A two day stop at Banff, courtesy of Canadian Pacific Railway, was an absolute highlight for the New Zealand Maori team as they travelled across Canada before their four matches in British Columbia, as these extracts from a tour booklet make clear.
“At 9 a.m. we arrived at Banff. I didn’t go out. Just some of the boys went to see the Toboggan Slide.
At Banff the team went to the Mount Royal Hotel for meals and the usual sight-seeing. They saw the huge Canadian Pacific Railway Hotel of 1026 rooms which was being extended at a cost of $2,000,000. They visited also the Animal Park and the Government Sulphur Baths. They had free use of the skating rink and “went to see the ski jumps by schoolboys.” There must have been more fun at Banff than anywhere else on the tour.
“We enjoyed the snow and the outdoor sports at Banff,” said Manager Harris, “and all the boys are sold on ice hockey. They were forced to put on skates and were given sticks and it was not long before they were slashing away at each other in good style. They enjoyed every minute on the ice and some of them were not slow to pick up the game as they had done considerable roller skating in their own country and soon got used to the blades. Skiing was also indulged in with the greatest delight, while tobogganing also offered a lot of pleasure. We will never forget the hospitality of the C.P.R.”
For a travel-weary and game-sore team what greater tonic could there have been than two happy days of fun and relaxation at Banff. Then it was westward ho again to Sicamous, stay there the night, and leave for Vancouver at 6 a.m. next morning. “We passed the snowy Rockies and round the spiral,
which was very interesting,” wrote Tom. They arrived at Vancouver at 7.30 p.m. and received a very warm welcome.”
From: “THE NEW ZEALAND MAORI RUGBY TOUR 1926-1927” by D J C Pringle. Published 1971 by Akaroa Mail Company Ltd. P. 56.