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  Prairie Gold:
Sports Heroes From Saskatchewan
 
 
Photo 1 of 17. | | |

George Abel

An outstanding stickhandler and playmaker, Melville-born George Abel was a member of the national hockey team that captured an Olympic hockey gold medal for Canada during the 1952 Winter Games in Oslo, Norway. Abel's fans called him "Mr. Production" because he centered a line that scored a majority of the team's points during a 51-game international tour that included the Olympics Games. The Canadian National Team went on to win the gold medal, recording seven wins and one tie. The United States finished second and Sweden took third.

Late in 1951, the Olympic-bound Edmonton Mercury hockey team lured 35 year-old Abel away from Melville where he played for the newly reorganized Millionaires, a Saskatchewan Intermediate "A" hockey team. Except for the 1951-52 season, he was a mainstay with the Millionaires. The team took the Saskatchewan "A" championship in three straight seasons, 1948 to 1950, and Abel was awarded the league's scoring title three times. He became the Millionaires' player/coach after a season with the club and continued these duties until his retirement from the club in 1956. The team secured a fourth Saskatchewan Intermediate "A" championship that year.

Before 1951, Abel was offered positions on a number of hockey teams, including the Streatham professional hockey club in England, the Detroit Red Wings' farm team in Indianapolis, and the Maple Leafs in Lethbridge. Earlier, he had played two seasons with the Flin Flon Bombers. Despite breaking his collar-bone early in the 1937-38 season, he reappeared during the playoffs to help the team capture the 1938 Saskatchewan Senior Hockey Championship.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on June 19, 1993.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 2 of 17. | | |

Sid Abel

Melville's Sid Abel began his career in the National Hockey League with the 1938-39 Detroit Red Wings. In 1937, he had tried out with Detroit, but returned to Saskatchewan to play one season with the 1938 Saskatchewan Senior Hockey Champion Flin Flon Bombers. By Abel was appointed Detroit's captain and led the team to a Stanley Cup victory. He played on two of the NHL's better known 1943, lines skating first on the "Liniment Line" with Don Grosso and Eddie Wares and later on the "Production Line" with Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay. In 1949, he led the NHL in scoring and was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy. During his career, he was placed on the NHL's first all-star team two times. In 1952, Abel became the Red Wings' highest point maker to-date in the team's history.

Later that year, Abel began an NHL coaching career that extended to over 15 seasons. For the 1952 53 season, the Chicago Black Hawks named Abel their first ever player/coach and The Hockey News awarded Abel Coach-of-the-Year honours. In 1954, he retired as a player/coach, but the Red wings lured him back to coach their 1957-58 team. In Detroit, he eventually became the NHL's second person to be appointed general manager/coach. Under Abel's leadership, the Red Wings visited the Stanley Cup Finals four times. In 1963, he was named coach of the NHL All-Star Team. Before retiring, Abel took on coaching and general manager duties in St. Louis and was later appointed general manager of the Kansas City Scouts.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on June 19, 1993.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 3 of 17. | | |

Paul Acoose

Paul Acoose is a Saulteaux from the Sakimay reserve and was born in 1883 "when the saskatoons bloom". His gift of running was inherited from his father, Samuel Acoose, and grandfather, Qwewitch, both of whom were hunter's of exceptional speed and endurance.

Paul started to run competitively in his late teens as an amateur at the local sport days in the Grenfell area. In 1908 he became the three and five mile road champion, and the five mile track champion of Western Canada. On July 1, 1908, in the city of Regina, Paul came first in a 10.5 mile race in 1:04:06, which was more than 8 minutes ahead of Saskatchewan's best runners. In that same year, at the Labour Day Manitoba Championships in Winnipeg, he finished first in the five mile event in 27:34.

In April, 1909, Paul turned professional. He ran his first race as a pro on May 17, 1909 against the English runner, Fred Appleby and finished the 15 mile race first in the world record time of 1:22:22. On March 12, 1910, at Madison Square Gardens in New York, he placed second in a 20 mile race against a top international field. Paul's last professional race was March 30, 1910 in Toronto, where he defeated Tom Longboat in a 12 mile race.

Paul returned to the Sakimay Reserve to raise a family of 9 children with his wife, Madeleine Osoup. He farmed, tended cattle, was an avid gardener and would walk or run long distances to visit friends and family. Paul was also a band councilor for a number of years and attended many local Pow-wows as a respected grass dancer. He lived for 95 years, until his death in 1978.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Indian First Nations Sports Hall of Fame.


As an amateur, Paul Acoose was the champion of Western Canada in the three and five mile running events. On July 1, 1908 he won a 10.5 mile race in Regina eight minutes ahead of the other runners.

