By Darren Lum
Published June 19 2018
The Sports Hall of Fame is looking for support from the public and dedicated community-oriented individuals to form its board.
Spearheading this effort is Scotty LaRue who organized and led the first public meeting for the hall of fame on Monday June 11 at the Dysart council chambers. LaRue used it to gauge interest and to understand the next step in the process of taking this idea and making it a reality. The meeting was more than an hour long consisting of a question and answer and discussion format.
The meeting left LaRue optimistic this concept will become a reality.
Fifteen people were in attendance and included a who’s who of Highlands citizens connected with a variety of community initiatives such as Hugh Nichol and Don Popple both part of the Haliburton Highlands Health Services beginnings which eventually led to the formation of the HHHS Foundation. Popple believes in this idea citing the success of the foundation.
LaRue was impressed by those in attendance which included school trustee and former Haliburton Highlands Secondary School principal Gary Brohman, Dysart Councillor and former NHL journeyman Walt McKechnie, and history buff and local businessman Kim Emmerson.
He said the hall has the support of Dysart and the meeting included Dysart Mayor Murray Fearrey. See (www.haliburtonecho.ca/sports-hall-of-fame-proposed-for-haliburton) for more details.
It was suggested a “founding” board could arrange to visit sports hall of fames in Oshawa Peterborough and Penetanguishene to understand what could work here. This board will be key to form a selection committee and lay the groundwork for everything else. For anyone interested contact LaRue.
Support is also going to be needed from the public to help populate the hall.
Not only will candidates for the hall be needed but people will need to look through their attics and storage areas for historically significant articles and pieces.
LaRue said another meeting will be held in autumn.
Scotty Morrison, who was formerly chairman and CEO of the Hockey Hall of Fame believes in this idea and the Highlands to get behind it.
Asked about the significance of this initiative in the Highlands he responded: “First of all I’m glad we’re looking at it as a Haliburton County [idea] as opposed to just Haliburton itself. There are a lot of people here who are interested in sports … all different sports. Hockey was one. There’s a lot of young athletes coming out of the schools now and I think things are just going to get better.”
From his experience working at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto he agreed with Hugh Nichol’s suggestion to form a board before doing anything else.
“I think when you have that board [you need] to have a chairman of the board and I’d like to say to you ‘Hugh will you act as chairman?’” he said laughing. “Have a chairman of the board whether it’s going to be six people or [whatever]. You don’t want a huge board. Have a chairman and get started” he said.
What can follow will be the other decisions such as choosing who will sit on the selection committee he said.
“The key as far as I was concerned with the Hockey Hall of Fame was the selection committee … they were first class all the way. It was confidential and it worked out great” he said.
The strength of a hall of fame is the people who are inducted. Their quality is determined by the individuals on the selection committee he added.
Morrison suggested there must be efforts to ensure the board will be representative of all of its inductees including women.