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  Prairie Gold:
Sports Heroes From Saskatchewan
 
 
Photo 1 of 18. | | |

Sandra Schemmer / Sandra Therrien

Basketball, Swimming (B.A. '59)

Sandra Therrien graduated from West Vancouver Secondary and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1957.

She was a member of the Huskiette basketball team for three years leading the team in scoring in 1957. She was also a member of the Swim team for three years. For her participation in athletics, she was awarded a Major Athletic Award in 1979.

In addition to participating in sports, Sandra served on the Women's Athletic Board for two years and worked for the Sheaf as a roving reporter.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame

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Photo 2 of 18. | | |

Hugh Tait

Hugh first came to Saskatoon in 1932. His athletic feats in track and field, football and snow shoeing were performed while he lived in Winnipeg. As a Saskatoon resident, Hugh became involved with sports right from the start. In 1933 he was instrumental in getting the Saskatoon Merchants softball team into operation. His organizational strengths and his fund raising ability led him to many other sports. He was associated with the Saskatoon Hilltops for many years, lent his support to the Saskatoon Five-pin Bowling Association, assisted the Saskatoon Optimist Swim club and was a strong supporter of Participaction.

When Saskatoon hosted the Canada Winter Games in 1971 Tait was selected honorary mountain builder. Hugh was associated with the Saskatoon track and field program for many years, including the Knights of Columbus Indoor Games and many Olympic and Pan-American Games trials. In 1964, he was honored as the Kinsman Sportsman of the Year.

In 1975, Hugh was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. The following year he received the Sask Sport merit award and was made a life member of the Saskatoon Hilltops in 1977. In 1986 he was inducted into the Saskatoon Hall of Fame.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers.


The name Hugh Tait is synonymous with the promotion of amateur sport in Saskatchewan. Over a period of 30 years he has given untiring effort to the development of a wide variety of sports and sporting events.

As an athlete, Hugh Tait participated in track and field, football and snow shoeing. In 1927 he was a member of the Winnipeg Junior Football team that won the Western Canada championship. In 1928 he was world champion in the five mile snow shoe event.

He has an outstanding career as an executive member, organizer and fund raiser for many sports and clubs including the Saskatoon Hilltops Football club, the Saskatoon Optimist Swim club, Saskatoon track and field club, the Western Canada Five Pin Bowling Association, the Saskatoon Merchants Softball club and Participaction.

Throughout his sports career he has been involved in the 1958 British Empire Games trials, 1960 Olympic Games trials, 1965 Saskatchewan Jubilee Indoor Games, 1967 Pan American Games trials, and Centennial track and field championship, 1967 Pacific Conference Games Satellite meet.

Hugh Tait's most outstanding achievement was a Vice President of Sports for the 1971 Canada Winter Games in Saskatoon.

Installed in the Hall of Fame on March 22, 1975.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

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Photo 3 of 18. | | |

Marion Taylor

A versatile athlete for years, Marion Taylor was unique because she bowled and curled at the same time and proved she could win at both.

Most of her fame came on bowling lanes where she won two Canadian women's singles titles, 1962 and 1964, played on two Canadian women's team champions, 1967 and 1972, played on one Canadian mixed team champion, 1973, and coached another Canadian mixed team champion in 1976.

She won the first-ever Canadian bowling finals to be televised - right on home lanes at the Bowlerena in Saskatoon. She also won in Regina when Brunswick installed lanes in the armory in hopes of building bowling into a spectator sport.

The 1967 women's champions scored a total of 12,985, a record which still stands, with each of the team members averaging 259 pins per game.

Taylor played on a women's rink in 1974 and a senior women's rink in 1991 which were beaten in the Saskatoon finals by eventual Canadian champions. She once shared in an eight-ender in curling and she shot golf's magic feat, a hole-in-one, ironically in the same year of 1986.

Originally from Birch Hills, she was a high school athlete in North Battleford before moving to Saskatoon.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 4 of 18. | | |

Neil J. Taylor

Ontario born, Taylor arrived in Yellow Grass with his family in 1899. He was four years old. Within a decade he was a member of the Regina Intermediates, and by 1915 became quarterback and coach for the Regina Rugby Club. Strong and splendidly built, Taylor led the team to Western Rugby Championships in 1913, '14 and '15. Following Royal Air Force service, he was released as a prisoner-of-war in 1918. 1919 saw him quarterback the Regina Rugby team to victory over Calgary, winning the coveted Hugo Ross trophy. No east-west playoffs came into being until 1921.

Taylor became the president of the Regina Roughriders in 1934, president of the Western Interprovincial Football Union in 1937, and he was president of the Canadian Rugby Union in 1946.