Paul Acoose turned professional in April 1909 and won an indoor 15 mile race at Winnipeg in world record time. In March of the following year, he came second in a 20 mile race at Madison Square Gardens.

On March 30, 1910, Paul defeated the celebrated runner Tom Longboat in a 12 mile race in Toronto.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

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Photo 4 of 17. | | |

Arthur Adams

Arthur Adams was one of the greatest horseshoe pitchers in Saskatchewan. He was involved in the sport from 1925 to 1960. One year after learning the game he won his first tournament in Perdue in 1926. From 1931 to 1944, he was Saskatoon's single champion and teamed up with partners to win the doubles title. During the 1930's and early 1940's he won the Saskatoon Exhibition singles and doubles tournaments so many times, the trophy was retired and presented to him.

From 1933 to 1944 he was the Saskatchewan singles champion. He is a charter member of the Saskatchewan Horseshoe Players Association Hall of Fame, and in 1981 was inducted into the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association of America Hall of Fame. At the age of 66, Adams took up lawn bowling and won several city and provincial singles and doubles titles. Adams Crescent, Adams Way and Adams Lane in the Silverwoods Heights district were named in his honor.

He was inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 5 of 17. | | |


Robert Adams

Robert Adams

Born in Alsask in 1924, Bob was an outstanding track and field athlete, competing at the Saskatchewan, Canadian and international levels. He held the Canadian senior men's discus record from 1947 to 1952. In 1952, his decathlon record of 6638 points earned him a spot on the Canadian Olympic team that competed in Helsinki. Adams also represented Canada in the Commonwealth Games in 1954 in Edmonton.

He has also served as a coach on the local, Canadian and international levels and was appointed to the officials team for the 1976 Montreal Olympics and the 1978 Commonwealth Games. Adams served as president of the Saskatchewan Track and Field Association and the Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association. He was a member of the Technical Advisory Committee when Saskatoon hosted the Canada Winter Games in 1971.

Bob earned the city of Saskatoon Merit Award, the city of Saskatoon Jubilee Award, the Confederation of Canada Centennial Medal in 1967, and the Kinsmen Sportsman of the Year Award in 1972. In 1975 he was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and in 1986, the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers.

Date: 1945

Copyright information: Over 50 years old - order from the University of Saskatchewan Archives

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Photo 6 of 17. | | |

Jack Adilman

Jack Adilman developed a strong Saskatoon presence in women's basketball, coaching and managing the Aces from 1948 until 1959, and it was his initiative that took Canadian women's basketball to new heights.

In 1958, Adilman decided to bring together the best teams in Canada for the first of a national championship tournament. He agreed to pay all the traveling expenses and hotel costs of the visiting teams, leaving the teams to pay only for their own meals.

Teams from Kitchener-Waterloo, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver joined the Saskatoon Aces in a tournament which was won by the Vancouver Eilers.

A year later, Adilman and Bob Stayner coached the Aces to the Canadian championship, winning the right as well to represent Canada at the 1959 Pan-American Games in Chicago.

Adilman's interest in sports as a young man was demonstrated on many fields. He played minor hockey; basketball with City Park, University Huskies, the Grads, YMCA Toilers and YMHA; softball with the Orphans, College Lads and managed Osler Monarchs; bowled on Saskatoon's Western Canada men's team in 1948; and also played tennis and golf.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers.

Date: [ca. 1955]

Photographer: CFQC Staff.

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Photo 7 of 17. | | |

John Alexander

Regina marked the arrival of a future sports medicine specialist in 1942. Jack's early years saw him involved in recreational hockey, football, cubs, scouts, sea cadets and even some theater productions.

He received his doctor of medicine degree in Saskatoon in 1965, his certificate of the college of family physicians in 1971, and the fellowship of the college in 1984. 'Doctor jack' began his sport involvement in his early days of practice. He was named team physician for the Regina Rams in 1967, the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1969, the U of R Cougar hockey team in 1978, and was named chairman of the Riders medical team in 1979. Today, he still holds all these positions.

He has received numerous awards. In 1987 he was named Saskatchewan family physician of the year by the Saskatchewan chapter of the college of family physicians of Canada.

Dr. Alexander has been chairman or organizer for 21 local, provincial, national and international events involving sport medicine. The sports vary - figure skating, speed skating, swimming, synchronized swimming, track and field, hockey, football, wrestling and special Olympics.

Saskatchewan is proud to have his representation at games and sporting events around the world. Jack is called Upon often and he gives 100% of his time, talents and expertise.

