Saskatoon Public Library  
     
  Prairie Gold:
Sports Heroes From Saskatchewan
 
 
Photo 1 of 6. | | |

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.

Subject: .

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Photo 2 of 6. | | |

Mel Hepburn

In 1947, at the age of 38 years, Mel Hepburn joined the Saskatoon Figure Skating Club to learn ice dancing. It was the beginning of a remarkable association.

He was president of the Saskatoon Club from 1951 to 1953, club treasurer and club test chairman during the 1950's, chairman or production chairman for the annual ice show for 18 years, was twice treasurer of the Western Canada Section and became a life member of the Saskatoon Club.

He has been a judge of figure skating for 36 years and gave dedicated service to many parts of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba in the judging field.

In 1980, he organized precision skating in Saskatoon and for eight years, was organizer, manager and trainer of the city's precision teams.

He judged his last competition in August, 1987; his name was given to the Open Precision competition in 1987; and he has continued to serve the Saskatoon Club as archivist and club historian in recent years.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

No photo currently available. If you have a photo to donate, contact the Local History Room at 306.975.7578 or lhstaff@saskatoonlibrary.ca.

Subject: .

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Photo 3 of 6. | | |

Herbert Larson

Herbert R. Larson, an outstanding skater in his own right, contributed much to the sport of figure skating in Saskatchewan, Western Canada and Canada. He served as director and president of the Saskatoon Figure Skating Club and as vice president and president of the Canadian Figure Skating Association between the years of 1937-1967.

Herb was a judge of figure skating, achieving gold standing and was a referee for sectional competitions. Through Herb's efforts, the Canadian Figure Skating Association formed the Western Canada section and then formed the Prairie section and later on the Saskatchewan section.

Through Herb's efforts, juvenile events for small clubs were introduced enabling the small clubs to participate in sectional competitions.

At time of installation citation read March 26,1977.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

Date: February 1958.

Photographer: Hillyard, Leonard A.

Subject: .

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Photo 4 of 6. | | |

Bert Penfold

Bert Penfold dedicated his life to the promotion of figure skating at the national, regional, provincial and local level. He was instrumental in the formation of the Western Figure Skating section. Mr. Penfold was Chairman of the Western section for several years and served as judges chairman for many years. In 1965 he was elected President of the Canadian Figure Skating Association.

Bert Penfold was Chairman for the first Western Canadian Figure Skating championships, the North American Figure Skating championships 1955 and the Canadian Figure Skating championships.

In 1967 he was appointed official CFSA representative to the World Figure Skating championships in Vienna, Austria.

His services to the sport of figure skating was recognized in 1967 when he was presented with the Centennial Medal for his lifetime of devotion to the sport.

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

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

No photo currently available. If you have a photo to donate, contact the Local History Room at 306.975.7578 or lhstaff@saskatoonlibrary.ca.

Subject: .

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Photo 5 of 6. | | |

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.

Subject: .

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Photo 6 of 6. | | |

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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