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  Prairie Gold:
Sports Heroes From Saskatchewan
 
 
Photo 1 of 26. | | |

Harry Bailey

Harry's competitive swimming career began in 1932 and lasted until 1943. For several years he was the Saskatchewan breast-stroke record holder in the 50, 100 and 200 yard events. When he went into coaching, he soon became known as Mr. Swimming. He coached swimmers at all levels from the young splashers right up to the international scene. In addition to being a coach, Harry to many was a teacher, a father, a trainer. He was also known as a stern disciplinarian.

All of these attributes helped his swimmers to hold several Saskatchewan and Canadian records. In 1966 he was voted Saskatoon Kinsmen of the Year. He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1973. When Saskatoon held its 100th anniversary as a city , Bailey was one of the elite 100 who was honored as a builder.

Saskatoon also honored Harry by naming its indoor swimming facility after him- the Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre. He entered the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers.


Harry Bailey is Mr. Swimming in Saskatoon. His competitive career began in 1932 and rose to become provincial breaststroke champion in 50, 100 and 200 yard events establishing records that stood until 1943.

His foremost contribution, however, has been in teaching. The fact that Saskatoon has been and is today a strong competitive swimming centre is due largely to his efforts as a teacher, coach, trainer and stern disciplinarian to hundreds of swimmers and divers.

Through the years his swimmers have been more than successful, the clubs has always held about half of the provincial records and a number of Canadian swimming records.

We know of no other person in Saskatoon who has given so freely of his time for so many years for the good of the youth of that city.

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

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

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Photo 2 of 26. | | |


Alfred Bence

Alfred Bence

Tennis, Swimming (B.A. '28, L.L.B. '30)

Alfred Bence was born in Brandon, and lived most of his life in Saskatoon, where he received all his education and practiced law until 1961 when he was appointed Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench Court and moved to Regina.

Alf Bence entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1925 and competed in swimming and tennis.

As a member of the swim team, he competed in the breast stroke and swam as a member of the relay team. During his career as a swimmer the team captured a number of intervarsity meets and he personally captured first place in the breast stroke in 1928 and 1929. Alf was the third individual "to carve a niche" by gaining the coveted award - the Silver Dolphin, given by the University Swimming Club for passing secondary swimming and a life saving test.

As a tennis player, Alf, joined forces with Ellis McMillan and Vera Borland to dominate tennis at the intervarsity, city, provincial and Western Canadian scene. The threesome captured countless individual and doubles titles.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Date: 1927

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

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Photo 3 of 26. | | |


Kay Campbell

Kay Campbell / Kay Probert

Basketball, Field Hockey (B.S.N. '46)

Kay Probert graduated from Central Collegiate in Moose Jaw and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1942.

Kay was a member of both the basketball and swimming and diving teams. An outstanding guard on the basketball team for three years, she served as captain of the team in 1942-43. As a member of the swimming team, she competed in free style, side and breast strokes as well as a diver. She was awarded a Major Athletic Award in 1943-44 and served as a member of the Women's Athletic board for two years.

Kay was awarded the prestigious "Spirit of Youth Trophy" in 1946 for having demonstrated throughout her university caeer outstanding qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, academic ability and athletic ability.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Date: 1950

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Photo 4 of 26. | | |


Norman Cram

Norman Cram

Basketball, Swimming, Soccer, Track and Field (B.A. '41,B.Ed. '51)

Norm Cram graduated from Nutana Collegiate in Saskatoon and entered the University of Saskatchewan in the fall of 1938. He attended the University of Saskatchewan for three years, entered the Service in 1941 and returned to the University of Saskatchewan for two more years in 1945.

As a member of the Huskie basketball team he led the team to three consecutive Western University Championships (1938-1941). Following his stint in the Service, he rejoined the basketball team for two more years. From 1945 to 1946, he also served as coach of the Huskiette basketball team.

He was a member of the Huskie track team for three years competing in the 880 yard, mile and discus throw. He was a member of both the Huskie soccer team for two years and the Huskie swim team for one year. He also participated in water polo and football at the inter-faculty (intramural) level.

For having participated on a total of 9 varsity teams, Norm Cram received a Major Athletic Award.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Date: 1940

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Photo 5 of 26. | | |

David Dean

David Dean's involvement with swimming began as coach of Regina's "Y" swim teams in the fifties.

He has been the National Director for the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association (CASA), responsible for officiating at summer and winter nationals between 1878 and 1983, and conducted countless clinics for swimming officials.