We warmly welcome "our doctor Jack" and applaud his many accomplishments.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame June 18th, 1988.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 8 of 17. | | |

Ches Anderson

Ches Anderson of Saskatoon is known as one of Saskatchewan's most successful wrestling coaches. Serving at the University of Saskatchewan, he developed champion wrestlers for nearly two decades; his teams captured the Canada West University title five times between 1959 and 1969. During his 13 season tenure, Anderson was the first U of S coach to take a team to the Canadian University Wrestling Championships and also became the Saskatchewan Provincial Coach for the first Canada Winter Games at Quebec City in 1967.

For two decades, Anderson sat on the provincial wrestling association executive, initially as Chairman when the organization operated under the auspices of the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada and later as first President of the Saskatchewan Amateur Wrestling Association in 1970. An internationally ranked official, Anderson represented Canada at the World Championships both at Toledo in 1968 and Edmonton in 1980. He was a founding member of the Saskatchewan Amateur Wrestling Officials Association during the 1960s and 1970s and offered leadership as chair for a number of years. In addition, he served as Secretary-Treasurer and then Vice-President of the Canadian Amateur Wrestling Officials Association during the 1970s.

Anderson is recognized as a pioneer in Saskatchewan high school wrestling. He assisted in organizing the first ever high school championship in 1964 at the University of Saskatchewan. In addition, he offered a distinct contribution to rules development, producing Saskatchewan's first-ever provincial rule book. A few years later, he assisted in developing a rule book for the Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on June 19, 1993.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 9 of 17. | | |

Leslie Anderson

Born in 1940, Les Anderson has put Saskatchewan up front in the sport of archery. He is the first inducted archer in our hallowed halls.

In 17 years he has accumulated amazing records. Beginning in 1963 with the Regina Frontier Bowmen and the Wascana Archers, Anderson started collecting accolades. At the local club level he won 35 medals, provincially he collected 29 firsts and seconds, and nationally, he won Canadian Indoor and Outdoor Championships.

Anderson became a "B" card carrying athlete in 1974 and by 1976 he was on the National Team for Olympic and World target trials.

Internationally, Anderson has travelled afar - from Montana to Florida, from Yugoslavia to Phoenix to San Juan, Puerto Rico, collecting medals and awards.

In 1978 he represented Canada in World Field Championships in Geneva and an International Meet in France.

Les Anderson is a Certified National Coach and Official, and was 1977 coach of the archery team at the Canada Games. He has provincially chaired national outdoor championships as well as aiding administratively at a provincial and national level.

Les Anderson, representing a minority sport, has given archery as much as a man can give - our sincere congratulations.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on June 14th, 1986.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 10 of 17. | | |

Morris Anderson

Basketball (B.Ed. '53, B.A. '56)

Morris Anderson, a native Saskatonian, was an outstanding basketball performer. He was the Huskie high scorer in the 1950-51, 51-52, and 52-53 seasons, captaining the team in his last two years. He was known throughout Western Canada during the period of the fifties as "Saskatchewan's premier player". Upon graduation with a Bachelor of Education degree in 1953, he returned to his high school alma mater, Bedford Road, to teach and coach. Nineteen fifty-five found Morris teaching at Luther College in Regina. His interest in basketball continued and he led the Regina Crescents to numerous provincial senior men's championships. He coached the Luther Lions to two provincial championships and two University of Saskatchewan Tournament wins.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame

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Photo 11 of 17. | | |

Sandy Archer

Football's "Dean of Trainers" was born in Moose Jaw. His work began in physiotherapy in 1946. Six years later he started his long affiliation with athletic teams when he began working with the Regina Pats. For 14 years he was associated with hockey players, covering 3 Memorial Cup play-offs.

1951 saw Sandy begin his career as Head Trainer of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, a position he held proudly for 30 years. He taped, massaged, motivated, and was a miracle worker through seven Grey Cup play-offs and one championship. He was selected Head Trainer for the "West" in the 1976 and 1977 All-Star games.

Sandy brought to the league a level of expertise and professionalism in the field of sport medicine that is difficult to equal. Instrumental in the education of athletic trainers, he was a founding member of the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association, serving as Vice-president 1968-70, President 1971. He left a legacy to training that can be found today in the medical staffs of teams in the C.F.L.

Sandy initiated the first High School Trainers Credit Course.

His door was always open; participants large or small, amateur or professional, Sandy's advice was sought, respected, given and heeded. - He was the best!

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on June 16th, 1984.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 12 of 17. | | |

Murray Armstrong

Murray Armstrong was born in Manor, Saskatchewan on New Year's Day 1916. He grew up to enjoy a long and successful career in hockey as both a player and a coach.

