The Optimists Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
De La Salle "Oaklands"
|Alumni Corps member, John Petti marched with De La Salle.|
De La Salle "Oaklands" Drum & Bugle Corps began as the bugle band of De La Salle College, way back in 1910. This made it one of the oldest corps in North America. The actual drum corps was formed, and began competing, in 1958. That same year the Toronto Optimists was also formed and, for the next 17 years Del and Opti were cross-town rivals.
In the early years the scores of Del and Opti often were close but Del always seemed to be "the bridesmaid", while Toronto Optimists was "the bride". In 1961 Del almost did it — for the first time they beat Opti, just before nationals; however, once again they lost to the Optimists — by .05, a mere twentieth of a point!
Finally, in 1969, Del broke Optimists' string of 11 straight Canadian National Championships. Ironically, this time they they won by a twentieth of a point! Del also took the Canadian Nationals in 1970 & 1971. When DCI was formed in 1972, Del was one of its founding members.
In 1974 De La Salle became the first Canadian corps to make DCI Finals, finishing in seventh place. At the end of 1974 the school dropped its sponsorship of the corps and De La Salle "Oaklands" merged with the Etobicoke Crusaders to form the Oakland Crusaders.
For more of Del's history, view the 50th anniversary book on their website.
Article on "Del" from May, 1965 Drum Corps Digest (Acrobat file)