Volume 93, Issue 20

October 1, 1999


Ready for Homecoming

J.W. Little, we hardly knew you

Whenever it Raynes, it pours

Catching up on your Readings

Remembering the Mustangs of yesterday

Williams multi-league champ

The mystery behind the man

A flowery talk with Bob LaRose

Sweet perfection in the 1994 season

J.W. Little, we hardly knew you

J.W. Little Memorial Stadium was the first building erected in 1929, three years after Western's main campus was completed.

The stadium was named after Colonel J.W. Little, one-time mayor of London and vice-chairman of Western's Board of Governors from 1908 until his death in 1913.

Funding and inspiration for the stadium was made possible with help from the legacy of Little, his widow and the entire Little family.

The adoption of Little's name for the stadium commemorated his many services and contributions to Western and reflected the continuing interest of members of his family in the welfare of the university.

Fielding Yost, the famous coach of the University of Michigan football team, from 1901 to 1921, designed and advised on the selection of the site with great skill and precision. The contract for the completion of the stadium, which originally seated 4,500 people at capacity, was awarded to the Putherbough Construction company. The cost for the entire stadium, concessions, and grandstand was quoted at around $60,000 at the time of building.

J.W. Little Memorial Stadium was completed, before the onset of the depression in the following decade. Western's first home game was played on Oct. 19, 1929. The presentation of the new J.W. Little Memorial Stadium to the university was performed by Colonel G. Eric Reid, then chair of the stadium committee.

The inaugural game featured the Western Mustangs against Queen's university, who at the time were leading the league. A ceremony of dedication as well as a prayer proceeded the game.

The stadium enabled Western to join the senior intercollegiate football league with the University of Toronto, McGill university and Queen's. An advantage, perhaps unanticipated, was that the stadium could to be used for other events, including spring convocations. It was used for this purpose for approximately three decades after 1932.

This year marks the end of J.W. Little Memorial Stadium and more importantly, concludes 70 years of history, spirit and tradition. Western's new stadium will forever live in the shadow of this great sports structure.

Thanks for the memories, J.W..

–Wes Brown

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Copyright The Gazette 1999