He also participated in international meets around the world as a judge: World Championships, Pan American Games and the World Student Games. He acted as starter at the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 6 of 26. | | |

Phyllis Dewar

While still a school girl in Moose Jaw, Phyllis Dewar dominated all tree style swimming events in Saskatchewan. In fact, in 1934 when she travelled west to the British Empire and Commonwealth Games trials she was already the three-time one mile swimming champion of Saskatchewan. At the trials, however, Miss Dewar was a "prairie unknown". This did not stop her from swimming onto the team and to the Games in London, England.

Meeting the best in the empire at London, Phyllis won four medals (the best performance by any Canadian) as a result of her victories in the 100 yard free style (a new record) and in the 440 yard free style (a new record) and her participation as a member of the medley relay team and the 400 yard relay team, both of which were Canadian first place victories.

In August of this same summer Miss Dewar swam her way to the Canadian women's one mile swimming championship in Toronto, to win the Barker Gold Trophy. She completed the mile race in 29 minutes, 41 seconds. These performances were instrumental in her selection as the Canadian Women Athlete of the Year in 1934.

In 1935 Miss Dewar, set a new record at each of 100 yards, 400 yards, 1,000 yards, 1,500 yards, and set a mile record of 23 minutes and 32 seconds.

Phyllis was a member of the 1936 Canadian Olympic swimming team.

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

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 7 of 26. | | |

Diana Duerkop

Diana Duerkop was born in Kingston, Ontario, in 1941. She was active in high school basketball, track, volleyball and badminton programs and YWCA programs.

She attended Queen's University for four years, swimming and playing intercollegiate basketball for four years.

Diana came to Saskatoon in 1963 at a time when the University of Saskatchewan was designing its aquatic programs to suit the new pool. She ran swimming programs and coached the university's synchronized swimming teams for five years.

She returned to University as a student, graduated in education and became a teacher at Nutana where she coached senior girls' basketball, twice winning provincial titles.

She led the revival of synchronized swimming in Saskatchewan and became president of the Canadian association for a three-year term, starting in 1978.

Diana was named women's team manager for Canada at the Pan-American Games in Venezuela in 1983; assistant chef d'mission for the Pan-American Games in Indianapolis in 1987; and chef d'mission for the Pan-American Games in Havana, Cuba, in 1991.

She enjoyed an eight-year term on the Canadian Olympic Association's executive committee and remains aquatic director for the Canadian Olympic Association.

She owns Westsport Consulting; her husband, John, is principal at Evan Hardy Collegiate and as a teacher, he shares her beliefs in the community and in youth.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 8 of 26. | | |

Karen Dumas

Karen was a highly skilled athlete in the sport of synchronized swimming. She competed for six seasons, then began coaching when the Saskatoon Aqualenes Swimming Club was newly formed. Many of her swimmers placed high in provincial and western Canadian competitions.

When she retired from coaching, Karen joined her husband Denny in a new sport - canoeing. Her first taste of competition took place during the popular Louis Riel relays. Her next venture took her to the sport of Marathon canoeing. Karen encouraged a former synchro-swimmer Cathy Nixon to join her. In August 1981, Karen and Cathy combined to win the pairs event in the first Canadian Women's Championship marathon canoeing held in Saskatoon. The following year in Grandmere, Quebec, this duo again repeated as national champions. Karen's superior strength and endurance was an inspiration to many.

She was inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 9 of 26. | | |

Martha Grant

Martha was born in Saskatoon on October 22nd, 1954, and rose to the top of the sport of swimming. It all started in 1963 as a nine year old with the Saskatoon Optimist Swim Club, under the watchful eye of head coach Harry Bailey. She developed into a top notch swimmer, and by 1970 held 43 Saskatoon records. In 1970-71 as a member of the North Vancouver Swim Club she held the Canadian senior girls 100 metre backstroke record. In the 200 yards and the 200 metre individual medleys she held Canadian records for her age group.

In 1971-72 Martha joined the Canadian Dolphins Swim Club of Vancouver, coached by Derek Snelling. At the 1972 Olympic trials she won silver medals in the 200 metre individual medley and the 800 metre free style relay. This earned her a trip to the Munich Olympics where she placed 18th in the 200 metre I.M. That same year she went to Warsaw for a special meet and won the 200 metre backstroke and the 200 metre I. M. Following the Warsaw meet she retired from competition.

Martha was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Saskatoon Hall in 1990.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers.


Born on October 22nd, 1954 in Saskatoon, Martha (Nelson) Grant competed at the highest levels of international swimming.

