Fonds 364 Francis Victor Tanner fonds

Francis Victor Tanner fonds. — 1929 -1984. — 1.5 cm of textual records. — 21 photographs. — 2 cards.

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Biographical Sketch

Francis Victor Tanner (known as Fran) was born in 1921 in Mazanod, Saskatchewan. In the late 1920s the family moved to Grande Prairie where his father prepared ice for the Grande Prairie Curling Club in the Wapiti Arena.This was his introduction to the world of sports. During the Depression, Fran and the local boys played hockey wherever a patch of ice could be found and cleared of snow. When World War II began, Fran enlisted in the South Alberta Regiment and served his country in A Squadron 29th Canadian Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment in NW Europe as a radio operator. He returned to Grande Prairie in 1945 and picked up his interest in sports again. During his first winter home, he was hired by Bill Bessent to help make ice and operate the arena. For a brief time Fran played hockey in the South Peace Hockey League, but he is remembered more as the sports broadcaster on CFGP. His career there began in 1952 as a transmitter operator but soon developed into almost 20 years of announcing hockey games’ play-by-play and providing game analysis and conducting interviews. The South Peace Hockey League recognized his popularity and contributiion to hockey by awarding him The Most Valuable Player, and later he became the first media person to be recognized as a Grande Prairie Hockey Legend. Fran died in Grande Prairie March 27, 1984. Fran was a brother to Vera, wife of Jack Soars, who also became a CFGP radio personality.

Custodial History

These records were donated to the South Peace Regional Archives in 2007 and 2009 by Fran’s niece, Gail Frey.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of records of Fran’s service in WWII, his career with CFGP and the sports world, and personal papers and photographs.



Table of Contents

Series 364.01 World War II
Series 364.02 CFGP and Sports Interests
Series 364.03 Personal Papers and Photographs


Series 364.01 World War II. — 1920 -1984. — 3 photographs.

The series includes Fran’s Soldier’s Pay Books (1943-1945), a Bank of Montreal receipt for transfer of funds and a hand written letter from a Mr. Bromley (1943-1945), 3 photographs, a comical card booklet from Brussels and miscellaneous clippings.

Fran Tanner the Soldier, 1943
1 photograph; b & w; 2 x 3
Fran Tanner in his inuform of the South Alberta Regiment.
Location: 0364.01.01
Fran Tanner and Three Other Soldiers, 1943
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Fran Tanner (front left) of the South Alberta Regiment walks along a Vancouver street with three other soldiers.
Location: 0364.01.02
Don and Fran Tanner, 1943
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Don and Fran Tanner in military uniform.
Location: 0364.01.03
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Series 364.02 CFGP and Sports Interests. — 1920 -1984. — 5 photographs.

The series includes schedules for the CFGP broadcasts of baseball, football and hockey games, photographs of Fran as transmitter operator at CFGP, of the Grande Prairie Baseball Team, and the Richmond Hill Golf Club and an article highlighting his hockey career and the tribute of being named a Grane Prairie Hockey Legend.

Fran Tanner at the Driving Range, [1960 ]
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 5
Fran Tanner stands ready to practive his drive at the the Richmond Hill Driving Range.
Location: 0364.02.01
Fran Tanner, Transmitter Engineer, CFGP, 1952
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
Fran Tanner at his new job as transmitter operator for CFGP seen here at the transmitter towers north of Grande Prairie.
Location: 0364.02.02
Golfers at Richmond Hill Golf Course, [1960]
2 photographs; b & w; 6 x 10
Golfers practice at the Richmond Hill Golf Course driving range.
Location: 0364.02.03-.04
Four Golfers at Richmond Hill Golf Course, [1960]
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 7
Four golfers, including Fran Tanner (with white pants) at the Richmond Hill Golf Course.
Location: 0364.02.05
Grande Prairie Legion Baseball Team, 1950
2 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
Grande Prairie Legion Baseball Team: Back L-R: John Lynn (manager), Marv Johnson, Russ Bowen, Deb Crough, Hal Johnston, Max Henning, Bill Dunbeck, Les Burrows (coach). Front L-R: Art Williams (captain), Irv Berg, Jack Light, Fran Tanner, Mike Malarchuk, Fred Dobbyn, Dennis Johnson (mascot).
Location: 0364.02.06
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Series 364.03 Personal Papers and Photographs. — 1929 -1984. — 10 photographs. — 2 cards.

The series includes 1 professional portrait of the 1929 Grande Prairie Curling Team, wage statements from Yellowknife Transportation Co., (1948), a life insurance policy, a trapline registration certificate (1956), 2 greeting cards, 8 photographs of a trip up the newly built Alaska Highway (including 7 negatives) , 1 negative of an airplane landing and 1negative ofan elevator being worked on, 2 invoices and an “In Remembrance” card from his funeral.

Men’s Champion Curling Team, 1929
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
Grande Prairie Men’s Champion Curling Team, winner of the Delmar Pratt trophy. Victor Tanner is seated on the right.
Location: 0364.03.01
Trip Up the Alaska Highway, [1947]
8 photographs; b & w; 2 x 3
A collection of 8 photographs with 7 negatives of the photographs taken on a trip up the newly built Alaska Highway showing the car and a friend who travelled with Fran Tanner.
Location: 0364.03.02-.09
Watching a Small Aircraft Land, [1945]
1 negative; b & w; 2 x 3
A man is seen watching a small aircraft (UAB-73) land.
Location: 0364.03.10
Working on an Elevator, [1945]
1 negative; b & w; 2 x 3
Three men are seen standing in front of an elevator that is being worked on.
Location: 0364.03.11
Fran Tanner, [1980]
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 5
Fran Tanner in his later years.
Location: 0364.03.12
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