The history of our Club...We started in the mid-1960’s in Toronto.
To understand the motivations behind starting such a Club, it’s necessary to cast our minds back to that period and to realize just how different life was then.
Here are some things to remember about 1967:
The Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup, there were no Toronto Blue Jays, there were few colour televisions, Tim Horton was a hockey player not a Donut Franchise, no one had a cell phone, there was no such thing as Satellite TV, and life was a lot simpler back then.
Torontonians who had arrived from other countries had a tendency to gather where they could mingle with their own kind. Toronto Scots was no different. A popular spot was the local football ground, especially when the Royals or Scarborough Thistle were playing. As time passed, great and lasting friendships began in the bleachers and on the sidelines of Withrow, Greenwood and Dentonia Parks. In time, it became obvious who the Rangers’ men were. In fact, it didn’t take long for this group to take on its very own identity. This was the fertile ground from which sprung the first official Rangers Supporters Club in Canada – the GRSC Toronto Branch #1. Fortunately for future generations, there were men in this early group, who had energy and vision; men who could see a great opportunity to organize and focus the group around their common passion and their dedication to the Rangers Football Club. And so it was, in January 8th 1967 in the “Sons and Daughters of Ulster” Hall, at Woodbine and Danforth, that a meeting was convened for the purpose of recruiting members who would commit to joining a supporters club. The meeting was chaired by James “Sugar” Henry and amongst the founding fathers were: Jimmy Lang, Jimmy McKinnon, John McKinnon, Duncan Cameron, Bobby Liddell, John Martin, Billy Black, Archie Wilson, Sammy Patterson, Jimmie Horne, George Tait, Billy Graham, Billy Clements, Alex Copeland, George Entwistle and some others, about 30 in all. Membership Dues were set at $1.00 and that, together with a $10.00 loan from Duncan Cameron, was used to fund the soon-to-be Toronto Branch, GRSC. After a lot of work and some favours from people of influence and with a letter of approval and blessing from Mr. William Waddell, General Manager of RFC, the Club was chartered in Ontario in 1967. We were, and remain to this day, a Corporation by Ontario Law. Some of the Club’s early notables were: Harry Mealyea, Bertie Oswald, Davy Boyd, George Brown, John Russell, Alex Rankin, Billy Haggerty, Jimmie Horne, Wilson Brown, Sandy Fannon, Tommy Flannagan, John Dick, Ken Low, Rab Martin, Bill Smith, Alan Maitland, Jim Ritchie, Jimmy Wilson, Bobby Jenkins, John Harper, Jimmy Darroch, Tam Plunkett, Jim Sloss, Jimmy O'Neill. It should be pointed out here that in the early days the Club did not accept ladies for membership and they were not allowed in the Club during our Saturday afternoon socials, except on special “Ladies Days” however, that did not stop some Ladies of note emerging among them, Jenny Wilson, Sarah Jane Clements, Maggie Henry and Georgie O’Neill. So, our Club was off and running. Remember, there were no live televised games. But there were fitba’ pools, raffles, dances, trips to Niagara Falls and Rochester. There were flights home ($147 return) which were open to non-members. There were Sunday get-togethers at “John & Pete’s” Newsagent on the Danforth waiting for the arrival of the Post and Mail at 25¢ each. There were short wave radios and Saturday morning get-togethers at John & Maureen McKinnon’s house. We also started our very own football team, in the T & D League, with such stars as: Beacham, Spence, Watson, Swain, Sanachan, Forgie, Denniston, Maitland and McConvey.
On a more serious note, new arrivals from the UK were assisted in many ways including job searches and the occasional loan. Such was the caring within our Rangers family and it’s a spirit which continues to this day.