Vic High 1980 Tomahawks Tour Great Britain

Vic High Tomahawks, 1980 Girls Field Hockey,

Tours Great Britain

13 Games, Sightseeing Galore, Disco Nights, and The Who

By King Lee, VHS 1958 and Linda Baker, VHS 1969

When one of the highlights of your 1980 Vic High field hockey trip to Great Britain is the flight home, it might not auger well for the tour itself. But 13 Vic High students on that three-week adventure emphatically state that the Air Canada flight home from London was simply the icing on the cake. The genesis of the tour was PE teacher and field hockey coach Barrie Hanslip’s idea, and once player Carol Jones’ mother Donna agreed to join as manager and chaperone, the trip was on.

The genesis of the trip was PE teacher and field hockey coach Barrie Hanslip’s idea. Fundraising began in earnest, player Carol Jones’ mother Donna agreed to help chaperone the team, and games were arranged with UK teams. Vic High players Alana Armstrong (now Martin), Sharon Cumberbatch, Teresa Fanning, Brigid Flynn, Gina Henley, Jey Hills, Kerry Hodgkinson, Carol Jones, Rose Maguire, Violet McDougall, Linda Shiplack, Jane Underwood, and Marilyn Wilson all signed up to go, and Janet Ruest from Parkland Secondary in Saanich was persuaded to join the trip in case of injuries.

“Our team was very competitive on the Island at the time,” says Marilyn, “and this epic 3 week playing tour in the U.K. was a highlight of our school years for sure.” The team played games in England and Scotland, and spent a beautiful Easter weekend playing in a tournament in Penzance, Cornwall. “Miss Hanslip was our tour leader and van driver,” continues Marilyn, “learning left-side drive and right-side steering wheel quickly, with navigator Donna Jones on her left.”  Donna, herself a Vic High 1957 grad, also kept a daily log of the tour. (See below.)

They played thirteen games, with four wins, eight losses, and a tie. And of course no tour of young girls happens without a little shopping and maybe a little disco time. Sights were seen, side trips were taken, one memorable one by boat to St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall to visit a historical chapel. See Donna Jones trip log summary below. April 12, 15 Victoria-bound travellers headed home, little realizing those three weeks might inspire some serious field hockey over the years, some very supportive friendships, and some laughter-filled group chats via the ‘Classy Ladies of the ‘80s’.

Note: A few years after their epic trip, two members of the team, Linda (Shiplack) Zilkie and Alanna (Armstrong) Martin, went on to play on the UVIC team that won the Canadian Nationals. Alanna is still playing with the Canadian National Women’s ‘over 60’ team, representing Field Hockey Canada Masters at the International level. She is one of the team’s goalkeepers and will play New Zealand in November.



Some members of the team got together recently and joined one of the Alumni Tours of Vic High. Alanna wore the 1980 Vic High field hockey jacket she sported on the British tour (it fits!), and brought along her field hockey sweater.

But back to that teaser in the headline: The Who.  Yes, the one and only ‘Who’ of rock band fame.

When the Vic High team boarded their flight home, they quickly learned, (the grapevine is lightening-fast on a plane!), that the famous rock band was on board and had the first-class section to themselves and their entourage.

(In case you have been asleep for the last sixty years, (LOL), the British band was a powerhouse from 1964 – 1978 with Roger Daltrey on lead vocals, Pete Townshend on guitar, John Entwistle on bass, and Keith Moon on drums. They’re considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, with hits like My Generation, I Can See for Miles, and Pinball Wizard.)

 Apparently the band was headed for a Pacific Coliseum concert in Vancouver on April 14. “We chatted up the nice flight attendant of the entrance to First Class,” Marilyn recalls, “and peeked through the curtain to spy Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend.” The girls then sweet-talked the male flight attendant to take in some of their books and got autographs from Roger and Pete.

“Later in the Vancouver airport,” Marily continues,  “they were next to us in the immigration hall line-up, so we were pretty excited teenagers. I think Roger was nice enough to allow a quick picture with some of us girls.”

Pages from the 1980 Camosun












Donna Jones’ Diary

 A condensed version of Donna Jones’ log of the Victoria High School Tomahawks girls field hockey tour of Great Britain from March 22 to April 12, 1980.

March 22/23 – Victoria to London, stayed at International Hall, affiliated with University of London. No sleep for 30 hours.

March 24 – Tour of London. B.C. House for lunch, Westminster Abbey (passed Houses of Parliament).

March 25 – Free day, National Art Gallery, pub lunch, walked past Buckingham Palace.

March 26 – Ormskirk (Liverpool area), Cricket Club to meet billets.

March 27 – Ormskirk. Lost two games, both by 3-0 scores.

March 28 – Liverpool. Open market, shopping, Disappointing Beatles monument. Tied 1-1. Back to Ormskirk.

March 29 – Went to Southport. Won 8-0. Back to Ormskirk.

March 30 – To Edinburgh. Castle tour, National Art Gallery.

April 1 – To Penicuik for game. Won 8-0.

April 2 – To Stratford.

April 3 – To Penzance.

April 4 – To Camford. Lost 3-1, then won 1-0. Disco dance.

April 5 – Lost two games, both by 3-0 scores.

April 6 – Easter Sunday, to St. Michael’s Mount, lost 3-1. Off to disco again.

April 7 – Won 3-2, lost 2-0.

April 8 – Penzance to Wiltshire (Swindon). Met hosts. Girls distributed around countryside.

April 9 – Grittleton. Lost 3-2. Off to Longleat, home of Marquis of Bath, wildlife preserve with camel rides.

April 10 – Tour of Castle Coomb (where Dr. Doolittle was filmed), Grittleton school for “Disco Supper.”

April 11 – Prep Day for trip home.

April 12 – Trip home, autographs from The Who’s Peter Townshend and Roger Daltrey.