Taylor was civic minded, a recipient of the O.B.E. in 1946 for war contributions, and totally committed to football in Canada. He revived east-west junior championships and played a large part in laying the foundations for the football scene today.

He was inducted posthumously into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

Following Taylor's untimely death in 1947, Park de Young became Taylor Field - a fitting tribute to a remarkable gentleman.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame June 13th, 1987.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 5 of 18. | | |

Phil Taylor

The figure skating history of Saskatoon is animated by two individuals who overcame serious war injuries to perform wonderful feats of skating mastery for the public. One such skater was Phil Taylor who served in the Canadian Army during World War I and returned from combat after having had a leg amputated. (Photo LH 6463 shows Phil in a formal full-length portrait.)

Scant information accompanied the 1912 photograph, but it does mention that he continued his figure skating and was considered the "best fancy skater in Saskatoon". He was successful in parlaying his athletic prowess into a career as a "show skater" despite the obstacle of having to overcome the loss of a leg. He was still performing his one-man show at the Dreamland Rink in San Francisco around 1947. He later married an Australian and moved to Australia, and thereafter kept on skating.

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.

Date: November 1912.

Photographer: Hillyard, Leonard A.

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Photo 6 of 18. | | |

Roy Thiessen

Saskatchewan is richer because of the talents of Roy Thiessen. Born in Debden in 1935, Roy has successfully combined a career in education with commitment to excellence in sport.

His involvement spans the spectrum of sports. In curling he coached provincial and national teams to championship laurels. Volleyball, cross-country skiing, and track and field at the civic and provincial levels have been enhanced by his efforts.

Perhaps the most fitting tribute is the high esteem of those he coached. Curlers Dorenda Schoenhals, Lori McGeary, Colleen and Carol Rudd as well as track and field athletes Dave Bowler and John Konihowski call him a "great friend and coach".

His home city of Moose Jaw has honoured him on several occasions and in 1975 he was given the Canadian High School Athletic Merit Award. In 1977 he received the Scotty Richardson Memorial Award.

Roy is also author of four books about the fundamentals and skills required in curling.

Always ready to lend a helping hand, he served in numerous positions on the executive of sports organizations. He chaired the first Saskatchewan Summer Games, the World Junior Men's Curling Championships and the World Ladies' Curling Championships.

We are proud to honour his many accomplishments.

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 7 of 18. | | |


Jean Thompson

Jean Thompson / Jean Storey

Basketball (B.A. '46)

Jean (Storey) Thompson graduated from Nutana Collegiate in Saskatoon and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1943. During her four years on campus, she competed in basketball and tennis.

She was a member of the Huskiette basketball team for four years and served as captain of the team in 1945-46. She was an outstanding playmaker on the team.

She was also an accomplished tennis player and won the 1946 intervarsity doubles tennis title.

As well as competing on two teams, Jean was very active in other facets of campus life. She served on the Women's Athletic Board for four years and was vice-president of the Students' Representative Council. She was awarded an Honor Social Award in 1945-46.

Following her graduation she served as alumni representative on the WAB and was Assistant Physical Education Director, 1946-50.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Copyright information: University of Saskatchewan

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Photo 8 of 18. | | |


Robert Thompson

Robert Thompson

Basketball (B.S.P.E, '77, B.ED. '77)

Bob Thompson graduated from Bedford Road Collegiate and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1970. During his years on campus, he was a member of the Huskie basketball team for five years.

As a forward with the team, he consistently led the team in both scoring and rebounding. He was selected to the Western Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Association All-Star Team in three of his five years with the team. He led the WCIAA in rebounding on two occasions. In 1971-72 he led the Huskies to a first place in the East division of the WCIAA.

Bob Thompson is still among the top five in team career rebounding and scoring.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Copyright information: University of Saskatchewan

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Photo 9 of 18. | | |

Annie Thomson

Born on March 16th, 1901 in Ayr, Scotland, Annie Thomson came to Canada with her parents in 1904. By 1906 the family had moved to Moose Jaw.

She became involved in tennis as a young girl, and her playing career spanned more than fifty years. She won seven provincial open championships in ladies singles, six in ladies doubles and six in mixed doubles events. She also won Western Canadian titles in singles and doubles events, and was a semi-finalist in the Canadian Senior Ladies Doubles.

Between 1966 and 1968 Annie won provincial veterans titles in singles play three times, in doubles play twice, and in mixed doubles on one occasion. She won bronze medals in mixed doubles competition at the Saskatchewan Summer Games in both 1972 and 1976; the latter when she was 75 years old.

