By Dalton Campbell (published onLibrary and Archives Canada Blog)

In 1909, the New Westminster Salmonbellies and the Vancouver Lacrosse Club (VLC) started playing in the two-team professional British Columbia Lacrosse Association (BCLA).

The Salmonbellies reluctantly became professional that season as their amateur status was revoked after they defeated the Montreal Shamrocks and the Ottawa Capitals, two professional lacrosse teams, to win the Minto Cup in 1908. The Salmonbellies management feared a professional league because they thought their city was too small for the team to be profitable.

VLC management, led by Con Jones, an Australian-born entrepreneur known for his tobacco shops and billiard parlours, began signing eastern professional league lacrosse stars to lucrative contracts. The VLC trainer was something of a star; George Paris …

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