Some good sports received special honours here Saturday.
They’re the newest additions to the Quinte West Sports Wall of Fame at the City of Quinte West YMCA.
Several hundred people attended the ceremony in the YMCA’s gym before volunteers pulled away blue paper to reveal the photos and plaques of the new inductees.
Trenton’s Eric MacDonald, 19, was quick to photograph his team’s plaque. He played with the Klemencic Homes Quinte West Hawks, this year’s Ontario Minor Hockey League (OMHA) juvenile ‘A’ championship.
MacDonald said it was “unbelievable” to be on one of the five teams honoured this year.
“It meant so much more than just winning the OMHA championships,” he said, adding it was a further reward for players’ parents.
“They do so much for you … You just want to give them the championship at the end,” said MacDonald.
This year’s solo athlete inductees are cyclist Derek Zandstra, horse trainer Dave Stewart, golfers Gord Tripp and Rob Couture and runners Craig Maxfield and Mike MacNeil.
Also recognized in this year’s group are 18 “builders” – those who supported sports while working behind the scenes.
Skating mom and Sunday school teacher Mary Lou Thow was humbled by the attention.
She started volunteering with Skate Canada in 1965, the year her two daughters began figure skating.
The family lived at Ottawa’s Canadian Forces Base Uplands, where her late husband, Stuart, was an air force aeronautical engineer.
Thow, who still lives in Trenton, said she loved taking her daughters and other children to the rink.
“I would pick up all these kids and I would take my skates and go on the ice with them. We had a lot of fun,” she said.
“It’s lovely to be recognized but it’s almost embarrassing,” she said, explaining her involvement in the sport was motivated solely by her love for the work.
“It’s wonderful and I was so shocked. I always feel there are so many more people that are more deserving,” she said.
Jon Gibbons entered the hockey world as a player. He was on the Royal Canadian Legion-sponsored Trenton team that won the 1963-1964 Ontario championship.
Though he moved away for a few years, Gibbons returned to become a coach and later owner of the Trenton Jr. A Sting and the Jr. C Brighton Buzz.
He said the sport requires a team effort on and off the ice, but he was “very happy” to learn he’d made it onto the Wall.
“You like to give more than you receive but a little acknowledgement is nice,” said Gibbons.
“The most rewarding thing of being involved with junior hockey in this town, and with minor hockey, is to see the evolution of players.
“The ones we had as players are now coaches and managers,” Gibbons said.
An 11-person committee selected each inductee.
“We had to do a lot of research to find those and the committee did an excellent job,” said Coun. Doug Whitney, chairman of the Wall’s organizing committee.
Members dug through archives to find old photos, searched online to find inductees and more.
It took six years to launch the project. This was the fifth year for the annual induction ceremony.
“This is a great place for it,” Whitney said. “A lot of people come up and take a look at that wall.”
This year’s inductees include:
Athletes: Cyclist Derek Zandstra, horse trainer Dave Stewart, golfers Gord Tripp and Rob Couture and runners Craig Maxfield and Mike MacNeil.
Teams: 1973 Ontario Junior Tankard curling champions: Brad Mitchell, Dave Merklinger, skip Bill Merklinger, Garth Mitchell; 1961 Trenton Ambers Soccer Club; 2012-2013 Quinte West Hawks OMHA Juvenile “A” champions; 2012-2013 Quinte West Hawks OMHA Midget “A” champions; 2012-2013 Quinte West Hawks OMHA Novice “A” champions.
Builders: Albert Defosse, Anna Poste, Charlie Barker, Chuck MacAulay, Debbie Carriere, Donald “Red” McGillivray, Duncan Armstrong, Ernie Curtis, Herb Mitchell, Joan Manley, John Holmes, Jon Gibbons, Marty Knack, Mary Lou Thow, Sandy Musson, Sheran (Richardson) Barker, Stan Klemencic, Tom “Bubba” Gauthier.
Organizing committee: Coun. Doug Whitney, Doug Walsh, Jaclyn Grimmon, Coun. Leslie Roseblade, Brian Coxwell, Cheryl Paul, Don Cole, Bill Huffman, Maureen Scott, Wilf Beattie, Carl Coveney.
To nominate a person or team for the wall of fame, write to:
City of Quinte West Wall of Fame Committee, 7 Creswell Dr., P.O. Box 490, Trenton, Ont., K8V 5R6 or call Cheryl Paul at 613-392-2841 ext. 4413.
The YMCA is at 50 Monogram Pl. off Glen Miller Road just south of Highway 401, 613-394-9622.