As a long time member of the Moose Jaw Tennis Club Annie Thomson did not confine her love and knowledge of the game to competitive play. Over the years she encouraged and taught many youngsters to play tennis.

Annie was honoured with Canada's Lifestyle Award in 1978, and in recognition of her many contributions to the game of tennis in this province, the Inter-City Ladies Trophy, established in 1955, is called the "Annie Thomson Trophy".

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, March 21, 1961.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 10 of 18. | | |

Earl Thomson

Earl Thomson is a relative unknown in Saskatchewan sports, but his exploits certainly turned some heads internationally. In the 1920 Olympic games in Antwerp, Thomson not only won a Gold medal, but set new world record in the 110 meter hurdles.

Born in Birch Hills, Saskatchewan, Thomson moved with his family when he was 8 years old to California, a move necessitated by to his mother's ailing health. Despite living in the United States, Thomson's father never became an American, always retaining a desire to move back to Canada.

As a youth, Thomson nearly died of an accidental gunshot wound, but recovered to be one of the premiere athletes in the world. Aware of the citizenship requirements for the Olympics, Thomson journeyed back to his homeland for the trials and was quickly selected to represent his country. At the Olympics, Thomson won quite handily, finishing nearly two metres ahead of his nearest competition, ironically, an American.

Thomson was one of the many Saskatchewan athletes that parlayed natural talent and a solid work ethic into international success for Saskatchewan and Canada.

Text courtesy of Prairie Gold.


Earl Thomson, born near Birch Hills, Saskatchewan, was regarded as one of the finest hurdlers in North America. He won the gold medal in the 110 metre hurdles in the Olympic Games at Antwerp, Belgium in 1920, equaling his own record time of 14.8 seconds. He was the fourth Canadian to win an Olympic Track and Field championship since the start of the Modern Games in 1896. Holder of the 110 yard high hurdles world record (14.4 seconds) that stood for eleven years, he was twice I.C. 4-A champion.

Tommy Thomson, considered to be one of the world's finest track and field coaches during a thirty-six year career at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, is a member of Helms Track Hall of Fame and the Canadian A.A.U. Hall of Fame.

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

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

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Photo 11 of 18. | | |

Roald Thomson

Born in Bulyea, Saskatchewan in 1931, Roald has combined skills and dedication to the new sport of racquetball in our province as well as Canada. In 1968 he pioneered the first organized play with short handled tennis racquets on handball courts. From that point he has never looked back, accumulating a truly astonishing record.

Locally, Roald has competed in Regina championships, singles and doubles, since their inception, winning the titles repeatedly. He won Provincial Open "A" titles until switching to Seniors' competition in 1977 at 46 years of age. He followed this by winning top awards up to and including 1983, singles and doubles.

National accomplishments are also impressive and difficult to match. Roald was National Open Masters' Champion 1979/80/82/83, and runner-up 1976/77/81. 1982 saw Roald win three national events; the Canadian Closed Masters, the Canadian Open Masters, and the United States Open Veteran Masters.

As well as competing, this outstanding athlete has developed racquetball in Saskatchewan. Organizer, administrator and instructor, he is currently on a committee to develop and produce the National Level II Technical Coaching Manual.

A man who has given himself to better the sport of racquetball - Roald Thompson.

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 18. | | |

Margaret Tosh

Margaret (George) Tosh - a self-taught athlete - was one of the ten people selected for the Olympic training plan between 1952 and 1955. She was a former senior girls champion in provincial high school track meets. In 1955, in open competition, she set records in the javelin and shot put which she held until 1956 and 1961 respectively.

At the Canadian Olympic trials in Hamilton, Margaret set a new Canadian open record in javelin which she held until 1964 and the new Canadian native record until 1965. Margaret competed in the Olympics at Melbourne, Australia in 1956.

In 1957, at the Western Canada Championships, Margaret set a new provincial native record in javelin at 141 feet, seven and one-half inches - a record that still stands. She also finished first in shot put.

At the Canadian Commonwealth Games Trials in 1958, Margaret was first in javelin.

Margaret (George) Tosh was the last athlete ever to be coached by the late E.W. (Joe) Griffiths.

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

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 13 of 18. | | |

James Trufinov

One of Canada's most outstanding wrestlers and the only wrestler elected to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame during the period 1923-1932. Jimmy won a total of ten Canadian championships both in the Bantam weight and featherweight divisions being the feather weight champion in 1925 and the bantamweight champion in 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1930 and 1932. He competed in three Olympic Games for Canada in 1924, 1928 and 1932. In 1928, in Amsterdam, he placed third in his class.

