Category Archives: 1980 – 1989

JACK “DUTCH” WHEELER

The hockey career of the colourful Dutch Wheeler covers a quarter of a century and his natural ability can be compared with any of the great players spawned in his ” hockey hot bed” that is Collingwood.

Learning to skate the day after he took his first walking step, Dutch was starring for the old Central Tigers in the Junior Town League at the age of then, and before he turned fourteen he earned himself a spot on the 1934 Collingwood O.H.A. Junior “A” division. Collingwood’s Charlie Sandell also made the team.

Dutch starred with the Biltmores for three years in 1938, 39 and 40.

From Guelph, he went to the Barrie Colts with another Collingwood Boy, Robbie Sandell.

He enlisted with the Canadian Army in 1941 and played out of Newmarket for three years with the Canadian Army team. That team won the interservice championship against the Royal Canadian Navy in 1944. His team mates included Bill Taylor, Bep Guindon, Check Shannon, Bill McComb and Johnny Callaghan.

It was back to Collingwood after the war in 1946. He performed for the Shipbuilders in the O.H.A. Intermediate “A” series for two years and then hopped over to  Midland for one season in 1948.

The new Community Arena was built in 1948 and Dutch couldn’t stay away from the old home town with such ice facilities so close to his own back door.

About that time Eddie Bush was finishing off a great professional career and when he came back home as a coach-player, Dutch Wheeler definitely figured in Bush’s plans.

It could be said that Eddie built one of Collingwood’s greatest Intermediate teams around himself and the Dutchman.

Jack Wheeler was a key cog on a team that won two back to back O.H.A. Intermediate “A” championships in 1951 and 1952 and went to the finals against the Simcoe Gunners in 1953

Dutch and Bush both packed it up as active players the follow year.

Hockey was not his only athletic endeavour. He played a pretty fair softball game and was a member of the Trott’s Pros, twice winners of the Collingwood Senior Softball League in the fifties.

His lacrosse career lasted one season when a group tried to revive the game back in 1936.

An eight-team junior group was formed and all went well with the Collingwood team until they met the power packed Orillia club, seven times winners of the Minto Cup.

That ill fated evening in Orillia, Jack Wheeler startled the Orillia fans when he took a pass from Butch Thomson and scored ten seconds after the face-off. Then the Minto Cup holders went to work and scored thirty-two goals. The final score-32-1. That was the end of short lived Georgian Bay Junior Lacrosse League. There hasn’t been a lacrosse game played in Collingwood since.

Dutch continued his interest in hockey in an executive position with the Collingwood Senior Club during the late fifties and early sixties. This man truly earned his niche in Collingwood’s Sports Hall of Fame.

 

ROBERT “BOB” STOREY

Known as “Mr. Bobsleigh” in Canada, Bob Storey was involved in the Olympics for 45+ years as an athlete, official and volunteer.

In the 1960’s, he was a young competitor that trained on rollerblade wheels given
Canada’s lack of any bobsleigh training facility. His first taste of the  Olympics came during the 1976 Innsbruck games as a breakman. Subsequently, he  moved to the front of the sleight piloting Canada I at the World Cup and
Championships until his retirement in 1974. He competed in the 1968 and 1972
Olympic Games in the two and four man categories finishing 17th and 19th respectively.

Following his competitive career, Bob began his second career as a representative for the sport of bobsleigh. In this role, he advised national and international sports  bodies and was instrumental in the decision to allow womens’ bobsleigh and skelton into the 2002 Olympics. He has served as a director and member of the Canadian Olympic Committee that was successful in securing the 1988 Calgary and 2010 Vancouver host bids.

In 1998, he was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Sports Hall of Fame as a
builder.

CLARENCE “RUSTY” BUTTERS

Rusty Butters was another rugged East Enders who learned his basic hockey on Legatt’s Mill Pond.
His hockey career spanned almost two decades but his long athletic career was not confined to the winter pastime.
Rusty was an exceptionally good football player-good enough to be offered a tryout with the Balmy Beach O.R.F.U. senior team back in 1930. He didn’t accept the offer but instead went to work in the Enterprise-Bulletin. It might have been the biggest mistake of his life. Several big league football coaches were of the opinion that the big outside winger could have made it easily.
His hockey career started with the East End junior and seniors in the old Collingwood Town Hockey League and he graduated to the local O.H.A. junior entry.
For the next fifteen years he made his presence known as a hard hitting, rock ribbed defense player with Collingwood Intermediate and Senior clubs. Rusty and the late Dutch Cain, the King of the body checkers, struck terror into the hearts of opposing forwards for a number of years. Dutch dropped them like stones with his wizardly body checks and the two hundred-pound Rusty crunched then into or over the boards.
Butters had the privilege of playing with such Collingwood hockey greats as Rabbi Fryer, Buck Walton, Jack Burns and Wink Foulis, when this formidable quartette was finishing off their careers in the thirties.
His one and only championship medal came in 1939 when the Collingwood Shipbuilders won the O.H.A. Intermediate “A” title.
Rusty played his last hockey game in Kingston in 1947 when the Shipbuilders were eliminated in the O.H.A. Senior “B” semi-finals round.
At the urging of Red Farrel, he took to refereeing in the O.H.A. and wound up by handling a hundred or so games in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior series before hanging up his skates in 1955.
His track and field career was short but despite his two hundred-pounds stocky stature, Rusty could step the 100 yard sprint in eleven seconds.
A good swimmer and a cracking fine diver, he won the annual Collingwood Aquatic Meet senior diving title three years in a row in the early thirties.
A hard hitting second baseman in the old Collingwood Senior Softball League, hit fifteen home runs in 1931 to help Huck Caesar’s Beavers win the championship. He had a short fling at lacrosse in 1937 on Collingwood’s last lacrosse team.

