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George ‘Bill’ Norgan of Vancouver, British Columbia was a president of the Canadian Dominion Curling Association from 1942 to 1946. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976.
George Norgan was President of Marine Drive Golf Club from 1936-1940, and President of the BC Golf Association in 1939. He subsequently proved to be the Club’s savior.
Originally, Marine Drive Golf and Country Club Ltd. owned the Club land and Members themselves belonged to the “Society of the Marine Drive Golf Club”. But, this structure exposed the Club to legal vulnerability when it ran into financial difficulties due to the decline in Membership during the war years.
In 1948 when threatened with foreclosure proceedings, outside interests endeavored to acquire the Club and dispose of the property, but fortunately, George Norgan came to the rescue and advanced $51,000 that was required. This was a considerable sum at that time considering the income of the Club from all sources then was less than $1,000 per month. The debt was retired in 1952 partly from the sales of three lots facing Marine Drive where the original 14th tee was located.
George is gratefully remembered for this gesture, but he was a consummate sportsman and Club builder. The records show that as President, he vigorously fostered the Club spirit by encouraging attendance and participation. In addition, he initiated the formal calendar of events.
In 1947, George Norgan, a successful Vancouver businessman with roots in Palmerston, recognized the lack of leisure opportunities in his home town.
He addressed this situation with a personal donation of $50,000 for the construction of a movie theatre, the Norgan Theatre which bears his name. The theatre opened August 18 1947 with 5,000 people attending various events.
George Norgan, one of Canada’s wealthiest men and a central figure in a $17.4 million United States income tax suit, died in his sleep yesterday. He was 79 years old.
Mr. Norgan’s holdings In breweries, distilleries and real estate were estimated at $25 million.
He also was a prominent sportsman, having once owned the baseball team the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League, and the Vancouver Mounties, who were in the same league for several seasons. His racing stable was one of the best in Canada.