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  Prairie Gold:
Sports Heroes From Saskatchewan
 
 
Photo 1 of 19. | | |

Glenna Fairbrother / Glenna Sebestyen

When the name of Sebestyen is mentioned one automatically thinks of gymnastics. With father Chuck Sebestyen providing the leadership and coaching, daughter Glenna achieved success ear1y in life. At the age of ten she had amassed a score high enough to qualify for the Pan-American Games. Since the minimum age for qualification was 16, Glenna was unable to go. Glenna continued her winning ways and captured the Canadian Junior championship in 1962, 1964, 1965 and 1966.

She represented Canada at the North American championships three times, Chicago in 1967, Vancouver in 1968 and in Mexico in 1969. She was also a member of the 1967 Pan-American team - a spot that eluded her in the past. In (a) University competition, she was the runner-up in 1970, but the following year won the Canadian university champion ship. Glenna retired from competition in 1972 and went into coaching. She is the head coach for the Saskatoon Marion Gymnastic club and has served as provincial coach every year since 1972.

She was named to the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 2 of 19. | | |

Norman A. Falkner

A great deal of information remains about Norman Falkner, thanks to skating historian Mel Hepburn, whose scrapbook contains a published tribute by John Booker. According to Booker, Falkner left Saskatoon early in World War I with the 96th Battalion, transferred later to the 21st Battalion, and fought at Vimy Ridge. At Lens his leg was injured, and it had to be amputated. During his convalescence in the winter of 1917-18, he insisted on skating on a nearby frozen pond, much to the chagrin of his nurses. By 1918 he was back in Canada. In 1919 he turned professional and began performing exhibitions, including an appearance at the Greenaway Rink in Saskatoon on February 10.

Booker also described an exhibition in Calgary in 1919. "For the first minute of his exhibition there was no applause but then he fell end-over-end, removing all doubt that there was any gimmick or any invisible wires. The subsequent applause was deafening."

Falkner died in British Columbia 1985 at the age of 92.

Text courtesy of Ruth Millar with special thanks to columnist Eric Burt who published this information about Falkner in his column in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Feb.22, 1992.

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Photo 3 of 19. | | |


Emily Farnham

Emily Farnham

Emily got her name into the record book when she became the first woman to win a Canadian Senior Women's curling championship (1989) after winning the Canadian Ladies Crown (1974). Not only did Emily play the game but she also helped out with several administrative duties. She has been a member of the Nutana Curling club for 27 years, serving as president of the Ladies section in 1972-73, a member of the Board of Directors from 1971 to 1981 and the first woman president of the Nutana club in 1978-79. She has also been involved at the provincial and national levels.

Emily was chairperson of the publicity committee of the Seagram Mixed Curling champion ship when Saskatoon hosted the event in 1978. She held the same position of the Labatt Lite Classic from 1985 to 1989. In 1982 Emily was awarded the Sask Sport recognition award as an administrator in Ladies Curling. Two years later the Canadian Ladies Curling Association presented her with the Appreciation Award for Dedication and Outstanding Service to Ladies Curling.

Emily was named to the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers.

Date: 1989

Copyright information: Emily Farnham

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Photo 4 of 19. | | |

Adam Faul

As one of Saskatchewan's outstanding boxers, Adam Faul had an enviable record of winning 60 of 64 bouts.

His impressive list of championships began in 1946 and by 1948 he reached a highlight of his career when he represented Canada at the London Olympics.

In 1946 Adam won the Saskatchewan light heavyweight title. A year later he held both the Canadian light heavyweight title and the provincial heavy weight championship. He won the Canadian heavy weight championship in both 1947 and 1948, and was winner of the Western Canadian diamond belt in 1948.

Adam's unbeaten record ended in his second bout at the 1948 Olympics in his fight against Nils Nilsson of Sweden.

At time of installation citation read March 27, 1976.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 5 of 19. | | |


Sylvia Fedoruk

Sylvia Fedoruk

Basketball, Volleyball, Golf, Track and Field (B.A. '49, M.A. '51)

Sylvia Fedoruk graduated from high school in Windsor, Ontaio and ented the University of Saskatchewan in the fall of 1946.

While a student at the University, she was a member of twelve intervarsity championship teams. She was a member of the Huskiette basketball team that captured the Cecil Race Trophy five times, a member of the track and field team that captured the Rutherford Trophy two times, a member of the volleyball team that captured the Landa Trophy two times. She co-captained the basketball team for four years.

In addition to her athletic endeavors for which she received a Major Athletic Award, Sylvia was very active in other facets of campus life including the President of the Women's Athletic Board in 1948-49.