SADIE HOUGHTON

The Blue Mountain Figure Skating Club has been on of the main attractions in the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena for the past 35 years (as of 1986), and the person almost totally responsible for its foundation was the late Sadie Houghton. She was an enthusiastic and accomplished skater herself and she lost no time in creating interest in the sport when the new arena was built in 1948. She found out the late “Mac” McDermid, the first arena manager, was once a member of the famed Granite Club of Toronto, and she immediately went to work on Mac to help with the formation of a club in Collingwood.

In 1951, the arena staged a benefit night for the General and Marine Hospital and Sadie make sure that several of her top skaters, including her niece, Joanne Houghton, Carol Brophy and Pauline Pitz were on the program. The skaters were an immediate hit with the crowd and The Blue Mountain Figure Skating Club was born with Sadie Houghton as the first president. The group became a member of the Canadian Figure Skating Association and Pauline Pitz and Joanne Houghton were the first two Collingwood skaters to pass the difficult Canadian Figure Skating tests.

Sadie remained as president of the club during its first four years and then was made honorary President for the rest of her life.

She spent most of her free time in the arena and made sure that every child got full opportunity to take part in the ice shows. Sadie died on May 17, 1960, at the age of 58.

Sadie Houghton was inducted into the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.

MARCELLA PLATER KEITH

Marcella Keith was inducted into the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame in July, l984 through her exploits in Track & Field and Alpine Skiing.

Marcella was a recognized Track and Field Champion in 1946, 1947 & 1948 at meets in Kitchener-Waterloo, Owen Sound, Orillia. In 1947, she was the C.C.I. Girls Champion while in 1946 & 47 Marcella was 1st in C.C.I.’s inaugeral alpine ski meet. In 1947, 1948 & 1949 Marcella was combined champion at meets in Huntsville, Own Sound & Collingwood.

Marcella was a graduate of Blue Mountain’s first Ski Patrol class in 1949. When not patrolling the hills to assist others, Marcella was crowned Collingwood Ski Club Senior Ladies Champion in 1963 & 1964.

 

GRETA McGILLIVRAY

Skiing became part of Greta Jepsen’s life five years after she was born in the Caledon Hills and she followed the snow trails in competition and for pleasure for forty-five years.
A member of an athletic family, (her father, the late Svend Jepsen was once a star member of the Danish National Gymnastic Team), Mrs. McGillivray not only excelled in skiing but was proficient in tennis, swimming, gymnastics and figure skating. Ski training came natural as she skied two and a half miles to school every day in the wintertime from her Caledon home to Inglewood.
She went to work at Quebec’s Mount Tremblant in 1952 and started competing in all races in that area to gain rating with the Laurentian Zone. At that time there was no rating in Ontario. She won Class “A” rating with her performances at St. Savieur, Mount Gabriel, St. Jovite and Val Cartier.
Her first big victory came in the 1952 Tachereau, where she set a record. This success was followed by a Gold Medal win at Mount Tremblant and another record for women. In 1953 she competed in all the major Class “A” races-Ryan Cup, Canadian Championships, Kandahar-and finally was selected to go win the Canadian National Team to the North America and World Championships at Mount Mansfield, Stowe, in Vermont. At the world championships she placed thirteenth. In 1956 Greta won the Ontario Ladies Class “A” title and repeated in 1957.
She has won the Southern Ontario title six times and the Osler Bluff Senior championship on several occasions. Over the years she has taken a keen interest in the development of young skiers and at the present time conducts a cross country school two days a week in the winter months. Greta was been a valued official in local ski meets for twenty years – principally as a chief starter.
Mrs. McGillivray is very much into cross country skiing and she feels she is part of her beloved Blue Mountain. “There is no part of the Blue Mountain that is foreign to me. “I’ve criss-crossed its contours on foot and on skis and usually climb it three or four times a week. Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter- the Blue Mountain is my home” she stated recently. Mrs. McGillivray’s son and three daughters all competed for the Queen’s University Ski Team.
Greta McGillivray had come along way in the world of skiing since she cavorted over the hills of Caledon. She is a worthy and welcome addition to Collingwood’s Sports Hall of Fame.

