Title and statement of responsibility area
Edmonton Grads Club fonds
General material designation
- Textual record
- Graphic material - photograph
- Moving images
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Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.
Level of description
CA EDM MS-604
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Edmonton Grads Club
Physical description area
1.5 m of textual records and other material
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Archival description area
Name of creator
The Edmonton Commercial Graduates Basketball Club, popularly known as the Edmonton Grads, was a world renowned women's amateur basketball team from 1915 to 1940. Coach J. Percy Page, born in Rochester, New York and raised in Ontario, moved to Edmonton, Alberta in 1912. He became principal of the new McDougall Commercial High School in 1913 and coached the girls’ basketball team to the provincial championship in 1914. The original Edmonton Grads players were members of that championship team who, having left school or graduated, formed the Edmonton Commercial Graduates Basketball Club to continue playing under Percy Page’s direction.
From the beginning they dominated the teams they played, consistently winning city, regional and provincial titles. In 1922 the Grads won their first Canadian title, in 1923 their first North American championship and in 1924 their first European (often regarded as World) title. Over the 25 years the team existed there were 38 official players who wore the team uniform. The Grads travelled throughout North America and Europe playing approximately 412 games, with a 95% win record. This record of victories includes being undefeated Canadian champions (the championship was awarded to the Toronto Lakesides in 1931 by default). They were never successfully challenged for the Underwood Trophy, a Canada – US challenge cup, and defeated only once for the North American championship (in the first series of that championship). Although not an Olympic sport, the Grads toured during four Olympic Games in Paris (1924), Amsterdam (1928), Los Angeles (1932) and Berlin (1936) winning all 27 exhibition games to secure the world titles. On their 25th anniversary, the Underwood Trophy was presented to them permanently.
The team always maintained amateur status and the members held full-time jobs which meant practices were limited to two evenings a week. The Grads were forced to fold with the advent of World War II. Their last game was played in the Edmonton Arena on June 5, 1940.
Although disbanded, the team had several reunions and remaining team members were often called upon to appear at special events. J. Percy Page was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1966 and the team was inducted in 1974. They were inducted into the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame in 1973. A National Historic Monument was dedicated to the Edmonton Grads on August 2, 1978. The Edmontonian film-maker Allan Stein and writer Mairi MacLean of Stein/MacLean Productions made a film, "Shooting Stars", about the Grads, released September 10, 1987.
The Edmonton Commercial Grads are collectively members of the Edmonton, Alberta and Canadian Sports Halls of Fame. The last Grad, Kay MacRitchie MacBeth, died in 2018.
There were a total of 38 players on the Edmonton Grads: Winnie Martin, Elizabeth Elrick, Eleanor Mountifield, Connie Smith, Daisy Johnson, Nellie Perry, Dot Johnson, Abbie Scott, Mary Dunn, Helen McIntosh, Elsie Bennie, Harriett (Hattie) Hopkins, Kate Macrae, Marguerite Bailey, Mildred McCormack, Margaret MacBurney, Joan Johnston, Mae Brown, Gladys Fry, Margaret Kinney, Doris Neale, Noella 'Babe' Belanger, Edith Stone, Helen Stone, Evelyn Coulson, Jessie Innes, Noel MacDonald, Mabel Munton, Helen Northup, Etta Dann, Sophie Brown, Betty Ross, Winnie Gallen, Frances Gordon, Muriel 'Babe' Daniel, Jean Williamson, Betty Bawden, and Kay MacRitchie.
The records were created, accumulated and preserved by Daisy Johnson and Betty Bawden Bowen, both members of the team and unofficial historians of the alumnae club. Some material, particularly two scrapbooks and some photographs, may have originally been created by Daisy Johnson and Betty Bawden Bowen as part of their personal records and later amalgamated to create a foundation for the Edmonton Grads Club fonds.
Percy Page's records relating to the Edmonton Grads were likely destroyed in a fire at McDougall Commercial High School in November 1929.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of correspondence, brochures, scrapbooks, photographs, video cassettes, publications and news clippings, and memorabilia relating to the Edmonton Commercial Graduates Basketball Club and its alumnae reunion organization, the Edmonton Grads Club.
Immediate source of acquisition
This fonds was donated to the City of Edmonton Archives in nine donations by Betty Bawden Bowen made between 1980 and 2003. A tenth donation was made by Betty Bawden Bowen to the City of Edmonton Artifacts Centre in 1980 and transferred to the City of Edmonton Archives in 2012.
Some material was arranged according to the filing system of the creator.
Some material was arranged by the archivist in chronological order.
The photographs were assigned item numbers with the prefix EA-715, EB-27 and ET-26.
Language of material
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Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
There are no restrictions on access.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Copyright may apply.
Reproduction restrictions may apply.
File list available online.
Edmonton Commercial Graduates' Basketball Club fonds (PR0285) at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.
Edmonton Grads exhibit at the Royal Alberta Museum.
There are no further accruals expected.
Accession numbers: A92-85, A93-29, A94-15, A95-82, A98-85, A2000-73, A2001-55, A2001-116, A2003-84, A2012-94 (AC 80-16)
Scrapbooks have been preserved in-situ.
Includes: 552 photographs, 45 objects and 3 video cassettes.
Standard number area
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City of Edmonton Archives
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Archives Society of Alberta Subject Terms
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