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Eddie Mather

"Renaissance Man" was what they called sportsman Eddie Mather in his time. He shone in many fields of endeavour: as a musician, track star, machinist, model builder, archer, gunsmith and violin-maker. He represented Saskatchewan at the Olympics trials in 1924. He helped found the Western Development Museum, started an archery club and several bands in Saskatoon, and was a lifetime and founding member of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, of which he was assistant conductor.

Edgar Mather was born Aug. 4, 1895 in Hyde, Cheshire, England. He came to Saskatoon in 1906 with his parents. A cookstove fire on their homestead when he was a child almost ended his career before it began, while outside, the thermometer registered 56 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit)! It was so cold in their home in 1906, he remembered, that they often woke up with their hair frozen to the pillow. He attended King Edward School in Saskatoon, and as a young man served in World War I.

One of his first postwar jobs was as the supervisor of the Municipal Swimming Pool, near the present site of Riversdale Pool, from 1928-1939.

His accomplishments were many and diverse. In sports, he excelled in track and field. In a 1982 interview with Star-Phoenix columnist Eric Burt, he recalled how he and a friend used to practice their sprints on Spadina Crescent, then a dirt road.

Eddie represented Saskatchewan in the Olympic trials in Montreal, in 1924. A photo in the Local History Room shows him with the Canadian Olympic Track and Field Team, Montreal, 1924. For whatever reason, he didn't get to go to the Olympics. His daughter Marion says it was because of his age; he was 29 that year. (Not that age slowed him down much. To mark the beginning of his 88th year Mather swam 88 lengths ("about a mile and a quarter") in the pool near his home in White Rock, wrote Burt.)

Old photos also testify that he participated in bicycle races. In the mid-thirties Eddie mastered archery. He was involved in the embryonic Saskatoon Archery Club, launched the Bedford Road Archery Club, and an archery club at the local RCAF station.

He died in White Rock B.C. on September 16, 1983.

More complete information about Eddie Mather can be found in the community history book: Our heritage: Era of South and East of Saskatoon, published by the Floral History Book committee in 1985. [971.242 093so]

Text courtesy of the Local History Room Staff, Saskatoon Public Library.

Date: ca.1923?

Subject: .

Comment on this record: lhstaff@saskatoonlibrary.ca

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