Looking for memories and photos of Temple Gardens Dance Hall

Lisa
Lisa Goudy
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Don Young has a lot of fond memories attached to the Temple Gardens Dance Hall when he lived in Moose Jaw from 1953 to 1958.

“I used to ride down North Hill on my bike and in the summer, the windows (of the hall) were open. They didn’t have air conditioning and I could hear the bands playing and it just fascinated me. I did play in the Moose Jaw Lions Band here. Little did I realize that in five years, I would be playing in Temple Gardens.”

From 1963 to 1970, Young played at the hall with a bunch of different groups including The Chevrons, Andantes, double bandstands and Battle of the Bands with bands such as Moose Jaw rock band Mozart and the Wolfgang, which was the house band from September of 1965 to May of 1967.

“It was probably one of the best places that I played,” said Garry Brown, who was commonly known as Mister Brown and was the lead vocalist of the band Mozart and the Wolfgang. “We had a lot of fun.”

Heather Hodgson and Gord McCaw, who grew up in Moose Jaw, are putting together a book about the legacy of the dance hall from its inception until it was torn down in 1979. The hall was located on Langdon Crescent at the corner beside the old Grant Hall where a parking lot now resides.

Hodgson, the major writer of the project, said she is looking for any memories and photos of the hall, especially regarding the different bands that played there. People can either join the Facebook group called Temple Gardens Dance Hall or email Hodgson at heatherghodgson@gmail.com. The Facebook group has more than 100 members.

“We have a fair bit of information from the inception of Temple Gardens, we have information from then until roughly to the late ‘50s thanks to Leith Knight,” said Hodgson. “We want to pick it up to the day it was demolished and maybe people have pictures the day it was demolished . . . We want the public (to help us) if they have any photographs of those bands.”

Brown said on a Friday or Saturday night, the hall used to be packed full with more than 800 people. He estimated the band played there 50 times.

Melanie Churko said she remembers volunteering to work at the hall for free doing the floors and coat checks in the summer to check out the dances.

“When there were dances at Temple Gardens, everybody used to walk around the dance floor in a counterclockwise fashion and if there was a waltz you danced in a counterclockwise fashion and I don’t know why that happened,” said Churko. “Apparently it used to make bands dizzy.”

For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.

 

Organizations: Moose Jaw Lions Band, The Chevrons, Times-Herald

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Temple Gardens

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Recent comments

  • Hank Denver
    August 05, 2013 - 17:45

    Fantastic to see these old photos. --of such old guys...

  • Ken Knutson
    April 12, 2013 - 16:08

    Perhaps the name Tommy Dorsey doesn't mean anything to many of you but he had one of the top swing bands of the era of the 30's right up to the early '50s an his band played at Temple Gardens in about 1952 or 1953. As a young man in my early 20's I was quite excited about this. The band played all their hit numbers including" I'm Getting Sentimental Over You". And I remember Dorsey telling the crowd that one of his band members was particularly pleased when a member of the crowd had introduced him to Canadian rye whiskey.

  • Don Edwards
    September 01, 2012 - 10:34

    I owned Edwards Music Agency and from 1967 to 1970 booked alot of bands at Temple Gardens. I booked The Andantes, Shandlemen, Checkerlads, White Knights, Thin Red Line, Bod Squad, and many others including bands from Manitoba and Alberta. I beleive the lady in charge was named Mary that I did business with. I spent alot of time over their and have alot of good memories.

    • mister brown
      September 07, 2012 - 14:39

      Don Edwards, Did you book a band from Alberta called Brian Nelson and the ...........................? If so, could you fill in the blanks. I was with Mozart and the Wolfgang and we met them in Temples and played for their agent who then booked us into Medicine Hat, I believe.

    • Heather Hodgson
      September 07, 2012 - 15:25

      Dear Don Edwards, I hope you are on Facebook. Please join our Facebook Temple Gardens Dance Hall group and also our Facebook Temple Gardens Ball Room PAGE! We'd love to have you on board! Email me as well if that's easier! Nice to hear from you.

    • William Gagnon
      August 08, 2013 - 16:26

      Hi, Don! I was a few years younger than the boys in the bands you booked at Temples, but I played Temples '75-'85 and was a booking agent for Nellis Booking Agency in circa '73-'76 and got to see photos on the wall of all the acts that George Nellis booked throughout Saskatchewan. Thanks for your contribution to this memorable project!