A Recreational Project
It was not Lord’s Cricket Ground, nor Old Trafford, nor Trent Bridge. It was not Melbourne Cricket Ground, nor Sydney Cricket Ground, nor the Adelaide Oval. It was not University Ground, Lucknow, nor Nehru Stadium, Madras, nor Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
It was not Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, nor Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, nor Sabina Park, Kingston. It was simply the Bushman’s field of dreams carved out of the forty acre bush in rural Red Rock, south of Prince George, B.C.
Fresh from executing two novel approaches to exercising stewardship over the forty acre bush in his charge, the Bushman turned to his trusty and mostly rusty partner, Allis Chalmers. What seemed to be lacking after carving out Pheasant Lake and erecting buildings to house tomatoes was a pastoral feel to the still undisciplined bush. A field would lend some credibility to the overall development of this rather large house building lot, but what kind of field? A field for animals? for cows? a pasture?
With no previous experience in animal husbandry and not really disposed to undertaking the many challenges involved with caring for animals: fencing to keep them from wandering, protection from predators, prophylaxis, cost of feeding, maintenance of health, slaughtering, butchering, disposal of offal. It was an onerous and virtually never ending commitment to unreasoning beasts. A hay field seemed a bit of a cop-out. Why grow feed for other people’s animals? Besides, the small area to be cleared, about two acres, would not yield enough hay to justify the cost of buying or renting a machine to harvest the hay.
A playing field would satisfy the ideal of an area for recreation, an especially crucial component of balance in the rural life style where hard labour is a constant element. “Build it and they will come”, became the mantra of the Bushman as he climbed aboard Allis and began to clear the brush and dead-fall, then scrape and level the cleared acreage.
Halfway through the pleasant chore of constructing his field of dreams, Allis, the Bushman’s iron helper became disabled when it threw one of the two worn-out tracks upon which it rolled across the land. It was then that the Bushman realized the qualities of his human partner. The Bushwoman, always a real trooper, pitched in courageously with moral and physical support. Together, with the most rudimentary of tools, a small winch called a “come-along” and a heavy sledge hammer the Bushcouple removed the old track from the machine and replaced it with a new track assembly: a feat of extraordinary proportions given the great weight of the cumbersome metal track assembly.
The next phase of the field would be done with a small tractor: fine leveling to remove any and all irregularities on the surface of the field.
Raking the entire two acre area with a small garden rake, the Bushman then prepared the field for seeding, planted grass seed and waited impatiently for his field of dreams to materialize.
In due course the playing field did accomplish its stated purpose, recreation. It was the birthplace of the short lived cricket team which represented the Prince George district in several BC summer games in the decade of the 1980s. Ir was also the incubator for some young Canadian cricket fans and a welcome dose of nostalgia for some Commowealth expatriates from England, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Fiji, and the Caribbean.
Gallery of Photos: Prince George and District Cricket Team 1985-1990
(Click on a photo to start Carousel)