 

PAULINE PIITZ

Pauline Piitz began skating on outdoor rinks in this area in the mid 1940’s, eventually joining the Blue Mountain Figure Skating Club when the new Collingwood Arena was completed in 1947.

Pauline worked tirelessly with younger children at the club, and helped produce the first skating carnival in Collingwood. Skating took Pauline to many competitions and carnivals across Ontario in the years to follow, and in 1954 she placed fourth in the Northern Ontario Figure skating championships held in Sundridge.

As a professional, Pauline skated in many carnivals in the area, with a highlight of her professional career being her skating with the Royal Skating School where she received recognition from the Canadian Figure Skating Association as a silver medalist with five silver dances.

Today, Pauline in Mrs. Doug Simms (a sportsman, hunter and wildlife columnist originally form Collingwood). The couple are retired and live in Truro, Nova Scotia.

Pauline contributed as a Builder in figure skating for this area, with her efforts to organize figure skating clubs and carnivals.

MARIE & KATHY ROBINSON

The skiing careers of the sisters Marie and Kathy Robinson ran parallel to the point where we saw fit enter them in the Sports Hall of Fame together as near twins. They are not twins; Marie is one year older than Kathy.
The Robinson girls started skiing as members of the fledgling Collingwood Ski Club back in the early 1940’s at the ages of nine and ten. They started on home made skiis made by the late Alf Morrill and his son, Lawrence. Marie won the Ontario Junior title in 1945 at Owen Sound while Kathy picked up the 3rd prize. From then on, it was the Robinson sisters finishing one and two in the most of the important meets throughout Ontario.
In the 1934 Ontario High School meet in Owen Sound, Marie won the downhill and slalom and finished 2nd in the cross country, her first try in this event. She repeated in 1946 with Kathy picking up a pair of seconds. In the 1947 Junior high school championships, it was the Robinson sisters all the way. Marie won the slalom and placed second in the downhill while Kathy scored third places in both events. In 1948, Marie won the downhill and Kathy took the slalom. In the same year, Marie won the Senior Girls’ title and Kathy took top honours in the Junior championships. The two sisters scored aw total of fourteen points as the Collingwood Girls’ Ski team won the Senior High School championships for the 4th year in a row. Perhaps the highlight so Marie’s career came on February 27, 1949, in the Ontario Junior Provincial Championships. It turned out to a nip and tuck battle between Anne Heggtveit, the first Canadian to win a gold medal in the Olympics, and Marie Robinson of the Collingwood Ski Club. Anne, who was then racing under the colours of the Ottawa Ski Club, beat Marie by winning the downhill by an eyelash in the Slalom race but Marie turned the tables on Anne by winning the downhill. In the combined events, Heggtveit edged Marie by a fraction of a point – 77.06 to 76.28.
There is not telling just how far the Robinson girls would have gone in the world of skiing had they chose to make full career of the sport. Both sisters gave up competitive skiing at the end of the 1949 season at the peak of form. Incidentally, Marie is the mother of Doug Risebrough, former star forward of the N.H.L. Montreal Canadiens & Calgary Flames.

 

DON WESTBROOKE

This hockey player joins his goaltending father, the late Reg. Westbrooke, in the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame.

Don came up through the local minor system and went on to play Junior “B”, Intermediate, and Senior.  He also played professional hockey with International teams followed by the IHL Toldedo Blades in 1963-64 when he won Longman Trophy as “Rookie of The Year”.

1968-69                       Awarded the Gatschene Memorial Trophy as IHL-MVP Award

1969-70                       Awarded the Leo Lamoureux Trophy as IHL Top Scorer

In 1970-71, Don played under the infamous coach – Eddie Shore – with the Springfield Kings & Eddie Shore of American Hockey League. Later he was traded to Rochester Americans where he played with Collingwood native Darryl Sly & roommate Don Cherry.  In 1971-72, Don played in Seattle and led the team in scoring.

On January 5, 1974, Don Westbrooke became a North American trivial answer as he became the “only” North American player to score 3 goals against Vadislav Tretiak (of the Soviet Red Army Selects) and defeated the World Champions 6-4.

Don Westbrooke was inducted into the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame, July 1984.

JIM TROTT

Minor Hockey in Collingwood has gained much from the dedicated work of Jim.
Outside of the community, the Ontario Minor Hockey system has also gained because of this dedication.
Jim was a member of the OMHA Executive Committee, from 1953 to 1957.  In addition to his time on the Executive Committee, Jim was also a certified OMHA referee throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s.
James Trott was elected to the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame – Builder’s Category in 1984.