The Kats Rugby Football club originated from a group of former Kitsilano High School graduates (lead by Al McEachern & Bill Sainas) who played intramural sports at U.B.C. under the name of Ex-Kits Club. The UBC Newspaper spelt it "Kats" and hence when an entry in B.C. rugby was made in 1953, it was called the "Kats Club". The colours chosen were green and white.
The Kats first ever season saw an undefeated sweep of the Bell Irving Cup and the Carmichael Cup, with a combined total of 305 Points For to 21 Points Against. Pictured below is the 1953 Kats "First" 15.
THE BATTLE OF STAVROS
Excerpt from Kats, the Crazy Kings of ‘Ruggah’ published in The Province Sept. 24th 1979 by Eric Whitehead.
"One Evening Last February about 200 Kats, including Chief Justice McEachern, adjourned to a formal $50-a-plate dinner at the Stavros Restaurant on West Broadway to celebrate the club’s Silver Anniversary, pay tribute to the Sainas brothers, and raise funds for the pending tour of Britain. There were belly-dancers, a Greek flag-raising ceremony in honor of the Sainas boys and the King Assassin, Dennis Messinezias, and flagons of the native Greek brew, ouzo.
“That’s what did it” sighed Veitch in retrospect. “The ouzo. They kept pouring the ouzo.”
It began innocently enough right after dinner when Veitch playfully pushed a table over. “It seemed,” said Veitch in retrospect, “the thing to do at the time.”
Others seemed to think so too, and within minutes the place was a shambles of upturned tables and broken crockery as the diners engaged in friendly combat, with their relative merits as tough rugby players the general point in question.
There were somewhat animated discussions as to who was the tougher front-row forward or the meanest prop, punctuated by the crack of skulls as disputants squared off and banged heads to prove their point. Gary McEwan and his good buddy and team-mate Ted Hogan were two of those so occupied, gripping each other’s lapels and banging earnestly away to what turned out to be the tune of 22 stitches. Nearby, the fun-loving Veitch tussled with the giant (6’5”, 250 lbs) old Kat and one-time B.C. Lions line-man, Gordie Mitchell, who would spend the next three weeks in hospital with a broken knee cap.
Unfortunately, the Sainas brothers had left early (Leaving behind their gifts) and so missed all the fun. And at 1:30 a.m., the Chief Justice, who was beginning to wheeze a little, surveyed the happy melee and regretfully announced that it might be a good idea if he left before the police came.
The police arrived at 1:40 a.m., but as somebody at the pub carefully pointed out, “It wasn’t the police who stopped the party. It was the attrition.”
The damage totaled $2,100, which was promptly paid out of the evening’s receipts, although the donation to the England tour fund went a little short.
So went the Battle of Stavros, from which the Kats survived to live another day and almost surely another decade or two as “the best damned rugby club in the whole damned world, and don’t ever forget it.”
I drank to that.
Of course, anyone wishing to quarrel with that claim is welcome to do so, at his own risk."