With files from Joshua Santos, Timmins Daily Press
June 11, 2018
The latest inductees to the Timmins Sports Heritage Hall of Fame will be announced Saturday.
Celebrated Timmins athletes and contributors to local sports will be honoured during the fifth-annual Heritage Hall of Fame ceremony taking place in the auditorium at the McIntyre Community Building beginning at 1 p.m.
“Timmins needs those stories to tell around the campfire, brag about ourselves and how good of a sporting community we are and to honour those who helped us become that sporting community. I think that’s another key part that didn’t happen by accident when you have those coaches, builders, volunteers doing it. It’s not a good athlete sport hall of fame, its way more,” said Wayne Bozzer, chairman of the Timmins Sports Heritage Hall of Fame.
Honoured recipients this year include:
• Archie Berube, a volunteer with the Hollinger Golf Club and the McIntyre Curling Club, Northern Golf Association
• Allan Daschuk, a veteran of 87 judo tournaments over the last 45 years and head instructor of the Porcupine Judo Club for more than 35 years;
• Rene Garon, a hockey player who led the Timmins Columbians to a Juvenile Championship in 1964 to 1965;
• James Gosselin, a former track athlete at École secondaire catholique Thériault; and
• Percy Howson, a bowling enthusiast at the Belvedere Bowling Academy in South Porcupine in the 1950s.
Bozzer said the creation of this hall was long overdue. He said they spent the first four years looking back at their archives and Timmins Daily Press files viewing neighbouring communities.
“The first four years of this we played a lot of catch-up because the hall here is only going into its fifth official year. In places like North Bay, Sudbury and the Soo (Sault Ste. Marie), they had it for many, many decades,” said Bozzer. “Now we’re trying to streamline it and be more research based and try to dig some out but still keep with our theme of volunteers and builders — not just the athletic piece but anyone who’s contributed to sport or heritage in our community.
“When we first started, we worked closely with the North Bay Sports Hall of Fame. They shared all of their documents and we used a lot of their criteria to do it. Some of it is fairly straightforward. If you’re in the NHL, that’s a separate category. When you get into the volunteers and local teams, we had some criteria that’s in there, whether it be provincial or national champions. Some of it is volunteers making an impact on their community. We have a lot of volunteer coaches in the past that spent decades volunteering.”
He said they’re trying to find a way to raise funds to hold the event and pay for the plaque and awards. They also want to make sure the information they dig up and organize is present to someone in the future.
“We’re getting to a point where we also want to make sure we’re not losing any of this information, especially with the digital age. We’re trying to figure out how we get all that down and achieved properly,” said Bozzer. “If someone in the next while takes this over, it can just be handed over to continue the project moving forward down the road.”
J.P. Bickell to be recognized
Late pioneer J.P. Bickell will be commemorated by the Sports Heritage Hall of Fame as they officially rename the McIntyre Auditorium in his honour.
A request by the organization was submitted to city council in April to have the Canadian industrialist celebrated in the municipality.
“Camp Bickell is a separate thing but there’s never anything in Timmins, a street, a room or anything named after him and yet he gets the arena built,” said Bozzer. “Nothing in the auditorium, to our knowledge, has ever had his name yet there are other rooms in the building.
“The coffee shop has a name. The Lions’ Club used to be a bowling alley; that has a name. The ballroom is the Schumacher ballroom. There are all those things and we thought the guy who did it all, really who is instrumental in leaving this legacy doesn’t even have a plague anywhere. We thought it was time and I think the timing really works well for 1938 to 2018 and we’ll share that with the Bickell Foundation and hopefully they’ll want to put up a sign also or do something with us moving forward.”
Bozzer said they touched base with the Bickell Foundation and Scotiabank in Toronto when they began the Hall of Fame.
He said the honouring falls in with the theme of their group as they celebrated both sports and heritage in the city.