For her efforts and contributions to campus life, she was awarded the prestigious "Spirit of Youth Trophy" in 1949. The trophy was awarded to a woman student who has best demonstrated through her university career outstanding qualities of leadership, good sportsmanship, idealism, character, academic ability, athletic ability and general physical fitness.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Date: 1947

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

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Photo 6 of 19. | | |


Conrad Fitz-Gerald

Conrad Fitz-Gerald

Football, Basketball, Track and Field (B.A. '47, B.Ed. '48)

Con Fitz-Gerald graduated from Nutana Collegiate and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1942.

While a student at the University of Saskatchewan, he played on the basketball team for five years (captain in 1944), the football team for three years and competed on the track team where he excelled in the 100 yd. dash, broad jump and high jump. He was an outstanding shooter on the basketball team and was regarded as one of the best ends on the Huskie football team.

He was awarded a Major Athletic Award in 1944-45 for having participated on eight intervarsity teams. In 1944, Con was awarded the prestigious MacDonald Trophy for demonstrating high qualities of sportsmanship, leadership and athletic ability during his under-graduate years.

In addition to excelling as a competitor in three sports, Con coached the Huskiette basketball team in 1944-45 and the Huskie junior basketball team in 1945-46.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Date: 1930

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

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Photo 7 of 19. | | |

Fern Flaman

Throughout his hockey career, Fern Flaman was known as the team's motivator. Whether playing or coaching, he is remembered as the person who pushed other team members to succeed.

At age 7, Flaman and his family moved from their farm near Southey to Regina and he began to play hockey the next year at a small Parks and Recreation rink located at Edgar Street and 14th Avenue. As a Pee Wee, Flaman was selected for a Regina All-Star team that played other southern Saskatchewan teams. His final hockey days in Saskatchewan were played with the Navy Cadet Juvenile Team, made up of kids in the Sea Cadets.

In 1943, 16 year-old Fern Flaman began playing for the Boston Olympics, a farm club of the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Amateur Hockey League. That season, he received the Pun Pic Trophy for being voted by Olympic fans as the "Most Popular Player". The "Pics" dominated the EAHL from 1943 to 1946, capturing the league championship each year. By the 1946-47 season, Flaman was moved to the Bruins' best farm team, the Hershey Bears. Only a half season passed before he found a permanent spot in the NHL with the Boston Bruins.

Flaman played a total of 14 full seasons in NHL ranks. From 1947 to mid-season 1950, he played with Boston and was then traded to Toronto. That year, he savoured a Stanley Cup Championship with the Maple Leafs. Flaman remained with them until the end of the 1954 season when he was traded back to the Bruins. He became only the fourth captain of the Bruins and held the post for four years. During his NHL career, Flaman played a total of 910 games, made 34 goals and 174 assists, for a total of 208 points. Six times, he was selected for the NHL All-Star team and twice was chosen for the second All-Star team.

After the NHL, Flaman began a coaching career with the Rhode Island Reds of the American Hockey League. Initially, he played for the team (1961-62, 1962-63), but in his third year took on responsibilities as player, coach and general manager. Later, he coached the Los Angeles Blades of the Western Hockey League and the Forth Worth, Texas Red Wings, a Detroit farm team in the Central Hockey League. Flaman became a scout for the Boston Bruins during the 1969-70 season, and evaluated players in which Boston had trade interests; yet, the "itch" to coach would not go away and in 1970 he began a 19-year career as Head Coach of NorthEastern University's Division 1 Huskies. The team went on to win 4 "Beanpot" championships and the Hockey East Tournament Championship (1988). Flaman was named the NCAA Coach of the Year in 1982.

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Photo 8 of 19. | | |

Pat Fletcher

Pat Fletcher achieved his greatest competitive fame while playing out of the Saskatoon Golf and Country Club. He became the first Canadian to win the Canadian Open since 1914 at the Vancouver Point Grey Golf Club in 1954. In addition he was winner and/or runner-up of many professional and open titles during the years 1937 to 1957.

During his residence in Saskatoon, he won the Canadian Professional Golfers Association title in 1952, the Canadian Open in 1954, the Rivermead trophy for the low Canadian in the Canadian Open in 1953 and 1954, and was runner-up in the Winnipeg Jubilee in 1949. He also represented Canada in four World Cup matches and won two pro tournaments in the West Indies.

As a long-time member of the Canadian Professional Golfers Association, he organized the Saskatchewan Branch, became the first pro President of the Montreal branch and later became President of the National C.P.G.A. As national President and with the assistance of Clarence Campbell, Pat Fletcher revised the C.P.G.A. constitution, adopted a Pension Plan for the members and improved relationships between the pros and their clubs.

