– The official voice of the –

British Columbia Table Tennis Association

BC Table Tennis Association
P. O. Box 35546, RPO Bridgeport,
Richmond BC, Canada, V6X4G6 

Looking back

Looking back at table tennis in BC

Header image: The BC Team at the opening ceremonies of the 1978 Canadian National Championships in Regina, Sask. L to R: Simi Athwal, Pirello Smith, Peter Joe, Helen Simerl, Eddy Lo, Juggy Padda, Gary Wilcox, Chandra Madhosingh, Frank Karika

Back in the 1970’s, while Dan Gentry was president, the BCTTA published a newsletter every two months brimming with scintillating table tennis news and editorials, commentary, tournament reports, director reports, league results and analysis, player stats and more. The person behind these publications was editor Eric Calveley, who remains to this day an avid and elegant table tennis player. For the BCTTA newsletters, he wrote tonnes of articles and worked tirelessly to bring the entire publication to fruition every two months, for many years! Eric encouraged regular players to express their opinions in letters, to contribute synopses on events and to share stories. To provide regular content for Eric to work with, the BCTTA directors submitted reports on progress in their areas of authority. Tournament reports were exciting and often read like a play-by-play commentator’s analysis, thanks to Chandra, Greg Eng and of course Eric. It appeared to be indeed a special era for TT in BC as you’ll see for yourself as you read these publications from the past.

Below: Eddy Lo, BC Open winner on the cover of BCTTA News from February 1982

BC has a long history of table tennis dating back to the late 1950's, but many would argue that the 1970's were the glory days of TT in BC…

In the 1970's, there seemed to be a tournament each month, and local table tennis publications like the BCTTA News and LeTTers, appearing bimonthly, were full of tournament reports, editorials, and heated letters to the editor. These were days before the internet and desktop publishing and it's clear a lot of effort went into creating each edition.

The BCTTA Newsletter

A brief history

Late in 2022, when Eddy Lo dropped off a musty box of table tennis publications from the 1970’s, my table tennis friends and I were amazed. The box was a veritable table tennis time capsule. It contained dozens of editions of provincial and national table tennis newsletters. Each volume contained detailed reports on matches, tournaments and events, as well as thoughtful analyses and editorial pieces by those in the know: coaches, players, and administrators. The coverage was comprehensive and thorough and it was clear that a tonne of work went into each edition. Even more amazing is Eddy has another 4 or 5 boxes remaining at home!

The BCTTA “LeTTers” and the BCTTA “News” publications were put together by hand in an era long before the convenience of desktop publishing. Nowadays, software and personal computers can make anyone into an editor or journalist. Eric Calveley was one of the early editors who brought many these newsletters to life. He used tools such as the typewriter, a photocopying machine, ruler, Exacto knife and glue to painstakingly compose and lay out each page. Each publication involved a coordinated Herculean effort to create and distribute when compared to today’s modern conveniences. These days, Eric is into his seventh decade as a table tennis whiz, and the unforgiving task of BCTTA newsletter editor has long been abandoned. He recalls long days and late nights of writing, editing, cutting and pasting in order to meet publication and distribution deadlines. “Errors were not easy to fix. Everything was done by hand. Each edition’s layout was a puzzle to be solved. It all had to fit, and it all had to look good and read well. It’s hard to believe now how much energy went into every newsletter!”

BCTTA Newsletters from the 1970's

Looking Back

BCTTA News from February 1982

From the BCTTA Archives: The February-March 1982 edition of the BCTTA News with Eddy Lo, winner of the BC Open, on the cover. Inside: the tournament schedule from Feb to Dec; national rankings list; an article on the BC Team Trials, and much more…

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Looking Back

BCTTA News from December 1977

In this edition: Peter Joe wins the BC Closed Championship; contributing editors Dan Riley and Willy Chang republish an article from a Chinese sports mag on looping by Kuo Yao-Hua, the current world champion; brief reports on the Hong Kong Invitational and the China Closed championships; the first BCTTA crossword puzzle described by the authors as the worst ever created; and much more!

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Looking Back

BCTTA News from January 1976

This 3rd edition of the BCTTA Table Tennis News sees Eric Calveley continuing to stand-in as editor-in-chief, a job he has tried to leave but won’t let him go. The edition begins with Eric’s take on the Winter Festival Open, in a tournament venue too big for the players and spectators, and much more over 12 pages.

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Looking Back

BCTTA News from October 1975

This is the first edition of BCTTA News, formerly known as BCTTA LeTTers. The name change was required because, sadly, very few members ever wrote letters to the editor of the publication. Letters did arrive from far-flung places like South America, and some arrived from the US, but BC players… meh. The 12 pages brim with interesting write-ups, reports and editorials from days gone by that look strangely familiar.

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Looking Back on TT in BC

Do you have table tennis-related photos and stories from the early days of table tennis in BC that you would like to share here on the BCTTA website? Throughout 2023 we are celebrating BC table tennis history and would love to see your pictures from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and early 2000's


Please attach up to 8 images below. Use an image editor to keep the file size for each image below 1MB. We accept only .jpg files.

All communications between you and the BCTTA is strictly confidential. We will not share your name or contact in formation with anyone without your permission.