By Allen Mcdermid
On Thursday, October 11, 2018, after 61 years, the ballfield located at the S. W. corner of High St. and 2nd Ave., was officially named the High Street Ball Park, Est. 1957, by the Ladysmith Lions Club.
On hand for the dedication and unveiling of the new signage was Lions Club members, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, Past Mayor Rob Hutchins, Shawn Freer President of the Ladysmith Baseball Association, Ladysmith Lions Club President Wayne Switzer and Master of Ceremonies Jim Masyk.
It all started in 1954 with Arne Hill’s public appeal for assistance in preparing a Little League baseball park on the Market Square grounds. The Ladysmith Lions Club stepped up to the plate and approached the city council for permission to take over the grounds for development. After many volunteer hours and hard work, the ball field took shape. Fast forward 3 years and to Sunday, July 7th, 1957, the Ladysmith Lions Club officially turned over the Market Square Recreation Park to the City, dedicating it to the service of Ladysmith’s young people. On hand for the ceremony were Mayor Len Ryan, Lions Club vice-president C. D. Roberts, Ald. Tom Strang and Ald. William Hallman in his capacity of President of Ladysmith Little League. The new ballpark was referred to Lions Playground # 3. After the dedication, the local little League All-Stars clobbered Nanaimo 12 to 1 at the park opener.
The Ladysmith Lions Club members have been committed to building and improving many venues within Ladysmith, and area, by either fundraising and or dedicating many volunteer hours for over 75 years.