Installed in the Hall of Fame on March 30, 1974.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

Date: 1954.

Photographer: CFQC Staff.

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Photo 9 of 19. | | |

Rick Folk

Rick Folk, like any typical youngster played many sports. However he excelled in two of them, golf and curling. On the international scene Rick and his rink made their mark winning the world curling championships in 1980. In high school Folk won the Saskatchewan title and placed second at the Canadian championships.

In university Folk shipped his rink to the western Canadian championship in 1970. The following year he won the Saskatchewan Junior crown. Rick also has five Saskatchewan Mixed titles to his credit and twice brought the Canadian championship back to the Wheat Province.

His rinks have won three Saskatchewan Men's championships in 1978, 1979, and 1980. Playing skip behind third Ron Mills, second Tom Wilson and lead Jim Wilson, Rick took the Canadian crown in 1980 with a 10-6 win over Northern Ontario. At the world championships, Folk's rink went undefeated to capture the Silver Broom.

His Silver Broom foursome was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in September 1980. Rick was selected to the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 10 of 19. | | |

Bill Ford

Bill Ford, one of the best known hockey figures in Saskatchewan, has dedicated over 50 years to the Development of sport as an official, coach and executive member.

Bill was first elected to the board of directors of the Saskatchewan Amateur Hockey Association in 1946. This post he had until he was elected president in 1960. In 1963, Bill assumed the responsibility of secretary-manager and registrar until his retirement in 1976.

Bill's activities were not restricted to hockey alone. As a coach and official he was involved in softball, baseball and football.

At time of installation citation read March 26, 1977.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 11 of 19. | | |

Rover Forsyth

In 1905 distance running was a premier sport in Saskatchewan and none excelled at this sport the way a young man from Caron did. This youth was "Rover" Forsyth who had been born in Ontario but who was making his mark as a track star in Southern Saskatchewan and in Manitoba.

Mr. Forsyth's name was synonymous with winning road races. He won the Regina standard 10 mile race in 1910, 1911 and 1912, the Moose Jaw Times 10 mile race in 1909, 1910 and 1911. Showing no favors he also won the Moose Jaw News race three times. He won the Winnipeg Telegram road race in 1910 and 1911. As a result of this latter win "Rover" was selected to travel to Stockholm, Sweden, to represent Canada in the 1912 Olympics. He was sixteenth in the marathon at Stockholm.

During World War I Mr. Forsyth competed in numerous allied service meets, including the Inter-allied Games in Paris, as a Canadian representative.

Following the War he competed in track and field events in both Canadian and Saskatchewan championships. In addition to his running he won championships in the discus and pole vault.

Installed in the Hall of Fame on May 22, 1967.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 12 of 19. | | |


Tom Foskett

Tom Foskett

Football and Basketball BE(Mech)'49

Tom Foskett graduated from Bedford Road Collegiate in Saskatoon and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1945.

Tom was a member of the football team for four years and a member of the basketball team for two years. He served as captain of the football team for two years.

Tom was known as "Fearless Foskett" among his teammates for his toughness and competitiveness. He was awarded a Major Athletic Award for his participation in football and basketball.

In 1949, he was awarded the highest athletic honour for men when he received the MacDonald Trophy for leadership, sportsmanship and athletic ability.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Date: 1946

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

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Photo 13 of 19. | | |

Norman Fowler

Heck Fowler played baseball, soccer, lacrosse and hockey. By 1908, he was the goalie for the Junior Rovers Hockey Team in Saskatoon.

In 1912 he made his first appearance as a professional with the Saskatoon Pilgrims. In 1916, he signed with the Spokane Canaries, and the following two years he played with the Seattle Metropolitans.

Between 1922 and 1930, Heck played with the Victoria Cougars, the Boston Bruins, the Edmonton Eskimos and the Oakland Sheiks.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

Date: June 4, 1983.

Photographer: Blashill, Peter (Star-Phoenix staff)

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Photo 14 of 19. | | |

Emile Francis

Emile "THE CAT" Francis was born September 13th, 1926. Well known throughout the province, his hockey and baseball roots stem from North Battleford. Francis rose from Junior Hockey ranks in Moose Jaw to the Chicago Blackhawks at the tender age of 20.

In goal from 1947 to 1950, six NHL teams used six goalies, they could afford no backups. The quick reflexes of Emile earned him the nickname CAT.