She represented Canada at the Canadian-American meet in 1966, and by 1970 she held 43 provincial records and Canadian records in her age group for the 200 yards and 200 metres individual medleys.

In 1970-71 she was a member of the North Vancouver Swim Club. During this period she set a Canadian Senior girls record for 100 metres backstroke.

Between 1971 and 1972 Martha achieved her greatest accomplishments as a competitive swimmer. She was a member of the Canadian Dolphins Swim Club in Vancouver, and won silver medals in the 200 metres individual medley 800 metres free relay at the Olympic trials.

Martha represented Canada at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and placed 18th in the 200 metres individual medley. She was selected for a six-member Canadian team to compete in Warsaw, placing first in the 200 metres backstroke and 200 metres individual medley.

Martha retired from competitive swimming in 1972 following the Warsaw meet.

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

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

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Photo 10 of 26. | | |


Lois Haslam

Lois Haslam

Basketball, Swimming, T & F B.Sc. '37

Lois Haslam graduated from Havergal College in Toronto and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1933.

Lois was a member of the track team for three years, the basketball team for two years and the swim team for one year. In 1934-35, as a member of the swim team, she placed second in individual scoring and received her 'Senior Color.' As a three-year member of the track and field team she placed in the top three in events she entered. As a member of the basketball team she excelled at the guard position. Lois was the second woman to be awarded a Major Athletic award.

In addition to athletics, Lois was very active in other extracurricular activities. She was Secretary of the Women's Athletic Directorate for two years and became president in 1936-37. She was a member of the Students Representative Council and active in Pente Kai Deka.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Date: 1936

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

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Photo 11 of 26. | | |


Phyllis Haslam

Phyllis Haslam

Swimming (B.Sc. '34)

Phyllis Haslam graduated from Haverhill College in Toronto and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1930.

During her four years (1930-34) at the University of Saskatchewan, she captured four individual championships and broke several inter-varsity records. She led the intervarsity team to four consecutive championships.

While a student at the University she broke the Canadian record in the 100 yards breast stroke and also lowered the mark for 220 yards.

At the 1934 British Empire Games trials in Hamilton, Ontario, she set a new World Record for 100 yards, 1.18 3/10, and a new British Empire time of 253.00 for 200 yards breast stroke. At the British Empire Games in London, England, Miss Haslam placed second and won a silver medal in the 200 metres. She swam the breast stroke of the 3x100 yard medley relay event in which the Canadian team won a gold medal.

Phyllis Haslam was installed into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1974 and received the prestigious title of Officer of the Order of Canada in 1978.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.


Phyliss Haslam attended the University of Saskatchewan, 1931-34 and trained in a small pool on the campus. She showed her ability as a swimmer in 1931 when she placed second in a Provincial Mile Championship for the Wm. Wrigley Trophy. The next year she set a new Canadian record for the 100 yard breast stroke and also lowered the mark for 220 yards. Her time of 3.20 2/5 was faster than either Canadian or American records.

At the British Empire Games in Hamilton, Ontario, 1934 she set a new World Record for 100 yards, 1.18 3/10, and a new British Empire time of 253.00 for 200 yards breast stroke. At the B.E. Games in London, England, Miss Haslam placed second and won a silver medal. She swam the breast stroke of the medley relay event in which the Canadian team won and received gold medals.

Attending the University of Toronto, 1935-36, Miss Haslam competed in inter-faculty swim meets and continued to set a number of new records showing a high calibre of ability for a girl who started training in a pool 45 feet by 20 feet.

At time of installation citation read March 22, 1975.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

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Photo 12 of 26. | | |


David Kirkbride

David Kirkbride

Track and Field, Basketball, Swimming (B.E. '34, M.Sc. '37)

Dave Kirkbride graduated from Central Collegiate in Regina where he starred in track, basketball and football. He entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1930 and competed in track and field, basketball, and swimming.

He was a member of five track and field teams, four of which captured the Cairns Trophy emblematic of the W.C.I.A.U. Championship, managing the team one year and captaining it another. He competed in the pole vault, sprints, hurdles and relay, and represented the University in both intercollegiate and provincial track meets.

Dave was a forward with the Huskie basketball team for four years. He captained the team for two of the four years.

As a member of the swim team for two years, he competed in backstroke events.

For his athletic achievements, Dave was awarded a Major Athletic Award.

As well as competing in three intervarsity sports, Dave served as the first President of the Men's Athletic Directorate in 1934-35 and President of the Huskies Hockey team 1934-35.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Date: 1931

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Photo 13 of 26. | | |

Bevan Lawson

Mr. Lawson is best known as the former provincial director of the Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Program but his extensive involvement in water activities and sports extends from the early 1920's in the Saskatoon area to his present hobby as coach of the Regina Campus Diving Team.

