In 2013 the sports community said goodbye to many athletes whose skills were enjoyed on the playing field as well as coaches, managers, officials and volunteers who made an impact on sport in our province.
Cyclist Erick Oland and Ken Little, who starred in five sports, were honoured athletes in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame while Vaughan Baird (aquatics), Don Baizley (hockey), Pat Ball (figure skating) and Dave Lyon (athletics) were HOF builders. Manitoba Golf HOF member Joyce Collier and Justice Gil Goodman had served on the independent selection committee.
A Canadian Boxing HOF member, Maurice Camyre fought in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Dennis Alvestad, Doug Hill and Ron White (basketball); Ken Blight, Reg Chopp, Cam Hurst, Ken Nicol, Don Reid, Moe Rybuck and Raymond Van Kooten (baseball); Judi Lidstone (golf); Daryl Young (lacrosse); Art Logan and Ken Pearn (rugby); Bobbi Janaway, Marion Demetrioff, Bette Makowski and Bill Rosnyk (softball); and Mel Davey (volleyball) were inducted into their sport halls of fame as individuals and/or team members.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers lost Biff Fliss, George MacPhail, Ron Meadmore and former president Paul Quinton. Amateur football benefitted from the contributions of Roger Garrity, Jim Ladd, Bill Madder, Gordon Poersch, John Proudfoot. John Puchniak and Rick Smoke. Eddy St. Mars’ sports were football and boxing. Barry McQueen starred in football, hockey and lacrosse and served as chair of Winnipeg Enterprises and as a director at Assiniboia Downs. David Anderson was a driving force in the development of the University of Winnipeg sports programs.
Wayne Chernecki and Wayne Fleming were inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in October. Orille Hogue and Ken Blight from Poplar Point, 1957 Flin Flon Bomber Jean Gauthier, Charles Hubbard of the Pine Fall Paper Kings and Hy Beatty of the 1946 Winnipeg Monarchs all played for teams honoured by the provincial shrine. Beatty was also inducted as an official. Gerry Brisson, who ran the WHL junior Clubs after a long pro career, died in Arizona while ex-Flin Flon goalie Ray Martyniuk passed in Panama in October. Ed Sweeney was Manitoba’s premier hockey historian and Bill Campbell the expert on hockey memorabilia.
The curling community lost Pat Scott from Peggy Casselman’s 1965 Canadian champion team, and two-time provincial champions Merline Darbyshire and Dave Elias along with ex-MLCA president Mary Voss, past MCA president Gerry Markovich and Mary (McTavish) Gower, the Granite’s only woman honorary life member. Along with being a top curler, Omer Van Walleghem was known in local pigeon circles as the "Godfather of Racing Pigeons."
Elmhurst Golf Club said farewell to Alex Colonello, a member for nearly 60 years and the founder of Bayco, a golf equipment manufacturer whose cups and flags are used at courses across the world, including St. Andrews in Scotland. Doreen Martin and Wilda Robinson were past presidents of the Canadian Ladies Golf Association. John Kemp coached track and field at the National Legion Championships and the International Peace Gardens summer programs. Athletics Manitoba lost executive director Diane Stevens in a car accident near Killarney in May.
Earl Vance was a valued member of the Manitoba and North Winnipeg ringette associations. A boxing official and trainer, Arthur Wellby was a founder of the Crescentwood Boxing Club. Margaret Mundrick was a longtime coach and volunteer with the Youth Bowling Council. Murray Fraser set Canadian records in masters 70+ speed skating races. Willie Leone skated with the Ice Follies. Terry Lang played oldtimers hockey for years and golfed at Niakwa. Wrestler Mad Dog Vachon lost his final match in November.
Memories of Sport appears every second week in the Canstar Community News weeklies. Kent Morgan can be contacted at 204-489-6641 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org