Francis played in the AHL and WHL, winning the most valuable player award on the all-star team with Vancouver in 1952, and he was named to the all-star team with Cleveland four times.

Retiring in 1960, Francis coached and managed baseball. This was his second love. During his years with the North Battleford Beavers, the club won 6 championships and represented Canada in the Global World Series He returned to hockey in 1967, remaining with the New York Rangers until 1975. Joining the St. Louis Blues organization, he spent 7 years with the Blues before moving on to the position of President and General Manager of the Hartford Whalers.

Emile Francis has 33 years involvement with the NHL, as an impressive player, a respected coach, manager and president. A credit to Saskatchewan and to hockey, congratulations Emile.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame June 17, 1989.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 15 of 19. | | |


Raymond Frey

Raymond Frey

Builder (1923-1945)

Ray Frey came from Moose Jaw to attend the University of Saskatchewan in 1921 and graduated in 1925. While a student at the University, he competed on both the basketball and football teams for two years.

Following his graduation, he joined the faculty of the College of Engineering. While a faculty member of that college, he contributed greatly to both the men's and women's athletic programs.

From 1927 to 1931, he served as coach of the Huskie basketball team. From 1929 to 1937 he served as manager of the football team. From 1934 to 1943 he served as coach of the women's basketball team. While coaching he also found time to serve on the University's Athletic Directorate, 1930-34 and the Men's Athletic Board, 1935, 1941-44.

As a basketball coach, he was an outstanding strategist who had the ability to make adjustments during the course of a game. During his tenure as a basketball coach, his teams captured a total of four city and four intervarsity championships.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

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

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Photo 16 of 19. | | |

Vern Friebel

Vem Friebel was born in Balcarres, on March 9th, 1908. Early in life Vern was interested in skating and was 42 when he joined the Saskatoon Figure Skating club. In 1956 he passed the preliminary and bronze dances and the 14 - step in 1957. Vern then teamed up with Jean Norman in 1957 and competed at the Calgary Sectionals where they entered the Veterans American Waltz and Bronze events.

Along with Hugh Glynn and Bert Penfold of Regina, Vern was a founding member of the National Skating Test program in 1965. He assisted with this program first at the Saskatchewan level and then on the National level. He has produced many manuals and has conducted many skating clinics. He was in charge of the Saskatchewan male skaters that went to the first Canada Winter Games in Quebec City in 1967. When Saskatoon hosted the second Games in 1971, Vern was the chairman of the figure skating competition. Skating has been good to Vern Friebel but he in turn has been good for skating.

He was inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers.

Date: January 1962.

Photographer: Hillyard, Leonard A.

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Photo 17 of 19. | | |

Jerry Friesen

Football BEd'94

Jerry Friesen graduated from Bedford Road Collegiate in Saskatoon and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1974.

Jerry was a member of the Huskie football team for three years and served as co-captain of the team for two years. He was a Canada West All Star linebacker each of the three seasons that he played. In 1976 and 1977, he was selected to the CIAU All Canadian football team. Jerry was selected to play in the first CAN-AM Bowl Game in Tampa, Florida against a team of U.S. College All Stars.

Jerry was selected by the Montreal Alouettes in the 1978 draft of Canadian college players and went on to play professional football with Montreal and Saskatchewan for nine years.

In 1988, Jerry joined the Huskie football coaching staff as a linebacker coach and defensive coordinator.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame

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Photo 18 of 19. | | |

Ron Friesen

Diving (B.A.(P.E.) '72)

Ron Friesen graduated from Central Collegiate in Moose Jaw and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1967.

In 1968-69 he won both WCIAA 1 metre and 3 metre titles. At the CIAU championships that same year he captured the 1 metre and 3 metre titles. Following the meet he was selected Canadian College Diver of the Year. In 1969-70 and 1970-71, he repeated his accomplishments of 1968-69 including being selected Canadian College Diver of the Year. For two of those years, he received the Howard Nixon trophy as the outstanding male athlete at the University of Saskatchewan.

While a student at the University, he represented Canada at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he won a bronze medal in springboard and finished 6th in high tower. That same year, he competed at the World Student Games in Turin, Italy where he finished 12th despite having sustained an injury. In 1971, he represented Canada at the Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia and returned to Canada to make a clean sweep at the Canadian championships winning the 1 and 3 metre springboard events and the 10 metre tower event. Later that year, Ron was named Athlete of the Year for the City of Saskatoon.

To cap off his diving career, in 1972 Ron represented Canada in the 3 metre springboard and 10 metre tower events at the Olympic games in Munich, Germany.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Date: 1967-1972.

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Photo 19 of 19. | | |

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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