Public invited to Haliburton Highlands Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony

The countdown begins! Mark June 18 on your calendar. The Haliburton Highlands Sports Hall of Fame is holding their inaugural induction of 17 local legends, and the Hall of Fame’s committee hopes for a big turnout at the A.J. LaRue Community Centre (Haliburton Arena). Doors open at 1:30 p.m., and the ceremony starts at 2 p.m. sharp. Free admission!

The idea for a Haliburton Highlands Sports Hall of Fame started four years ago when a group of proud citizens sat around a table and shared some ideas about recognizing the incredible accomplishments of local athletes. Many athletes learned to skate and run and tackle and hurdle and “hurry hard” right here in Haliburton County. They lugged stinky gym bags into chilly change rooms on dark winter mornings and rode the late-bus home. They missed out on a few good parties because they spent weekends practising and competing and distinguishing themselves in their sports.
The time has come to honour those who had enough talent, drive and discipline to compete at regional and provincial and international levels. They have represented our community well, and they deserve our thanks.

The Hall of Fame got underway, and the selection committee set to work. Their research included interviews with friends, neighbours, family members, coaches, and teachers. The ceremony will celebrate the stories of our local athletes, their challenges, their sacrifices and their successes.
The 11 athletes who are being inducted on June 18 at the A.J. LaRue Community Centre are: Mike Bradley, Glen Dart, Cody Hodgson, Joe Iles, Marla MacNaull, Bernie Nicholls, Ron Stackhouse, Lesley Tashlin, Anna Tomlinson, Jake Walker and Taly Williams. They excelled in curling, hockey, track and field and football. But more than that, they were role models for local youth who might have doubted the possibility that a kid from Haliburton County could make it in the NHL, the CFL or the Olympics.
Also being inducted, are three hockey teams, including the 1971 Haliburton the Minden Monarchs of the late-1950s and1934 Haliburton Huskies.
Many of the members from that legendary OHA (Ontario Hockey Association) Championship team are still Haliburton County residents. Those who moved away have been invited to reunite with teammates for the induction.

The Hall of Fame committee understands the importance of recognizing the local support systems needed to train, coach, and organize youth sports. They will also induct three builders; Linda Brandon, Lenny Salvatori, and A.J. LaRue. The June 18 ceremony is a community event. All are welcome. Come and watch the inaugural inductions into the Hall of Fame. Help to congratulate the athletes (and/or their families) with your presence. It says a lot about Haliburton County that all living inductees have made commitments to come home, some from very far away. They appreciate the local support they received and fondly remember their small town roots.

Committee chair, Roger Trull said, “Sport holds such an important place in the lives of so many Highlanders and we are thrilled to recognize those who have led the way!”

Submitted by Janet Trull