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August 3, 2012 | by  |  This Day In Vancouver


“Jovial Jack Tars Pursue Greasy Pig”, reports the Vancouver Province, “Hefty Ladies Provide a Good Deal of Amusement for Spectators; Dismantling of Field Guns, Sack and Pipe Races are Features”.

The article details the outcome of the weekend’s Naval Sports competition at Brockton Point, which included a number of ridiculous activities, such as a human wheelbarrow race, a pipe-smoking competition, and the aforementioned hog-chase.

“Roars of laughter were created by Seaman Blackmore and Petty Officer Roberts,” the paper explains, “who were attired as rather attractive-looking, though a trifle ‘hefty’ ladies. In this case, the ‘ladies’ were not at all modest and when the human wheelbarrow race came around they took part in it as if it was quite the ordinary thing for dresses to be worn well up over the knee.”

A 100-metre dash began the day, followed by a sack race, a three-legged race, a tug-of-war, and a “gun-wheel relay race”, which involved rolling a large naval cannon for fifty yards. Several other events followed, including the one to which the paper devotes the most column space: The Greasy Pig Race.

“Fun, fast and furious was the order of things during the greasy pig race,” the Province continues. “A pig from New Zealand, well covered with grease, was turned loose on the field, and the human hounds were soon in full cry. The elusive porker gave the sailors lots of work before he was finally caught. On two or three occasions he was caught, only to give his captor the slip. Gunner Scott finally grabbed the pig in a fond embrace, and managed to hold him.”


IMAGE: Police Sports team at Brockton Oval, circa 1920s. Image Courtesy of the Vancouver Archives


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