After a ten year stint in the N.H.L., during which time he played with the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Americans and Detroit Red Wings, Murray embarked on what was to prove a very long and distinguished coaching career. As the coach of the Regina Pats for eight years, from 1948 to 1956 he led the club to five Western finals and four Canadian Finals. But it was as the coach of the University of Denver Hockey Team that Murray Armstrong achieved his greatest success. Over a period of 21 years he built an enviable record, including a 1960-61 team rated by many as the greatest college hockey team ever. They finished with a record of thirty wins, one tie and one loss.

Among Murray's protégés are Keith Magnusson, freshman coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Craig Patrick, freshman coach and manager of the New York Rangers. In 1974 Murray was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. In 1977 he received the Lester Patrick Award in New York, and as a result was installed in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on March 21,1981.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 13 of 17. | | |

Robert Arn

Dr. Arn was born in Kinistino, took his early schooling close by and graduated from Prince Albert Collegiate. After receiving his doctorate of Education degree from the University of Washington, he taught in several rural schools before settling in Saskatoon. From 1947 to 1953, "Doc" Arn as he was known led the City Park collegiate football team to four straight provincial championships and guided the Saskatoon Hilltops to its first Canadian Junior championship in 1953. He also coached basketball teams to three Saskatchewan High School championships.

Hilltop players like Ron Atchison, Ray Syrnyk, Wayne and Paul Anderson and Ron Adam had a taste of Dr. Arn's coaching and all moved up to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. "Doc" Arn literally changed the direction of amateur football in Saskatchewan replacing the slow, steady power game to a fast deceptive running game mixed with the forward pass. He was a perfectionist. He expected it of himself and from his players.

The Saskatchewan Amateur Football Union honored him in 1977. In 1981, the Saskatchewan Roughriders honored him. A member of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1982, Doc Arn was inducted into the Saskatoon Hall in 1988.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers.

Date: [ca. 1959]

Photographer: CFQC staff.

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Photo 14 of 17. | | |

Ron Atchison

Ron was an outstanding middle guard and defensive tackle for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He started his football career with the Saskatoon Junior Hilltops and played with them for three years from 1947 to 1949. He joined the Roughriders in 1952 and was with them for 17 seasons. His toughness was known and respected throughout the league. He often played despite injuries.

In 1956 in his fifth season of play, Ron was named to the All-Western team as a middle guard. He repeated in 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963. When the term middle guard was deleted from football vocabulary he was voted All-Star defensive tackle. In recognition of his outstanding play, the Saskatoon Hilltops honored him by naming it's practice field, "Atchison Field".

In 1987 Ron was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame ,and in 1980 the Saskatchewan Hall of Fame and in 1987 the Saskatoon Hall of Fame.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 15 of 17. | | |

Julien Audette

Julien Audette has participated in numerous national and international soaring contests. He held eight out of eight available national soaring records, seven national and five international awards. He is the first Canadian to obtain the Federation Aeronatique Internationale award of a Gold "C" pin with three diamonds.

A pioneer in the sport of soaring in Saskatchewan, Julien is a founding member of the Regina Gliding and Soaring Club.

He has served as director, president and chief pilot for the club. In this capacity he was instrumental in bringing three national soaring contests to Saskatchewan. As well, Mr. Audette originated the Gliding Scholarship Program for the local Air Cadets.

At time of installation citation read March 26, 1977.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 16 of 17. | | |

Joseph Austman

Joseph Victor Austman - one of Canada's outstanding marksmen began his career at the age of 6. By the age of 16 he had won the gold medal for the Manitoba Rifle Association and a short time later he had won the Governor General's Silver Medal at the Dominion Association Tournament in Ottawa.

As a member of the Regina Rifles, Joseph Austman had his greatest day on August 17, 1929. On that day he won the Governor General's Match which was the blue Ribbon event of Canadian Marksmanship, with a score of 247.

The following year, he was chosen a member of the Canadian Bisley Team.

Mr. Austman's skills were by no means limited to his marksmanship abilities. In 1916, Joseph Austman won the overall championship in an athletic tournament at Alten-Grabow, Germany, in which 5,000 prisoners competed.

Installed in the Hall of Fame on April 1, 1978.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 17 of 17. | | |

We hope that you have enjoyed reading about some of Saskatchewan's sports heroes.

If you have a photograph of someone or a team listed in Prairie Gold that we do not have a photo for and are willing to donate it, please contact us.

Due to their nature and sometimes ambiguous origin the photographs seen here and those on file at the Local History Room are continuously being updated with new information. Some of this information comes from dedicated research done by Local History staff. However some of the biggest 'breaks' have come from the public... Those that remember the people, places and events in the photo are our biggest informational resource and we ask that if you have any information about the photos to contact the Local History Room at lhstaff@saskatoonlibrary.ca or phone (306) 975-7578.

Come and visit the Local History Room the next time you are at the Frances Morrison Library.

Thank you.

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