He introduced Aqua-Planing, the forerunner of water skiing, at Pike Lake in 1922. Mr. Lawson was also involved in the introduction of water polo and synchronized swimming in the province and for many years was one of Saskatchewan's finest divers.

As director of water safety for the province, Mr. Lawson spearheaded a program that has taught more than a quarter of a million adults and children to swim and to appreciate safety in and around water. In 1946, despite some opposition, his "Horse Trough" swimming method sold the program to the small communities. Using a standard size grain box lined with tarpaulins he showed the public how swimming and water safety could be taught in communities without pools.

He points out that with more recreation time available now and in the future, the need for swimming instruction is greater now than ever before.

At time of installation citation read March 31, 1973.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

Date: [192-]

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Photo 14 of 26. | | |

Wendy Lee

Born in 1960, Wendy began to take swimming seriously at the tender age of eight, going on to fulfill a lifetime dream when she was named to Canada's Olympic Team at 15.

In the years 1975-78, Wendy was coached by Peter Abbink and Harry Gallagher. During these years she was a finalist in Western Canada Summer Games and Canadian Nationals, a gold medallist in the English National Championships, and a medallist in an International swim meet in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Wendy Lee was Regina's first swimmer to participate in the Olympic Games. With all Saskatchewan pulling for her, she performed her best time ever in the women's 400 metre freestyle. This effort placed her 11th in the world.

Wendy left Regina to attend the University of Indiana on a full swimming scholarship. There she was a triple gold medallist, winning the 200, 500 and 1,650 yard freestyle. She was selected top female swimmer in the Big Ten Conference Championships.

For a dedicated athlete the road to success is no joy ride. A swimmer with the drive and dedication of Wendy Lee knows full well the sorrows and disappointments along with the smiles and happy podium positions. We congratulate Wendy Lee.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 15 of 26. | | |


Margaret McKercher

Margaret McKercher / Margaret Wilton

Basketball, Swimming, Track and Field (B.A. '50)

Peggy Wilton graduated from City Park Collegiate and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1947. During her three years on campus, she competed in basketball, swimming and track and field.

Peggy participated on a total of eight University of Saskatchewan teams each of which was a City, Provincial and/or Intervarsity Championship team. She was a member of the Huskiette basketball team that captured three consecutive Cecil Race Trophies, a member of the women's track and field team that captured three consecutive Rutherford Trophies and swam with the swim team for two years.

For her athletic achievements, Peggy was awarded a Major Athletic Award in 1950.

As well as competing in three sports she was a member of the Women's Athletic Board and served as President of the W.A.B. in 1949-50.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Date: 1947

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Photo 16 of 26. | | |

Tom Melville

Tom Melville is perhaps best known to the public as the former sports editor and columnist of the Leader-Post, a column that was not only humorous and authoritative but one that continually boosted amateur sports.

His involvement with amateur sports spans five decades. Although born in Scotland he was raised in Weyburn and while still in high school became a familiar figure at sports events in Saskatchewan.

Tom "Scotty" Melville has played a major role in many sports. As the secretary-manager of the Saskatchewan Amateur Hockey Association for 16 years; as an ardent booster of amateur baseball; in the evolution of schoolboy curling to its present status as a national event, and in his persistence in the Roughriders developing a provincial identity.

Softball, tennis, swimming, golf and many other sports have benefited from his efforts. He developed, with the Regina City Parks and Recreation Board, the Learn-to-Swim campaign which has since expanded into tennis, curling and badminton.

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

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 17 of 26. | | |

Barbara Milanese

Barbara Shockey Milanese was born in Saskatoon in May, 1961 and began swimming at the age of six years, first with the Saskatoon Kinsmen Goldfins Club. By 11 years old, she was already winning individual aggregate awards, like this one at the Calgary invitational meet. In March, 1977, Barbara attended her first national meet in Montreal, swimming the 400 metre free style and 800 metre free style faster than anyone else in Saskatchewan in her age class.

Barbara represented Canada at the 1978 British Commonwealth Games and was fifth in the 800 metre free style. She also attended the world championships in West Berlin, Germany. She made the Canadian team at the 1979 Pan-American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and won a bronze medal for a third place finish in the 800 metres at eight minutes, 54.82 seconds. Barbara attended two international meets in 1979, a dual meet against the Soviets where she earned a third and a fifth and the FINA Cup meet at Tokyo, Japan, where she was fifth in the 800 metres.

