Do you remember the Argonaughts lacrosse team?


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/08/2018 (1559 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Manitoba Lacrosse Hall of Fame is seeking help from the sports community.

The 1932 Argonaughts Athletic Association senior team, which won the Western Canadian lacrosse championship, will be inducted into the Manitoba shrine this year. Finding family members for a team from the past is always difficult and, to date, the HOF committee has only found the relatives of Charles and Harold Benson, Ben Chivers and Sam Thompson.

The other team members were president and coach Had McKinley, coach Bill Bowman, Fred Allan, Cliff Crowley, Frank Hawkins, Ross and Whit McElheran, Dave Oliver, Hugh Penwarden, Jim Smith, Bun Stephenson, Elmer Wilson and Wally Woolner.

Supplied photo The 1932 Argonaughts Athletic Club lacrosse team won the Western Canadian championship and will be inducted into the Manitoba Lacrosse Hall of Fame this fall. They were (from left): Bill Bowman, coach; Fred Allan; Cliff Crowley; Dave Oliver; Charles Benson; Harold Benson; Ross McElheran; Sam Thompson; Ben Chivers; Bun Stephenson; Wally Woolner; Elmer Wilson; Jim Smith; Hugh Penwarden; Whit McElheran; Frank Hawkins; Frank Fredrickson, referee (who also played 164 games in the NHL from 1926-32); Had McKinley, president and coach.

If you can help, contact Doug Krochak at 204-223-8152.

The 1968-1971 Winnipeg North Stars, who won the 1970 Western junior B title, and the 1995 Manitoba senior team that won the national Tier 2 field championship, will be recognized at the induction ceremony on Oct. 14 at the Canad Inns Garden City.

Nine players, including the two Bensons, from the Argonaughts will be inducted. The list also includes Jim Palmer and Bill Welligan from Winnipeg’s 1951 Western Canadian junior champions, Elmwood stars Don Leitch and Gerry Ridler, and Willie Trowell, who played for the province in three Canadian field lacrosse championships. Ryan McNish will be honoured as the first Manitoban to play in the National Lacrosse League, and Bill Curtis from Isaac Brock will enter posthumously.

Bill Farquhar, Rob Gardiner, Jim O’Dowda, Abe Pierson, Moe Renaud and Larry Ziffle will be inducted as builders.

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This columnist has written in the past about the City of Winnipeg seeming to have no policy for naming facilities and often appearing to christen them very quickly in reaction to an individual’s recent success.

The latter is certainly not the case in the most recent renaming of one of our hockey rinks.

On Aug. 16, a new name and an artist’s rendering of new signage for the Pioneer Arena on Logan Avenue was unveiled. The Charlie Gardiner Arena will honour the Winnipeg goalie who died in St. Boniface Hospital two months after leading the Chicago Black Hawks to the 1934 Stanley Cup.
Edna Poulter represented the Gardiner family at the unveiling and Fred Morris, who spearheaded the push to name a facility after the goaltender, spoke about why he deserved to be honoured.

Gardiner was born in Scotland but grew up in Winnipeg, living on William Avenue and Alexander and Langside streets. Renaming the Pioneer seems appropriate, even if it’s taken the City 84 years to officially recognize one of its greatest athletes.

In addition to hockey, Gardiner had played baseball and rugby for the Tammany Tigers, one of the city’s most prominent athletic clubs. He is as deserving as Terry Sawchuk, who had the Concordia Arena named for him and Bill Mosienko, whose name is on the former Keewatin Arena.

Gardiner’s story from his childhood to his passing is well-documented in the 2005 book Before the Echoes Fade, by Virginia author Victoria Chambers. She wrote in the preface that she noticed Gardiner in a hockey encyclopedia and wondered why he wasn’t better known. As she researched his life, she realized that the way he lived and died outweighed his many achievements and that’s why she wrote the book.

Her sources included Gardiner’s teammates Art Coulter, Murray Murdoch and Art Somers as well as members of the Manitoba hockey community such as George Allard, Vince Leah and Ed Sweeney. Gardiner’s nephew Ted Poulter shared family recollections as well as scrapbooks and photo albums at the announcement of the rechristening.

At the time of Gardiner’s death, Frank Patrick, then the managing director of the NHL said, “I doubt if there has ever been a more popular player in hockey.” The four-time NHL all-star goalie, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame with its first group in 1945, is buried at Brookside Cemetery.

Memories of Sport appears every second week in the Canstar Community News weeklies. Kent Morgan can be contacted at 204-489-6641 or email:

T. Kent Morgan

T. Kent Morgan
Memories of Sport

Memories of Sport appears every second week in the Canstar Community News weeklies. Kent Morgan can be contacted at 204-489-6641 or email:

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