Cricket, Hollywood and Shakespeare’s Garden’s Comedy Tree

 

City of Vancouver Archives Port P1494.2

Hollywood Cricket Club and Vancouver Cricket Club at Brockton Point, July 4, 1936. Group portrait showing Errol Flynn (seated in front row far left), Nigel Bruce (wearing knee pads) and C. Aubrey Smith. The Hollywood Cricket Club was formed in 1932 by British actor Aubrey Smith. Members included such Hollywood stars as; Boris Karloff, Ronald Coleman, Leslie Howard, David Niven, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Cary Grant, Basil Rathbone P.G. Woodhouse and Sir Laurence Oliver.

Do you know the connection between three of these cricket players and the Comedy Tree in Stanley Park’s Shakespeare’s Garden? Years ago I was searching for the garden’s Comedy Tree plaque. Eventually I found it, all covered over with grass at the base of tree. The plaque read it was planted in 1921 by Eva Moore. Who was Eva Moore? With a little research I discovered she was a British character actress, she toured Canada with her stage manager Nigel Bruce (Sherlock Holmes’ Dr. Watson), was Sir Lawrence Olivier’s mother-in-law (Jill Esmond’s mother) and starred in the horror classic The Old Dark House with Boris Karloff