She won a scholarship to the University of Miami in 1979-80 and was photographed with hockey's Bobby Hull at the TV Superstars Show.

She married Tom Milanese in 1985, lived for a while in New York (10-with youngsters) but she, Tom and a family of three, Tony, Jamie and Thomas, have since moved to Florida where Barbara is still active in masters' swimming programs.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 18 of 26. | | |

Cathy Nixon

Cathy was prominent as an athlete in two sports, synchronized swimming and marathon canoeing. She began the difficult and demanding sport of synchronized swimming at the age of twelve. Cathy was very successful representing the Aqualenes club at provincial, national and international competitions. Cathy was invited to join her former coach Karen Dumas in a new venture, marathon canoeing.

In August of 1981, they teamed up to win the first women's national championship when the competition was held in Saskatoon. The following year, in Grandmere, Quebec, Cathy and Karen repeated as Canadian champions. Following the tragic death of Karen Dumas, Cathy continued to compete. In September 1985, she was a member of the first Canadian women's team that placed 5th out of 25 entries in the annual Molokai to Waikiki Outrigger Canoe Race in Hawaii. In 1985, she was a member of the winning Louis Riel Relay team at Expo in Vancouver.

Cathy along with Karen Dumas was inducted into the Satan Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 19 of 26. | | |


Herbert Pinder

Herbert Pinder

Football, Basketball, Swimming (B.A. '42)

Herbert Pinder graduated from City Park Collegiate and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1939. During his three years on campus, he competed in football, basketball and swimming.

He was an outstanding offensive end on the Huskies for two years. In his final year he quarterbacked the Huskies to the championship Hardy Trophy.

He was a member of the Huskie basketball team for two years. During both of those years, the Huskies captured the Rigby Cup.

He was also a member of the swimming team in 1942.

He received his Senior "S" in 1941.

Besides competing on six teams, Herb was a member of the Men's Athletic Board for two years.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.


Herb Pinder Junior was born in Saskatoon in 1947. He attended elementary school in Saskatoon and was involved in swimming, Cubs, Sea Cadets and hockey. He and his brother, Gerry, wore Montreal Canadiens sweaters on the outdoor ice surfaces and joined his first organized team for eight and unders in the D Division of the Playgrounds League.

He joined the Kinsmen Peewee Hockey League and played for the Blackhawks. He played for Aden Bowman when they won the provincial midget championship in 1962-63.

Herb joined the Saskatoon Blade Bees, who were the Prairie junior B champions and moved up to the Blade juniors in the Saskatchewan League in 1965-66. He also starred on the 1966-67 Blade team and he was selected as one of the team captains during the Saskatchewan League's all-star game.

He was recruited to join the 1967-68 Canadian National Team and would be part of a strong Saskatchewan influence on the team. Jack McLeod was the team's coach and Brian Harper, Ted Hargreaves, Gary Begg, Fran Huck, Gerry Pinder, Morris Mott and Marshall Johnston were other Saskatchewan players on the team.

Canada lost to Finland early in the tournament, rebounded to beat Sweden and then Czechoslovakia but lost 5-0 to the Russians in a crucial game. As a result, the Russians won the gold and the Canadians settled for the bronze. It was the last medal Canada won at the Olympics until 1994.

While Gerry played professionally, Herb suffered an ankle injury, had surgery three times and had a promising career cut short. He became a lawyer and a prominent player agent and today represents 24 players in the National Hockey League.

Golf was always a summertime pastime for Herb, who won the Saskatchewan junior championship in 1965 and played on the provincial team at the Canadian championships.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers.

Date: 1938

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Photo 20 of 26. | | |


Lloyd Probert

Lloyd Probert

Basketball, Swimming, Football (B.A. '43)

Lloyd Probert graduated from Central Collegiate in Moose Jaw and entered the University of Saskatchewan in 1939.

An outstanding all-round athlete, Lloyd competed in basketball, football and swimming. He was a four-year member of the Huskie basketball team including the 1939-40 team that captured the Western Canadian University Championship. As a member of the swimming team, he excelled in sprint and relay events.

For his all-round participation in sports, Lloyd was awarded a Major Athletic award in 1942-43. His university career was highlighted in 1943 when he was awarded the prestigious McDonald Cup for having best portrayed good sportsmanship and leadership. In addition to participating in sports, Lloyd was a member of the Men's Athletic Board for three years and was 'Senior Stick' in the Department of Medicine.

Text courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan Wall of Fame.

Date: 1943

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