhouse, and our lovely herbaceous gardens nestled in the shade of two majestic maple trees. Our club is a wonderful legacy left to us by those who went before and one we in turn cherish for those who follow.
It all started with three men, two courts, and one passion...
In the mid to late 1880s three men, George Treffry Corfield, Frederick Maitland-Dougall and Augustus Pimbury arrived in the Cowichan Valley. Like many British moneyed settlers around the world they brought with them their customs, traditions, and above all, their love of favorite recreations and sports. Augustus Pimbury was the first to arrive with his wife and four sons in 1853. A number of years later, Mr. Pimbury purchased a dairy farm at the mouth of the Koksilah river. Frederick Maitland-Dougall, his wife Bessie, and daughter Edith (age four) also came to live on the Cowichan Flats, close to the current location of the club in 1886.
In 1887, Mr. Pimbury sent to England for racquets, nets, fuzzy white balls, and rule books. Two courts were laid out in a fenced area on his farm and on May 9th, 1887 he invited a few friends to pop over and “knock” a few. The South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club was born. Such was the appeal of the game that, soon after, Saturday was the day that friends and neighbors walked on over to play. Others from further afield came by horseback or by horse and buggy, and some rowed over from Saltspring Island, tying up in the Cowichan River adjacent to the farm.
Click here to see full club history.