Mr. Trifunov has been a coach of the Canadian Wrestling team at both Olympic games and British Empire and Commonwealth games. In addition to this, Mr. Trifunov for a number of years, was the national chairman with the Wrestling Committee of the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada. He is presently coaching.

At time of installation citation read October 31, 1966.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 14 of 18. | | |

Barbara Turnbull

Golfer, Barbara Turnbull won her first Riverside Club championship in 1957 and since then has virtually dominated women's golf in the province, winning the Riverside Club championship 14 times, the Saskatoon City title 8 times, and has been a member of the Saskatchewan Inter-provincial team for 15 consecutive years. She was a member of the provincial team that tied British Columbia for the National Team gross score and won the low net National Team trophy in 1967. Mrs. Turnbull has won the provincial championship 5 times in the past ten years.

In 1969 the popular Saskatoon golfer reached the finals in the Canadian Ladies Open losing to Mrs. Marlene Streit. She has been classed in the top ten in Canada three times and captained the Canadian team to the World championship in Madrid in 1970. The team which also included Marlene Streit, Gail Moore and Jocelyn Bourassa, finished 4th out of 21 countries. Last year Mrs. Turnbull was ranked six in Canada.

Installed in the Hall of Fame on March 31, 1973.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 15 of 18. | | |

Audrey Turner

Audrey Turner completely dominated her sport of diving during a career which extended over a twenty year period. She first gained recognition by winning the Saskatchewan Junior Diving title in 1937. She retained this title the following year. In 1939 she began to compete as a senior and started a series of victories which will not likely be surpassed by another diver. She was Saskatchewan champion from 1939 to 1948.

From 1939 to 1945, she finished second in the Canadian championship, then placed first in 1946, 1947 and 1948. In 1944, 1945, and 1947 she added the British Columbia championship to her list of accomplishments. When Audrey moved to Alberta, she won that province's championship from 1948 to 1958. In 1948 she won the title at the Canadian Olympic trials but missed selection to the Canadian team due to insufficient funds.

Audrey was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1971 and was installed in the Saskatoon Hall in 1987.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 16 of 18. | | |

Bob Turner

Bob Turner honed his hockey skills on the outdoor rinks of Regina and played all of his minor hockey in the Queen City. In 1950, he was a member of the Regina Pat midget team that won the Provincial Championship. He made the jump to the junior ranks the next year with the Regina Pats of the Western Junior Hockey League (WJHL), who came second to the Guelph Biltmores at the Memorial Cup in 1952. Bob played with the Pats for three years, was Captain of the team during the 1953-54 season and named MVP of the WJHL the same year.

Turner began his "pro" career in the fall of 1954 by joining the Shawinigan Fall Cataracts of the Quebec League, who won the Duke of Edinburgh Trophy that year, the highest prize in the minor professional league in Canada. Bob was called up to their parent club, the Montreal Canadiens, for the 1955-56 season. Bob Turner was a skilled defenceman and fierce competitor for the Canadiens for five seasons - 1956 through 1960 - winning the Stanley Cup in each of those years. Bob Turner is one of only twelve players to be a member of five consecutive Stanley Cup championship teams. Bob played three seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks - 1961 to 1963 - and finished his career with the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 1964. Turner played in five NHL All-Star games during his professional career.

Bob did not leave hockey after his retirement. He returned home to become coach of the Regina Pats of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in 1965. In nine successful years as head coach between 1965 and 1976, Turner led the Regina Pats to the Memorial Cup twice, finishing second in 1969 and winning the tournament in 1974.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on June 18, 1994.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 17 of 18. | | |


Marilyn Walter

Marilyn Walter / Marilyn Truscott

Volleyball (B.Ed., '74, B.S.P.E. '76)

Marilyn (Truscott) Walter entered the University of Saskatchewan in the fall of 1971 after graduating from Aden Bowman Collegiate in Saskatoon.

During her five years at the University of Saskatchewan, Marilyn led the women's volleyball team to several University of Saskatchewan volleyball firsts; to a CWUAA Conference Championship and the first ever Huskiette appearance in the C.I.A.U. National Championships where the team successfully captured a silver medal; to four successive provincial championships and to two bronze medal finishes in the Canadian open championships. During Marilyn's five year varsity career, she was recognized for her exceptional leadership and performance when she became the first member of the university volleyball team to receive an individual athletic award, the Bob Staynor Award.

While a student at the university, Marilyn was selected to attend an invitational try-out camp for the Canadian Women's Volleyball Team that would participate in the 1973 World Student Games in Moscow, U.S.S.R. This was the first time ever that a Saskatchewan athlete had been invited to a national team try-out.

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 18 of 18. | | |

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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