Standing on the shoulders of others was an honour shared or implied by all eight inductees to the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame during the 2018 induction ceremony and dinner at the Westin Bear Mountain on Saturday night.
For four-time Olympian Dave Calder it was an opportunity to talk about the influence of the Victoria Rowing Club where he got his start, Brentwood College, national team members like Derek Porter and Kevin White as well as Coach Terry Paul.
“The three of us, Scott Frandsen, Terry Paul and I worked together as a team to make that 2008 Beijing Olympic medal performance happen.”
It was unfinished business for Calder, who had been to three Olympic Games and had failed to medal. After retiring that stayed with him; he eventually wanted back on the water.
“I took my wife for coffee – we were both working downtown and I told her that I had been training and getting into shape and before I could ask her, we both had tears in our eyes and she said yes,” said Calder. ”She said that she didn’t want me to have any regrets. If it wasn’t for her support I could not have done it.”
Calder is a 10-time national champion, four-time Olympian and silver medallist from the Beijing Games.
For Deb Whitten who was a national champion with the University of Victoria and played for Team Canada, it was her older brother who took no mercy on her playing road hockey on the streets of Victoria. Her parents were competitive too.
She joked, “My father would yell at me to get in the game. I was in the game, but I was in goal, the game had to come to me.”
Saturday was the third time that she was inducted into a Hall of Fame; she has also been inducted into the Oak Bay High School and University of Victoria Hall of Fame. For Whitten, it doesn’t get old.
“I am not one to get up and in front of people; that is sort of why I played goal, so I could wear a mask. But it is a real honour and yes, I do still get a little nervous having to get up and make the acceptance speech.”
Whitten competed for Canada at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Ron Jacks was inducted for the part he has played in coaching swimmers. A competitive athlete, who still loved the sport after retirement, he went on to coach locally in Vancouver and starting in the early 1970s in Victoria forming both Island Swimming as well as Pacific Coast Swimming Club.
He coached Olympians Pam Rai, Christine Petelski, Shannon Smith, Nikki Dryden and Jon Kelly and hundreds of other athletes.
He has produced Olympic finalists or semi-finalists in every Olympic Games since 1976.
Introduced by Emcee Kelly Mann as a legend he, tongue-in-cheek said, “I don’t like being called a legend because really it means you were “better” than you really were and dead.”
He thanked his wife of 50 years and considered his long marriage as a milestone as much as any athletic accomplishment. “Not too many people stayed married for 50 years anymore.”
Jacks also happens to be a music buff and a record collector. He owns two jukeboxes that he keeps stacked with country and rock music from the 1960s to 1980s.
Hugh MacDonald, who retired as CEO of SportHost Victoria was honoured for his contribution to sport in the capital city, with the crowning achievement as his involvement with the 1994 Commonwealth Games.
“The 1994 Commonwealth Games changed my life.”
He was responsible for bringing to Victoria many national and international sporting events since.
MacDonald was responsible for creating the Greater Victoria Sports Tourism Commission in partnership with Tourism Victoria.
Some of the successes include bringing the 2002 U-19 FIFA women’s World Cup, 2007 men’s U-20 FIFA World Cup, 2006 Skate Canada, 2006 Pan Pacific swim championships with Michael Phelps, two Ford men’s world curling championships, and the Scotties Canadian women’s curling finals.
Coming this winter are the 2019 world junior hockey championships beginning on Boxing Day at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
Rich Harden who played Major League Baseball for the Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers compiled a winning record on the mound with 59 wins and 38 losses; his earned run average was 3.76 and earned 949 strikeouts. His career spanned from 2003 to 2011.
He was known for developing a unique pitch that was a combination fastball and knuckleball referred to as a ghost pitch or spluckle.
Alison Murdoch is an ageless golfer, who can still play a competitive game at age 69.
Asked if she is still out there beating everyone she said, “Well finally I got beat by a junior for the first time. It had to happen eventually, I guess.”
Murdoch has been inducted four times into a Hall of Fame including the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum.
She found success early in Quebec taking the provincial junior title in 1967. She ended up winning at least 16 international tournaments as a senior.
She too thanked those who supported her over the years and the welcome she received by the local golf community for a “girl from Quebec.”
Ian “Sticks” Lamplugh grew up in Victoria playing various sports. As part of his high school program he had to volunteer 40 hours of community service, he volunteered to umpire baseball. He was hooked.
Lamplugh ended up umpiring in the major leagues and along the way plied his trade in the minor leagues in the US, Central, and South America.
During his acceptance speech, he recanted a humorous story of how one minor league coach, who he already had a contentious relationship with, looked at him the wrong way and Lamplugh subsequently ejected him for no reason.
“He then threatened to report me to the league and asked me to spell my name, I said “L-a-m-p-l-u-g-h”, he said “great, no “I’s (no eyes).”
Apparently, the team’s dressing room was under construction so the coach asked Lamplugh what to do since he was ejected from the game and Lamplugh said, “I don’t care, as long I don’t see you. He then brushed past to stand at the plate.”
Yeiji Inouye also known as Mr. Judo was inducted posthumously. He was the second Canadian to achieve ninth Dan Black Belt.
He coached the Canadian team at World Championships.
In 1974, he achieved his International Judo Association “A” Referee certification and has refereed at World Championships and the Olympic Games.
Yeiji started judo in 1938 at age 13 in Haney and continued to progress in the sport throughout his 25-year career in the Canadian Navy, which afforded him several opportunities to train in Japan. By 1954, he was training service personnel in Esquimalt and, in 1957, founded the Victoria Judo Club. Between 1958 and 1962, he co-founded the University of Victoria Judo Club, and the Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Comox clubs.
He has served his sport as President of Judo BC, Chair of the Judo BC Grading Board and Referees Committee as well as National Councillor to Judo Canada, Chair of both the National Grading Board and National Referee Committee for multiple terms from 1968 through 2006.
Yeiji had been recognized often for his contribution to Judo, including Life Membership and induction into the Judo Canada Hall of Fame in 2001. His commitment to his sport spans more than 75 years.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony was a who’s who of Victoria Sports and recreation. The inductee displays which include memorabilia, images and awards will be viewable at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
Deb Whitten interview at the 2018 Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame:
Dave Calder interview at the 2018 Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame: