Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Canadian History and Society: Through the Lens of Sport Virtual Museum of Canada


Video Transcript

[Narrator - Rylan Strachan]

[Image of MM Robinson, Melville Marks Robinson/ "Robinson's Trunk"]

As founder of the British Empire Games, Melville Marks Robinson of Peterborough, Ontario tirelessly worked towards his dream of uniting the members of the British Empire in the spirit of friendly competition instead of international rivalry.

[Image of trunk with various medals, trophies, crests popping out of the trunk]

To achieve this dream, Robinson and this trunk travelled to many national and international sporting events. He received the trunk during his service in the First World War with the 86th Machine Gun Battalion, the first unit of its kind, from 1915 until the War's end. Having witnessed the futility of war, his goal with the Games was to instill the values of peace and cooperation.

[Images of 1930 British Empire Games, teams entering stadium]

The first British Empire Games, held in Hamilton, Ontario in 1930 were a resounding success. The City of Hamilton paid for the travel expenses of eight visiting teams and provided free accommodation and meals for all team members. There were 400 competitors from 11 countries. The spirit of the Games mattered more than the results.

[Images of MM Robinson, 1978 Commonwealth Games coin with MM Robinson on the face]

After the Games concluded, all of the teams marched through the city to place remembrance wreaths at the Cenotaph.

As a result of the 1930 British Empire Games, Robinson's dream of camaraderie and peace amongst the countries of the British Empire was achieved. The Commonwealth Games, as the event is now known, is held every four years and the friendly spirit lives on today.

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