Vikings Rugby Club Founder – Chris Krause
Chris Krause was born in Germany in 1923 and immigrated to England when he was a boy of 12 years of age, He then immigrated to Canada in 1951 and was employed with General Motors starting in 1956. He played wing three-quarters with the Toronto Nomads RFC and held many executive positions with the ORU during the 60’s and 70’s.
Chris realised that the Canadian boys had few opportunities to participate in contact sports after high school, and believe that rugby would fill a void for enthusiastic young athletes. When somebody – possibly Jimmy Stephenson – said “Why don’t you start your own club, Krause?”, Chris did exactly that. The official foundation date for the Oshawa Vikings R.F.C. was Thursday, 12 February 1959, when Chris chaired a meeting of 35 people at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Oshawa. Chris became Team Secretary on the first executive, and was involved in the running of the club – mostly in a Team or Match Secretary role – until 1972, serving as President in 1967. The Vikings club colours were chosen to represent the black of New Zealand and the red of Wales, in honour of the Welsh ancestry of Chris’ wife Brenda.
Chris and the Vikings club were also very active in the development of school rugby in the Oshawa area, and the success of Oshawa schools in the early Ontario High School Championships, which Chris helped organise, contributed significantly to the club’s growth through the 1960s. As Krause’s playing days saw sunset, he devoted his energies into nurturing the club he founded.
Chris Krause passed away in the winter of 1983 following a lengthy battle with cancer. We all miss his enthusiasm and tenacity. We honour his memory with an annual men’s and women’s tournament held on consecutive weekends in the spring. His unquenchable enthusiasm for the game and the Vikings did much to promote rugby not only in Durham Region, but in all of Ontario during the early years. All of us who have played for the Vikings owe this man a deep debt of gratitude. Without his vision and conviction Oshawa’s citizens would be much poorer. He was and for a long time to come will be the embodiment of rugby in Oshawa.
For a more in depth history of the club, download the complete notes with news articles and images.
Tom Olynik And Dave Thompson
These two gentlemen have a combined total of forty-two active playing seasons with the Vikings. Tom has twenty-two seasons to his credit and Dave has twenty.
Ours is a demanding game and they are an anomaly of physical endurance and unstinting devotion to the club. Both have shouldered leadership on and off the field consistently over the decades. Hundreds have donned Viking colours but none so long nor so honourably as these two paragons. The club still calls on them for leadership and help to this day.
In an age where dedication and tradition are no longer the mean, their collective endeavors take on greater meaning. As with most things, you get out of Rugby what you put in. Through lean and fat years, they knew that if the club wasn’t successful, they wouldn’t get their weekly “knock about” – so they worked tirelessly and we all benefitted from their unselfish passion.
From all of your team-mates, past and present a heartfelt thank you!