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CRICKET

The game of cricket is most likely one of the first organized sports played in Aurora. In 1860 The York Herald refers to the Aurora Cricket Club as an old club having played for the last 3 or 4 years (SEPTEMBER 28). In 1861 the celebrations for the Queen’s Birthday (Victoria Day) began with a cricket match (YORK HERALD, JUNE 7, 1861). The festivities also included a re-enactment of the battle of Waterloo, a Fireworks display and twilight procession which attracted a crowd of some 6000 people. Aurora’s population at the time was around 700. The Aurora Banner refers to the cost of membership in the Cricket Club in 1878 as being $1 per year with a bat worth $6 being presented to the member with the highest aggregate score (MARCH 22). In the early part of the 20th century the town could boast about several top cricket players including W. J. Fleury, son of the founder of the Fleury Agricultural works, who went to England with the All Canadian Cricket Club in 1887 playing against the most famous teams there (AURORA BANNER, AUGUST 30, 1940). Unlike other Commonwealth nations, cricket did not become a major sport in Canada. While tournament play continued through the 1920s, the Cricket Field in Aurora eventually gave way to soccer in the 1950s.

LACROSSE

Aurora had a lacrosse club as early as 1872 as mentioned in the Aurora Banner on May 10th. The club did not thrive and an ad was placed in the Aurora Banner thirteen years later to organize a Lacrosse team (AUGUST 14, 1885). The paper also mentions a match earlier in 1885, but states that the Aurora team was made up for the occasion having no official team in place (AURORA BANNER, JULY 31). By the 1890s the “Young Dominions” were actively competing throughout the region. The sport, which is derived from the Iroquois game of baggataway, was quite violent. A match between Aurora and Weston on July 16th, 1904 resulted in a brawl that had charges brought upon several participants (EVENING TELEGRAM, AUGUST 26, 1904). Today, children of Aurora can play lacrosse in Newmarket with the Redbirds while Adults have opportunities to play with Aurora Masters Lacrosse.
A black and white team photo of a lacrosse team with text glued to the photo. A colourized team photo of a lacrosse team with text glued to the photo.
Aurora Lacrosse Team in Town Park, 1910 (988.43.3)

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