Louise Clark | Gordon Fraser | Ivan MacMillan | Bernard Major | Gwen Morris
Having a joint interest in the game of golf, Louise and Norman became members of Summerheights Golf Club in 1966. Louise won the Club Championship that year. Another two wins came in 1970 and 1971, giving her a total of five ladies’ championships in six years. She also won the O’Keefe tournament four years in a row beginning in 1968. Louise won numerous other tournaments at Summerheights, among those being two ladies’ invitationals in 1986 and 1987.
In 1972 she and Norman joined the Cornwall Golf and Country Club. She won the ladies’ club championship eleven times beginning in 1974 and as recently as 1997. In 1996 and 1997 she and her partner Rick McCullough, won the annual Cornwall Open Mixed held on Labour Day weekend.
In 1992 Louise was on a three-member team at the Pro-Champion Tournament in St. Jean-de-Matha, Que. Members of the team were Club pro Hocan Olsson, Clark as Ladies’ club champion. In the scramble format tournament the trio recorded a 13 under par 56, narrowly missing out on first place. Fifty-one teams from Quebec competed in this tournament. The Lions Club recognized her splendid years of golf by naming her Golfer-of-the-year in 1987. She also had the honour of being inducted into the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
Louise was very involved in other sports over the years. While a student at St. Lawrence High School she played on the school basketball team as well as the volleyball team. For many years she bowled in three different leagues and held the high average in the Ladies’ City League five-pin league for many years. She also played softball on the Bell Telephone team and the City league team. Her husband Norman is also an avid golfer and has been involved actively in many sports over the years.
Clark was employed at the Cornwall General Hospital as a registered nurse’s assistant for 17 years and retired in 1990. Clark served as president of the Catholic Women’s League at Precious Blood Parish in Glen Walter. She was also organist at the church for many years.
Clark is known by her fellow golfers as a keen competitor who loves the game, and who always makes a point of playing with and encouraging new golfers at the club. She is a worthy champion and a great advocate for the game of golf. She has been an outstanding sports figure in the Cornwall area for many years and because of her sportsmanship, outstanding ability and contribution to sports, she has deservedly earned a place in the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame.
While still in elementary school, Gordon played midget hockey for the Lochiel Loks, coached by Father Gauthier and later by Adelard Sauve. He played centre forward and right wing. Hockey seemed to come easy to him; as Father Gauthier often said, Gordon had a nose for the goal. He progressed, along with teammates Kennedys, MacSweyns, Robinsons, MacMillans and Howes through the Lochiel juveniles and always with Lochiel, up the ranks to the senior men’s division. During this time, the league was very competitive and Lochiel won their share of championships.
Gordon moved to Glengarry District High School where he competed actively in intramural and interscholastic athletics. While in Grade 9, Gordon set a new school record in junior pole vaulting. In 1958-59 he tied Tom Mosher as the intermediate boy’s track and field champion, having come in first in the 440 year run, pole vaulting and setting a record in the long jump. Later in 1961-62 he was the senior boy’s track and field champion.
During this time at GDHS, the school entered a football team in the high school league. In the first couple of years Gordon played fullback and did the place kicking and punting. After a couple of “building years”, coach Stanley Fraser, noting Gordon’s speed agility and quickness converted him from a running back to a quarterback. That year GDHS won the championship, the first ever for the school.
In 1958, while wearing a discarded pair of Keith MacMaster’s soccer cleats, Gordon was honing his kicking skills on the soccer pitch. That year, at age 15, he was recruited to the senior men’s McCrimmon Combines team coached by Dougald MacGillivray. That rookie year he won the scoring championship. He continued the trend winning and scoring title in 1961 (tie with Kay Hay), 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1968 and 1969.
Gordon added to his trophy collection by winning the William MacLeod trophy for most valuable player in 1963 and 1969. In 1970 he won the best forward award. During the late 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, MacCrimmon was the powerhouse winning the league championship nine times. Gordon was a definite contributor to their success.
Following high school, Gordon spent two years on the family farm. During this time, along with soccer, he played hockey extensively with the Loks and Vankleek Hill Flyers who played in different leagues.
In 1965 Gordon enrolled in physical education at MacDonald College of McGill University where he played varsity soccer. In 1965-66 he won a major M soccer award and the most valuable player award the following year. He was also a member of the McGill Gymnastics team during this time.
Following his stint at McGill, he attended the University of Ottawa and Carleton where he obtained BA, B Phys. Ed. and M. Ed degrees while playing soccer for the Ottawa Falcons in the Ottawa men’s Premier league. About this time, Gordon qualified as a soccer referee. From 1971-78 Gordon, achieving the Ontario Soccer Association’s Class I referee qualifications, refereed men’s soccer in the Premier Division and semi-professional leagues in Toronto, London Ottawa and Montreal. One of the highlights of the period was refereeing at the Ontario Summer Games in London in 1975. Gordon recalls that the spirit in which these games were played made it a pleasure to be involved. During this same time he played with the Aylmer team in the Ottawa Old-Timers league.
He was also frequently called upon to give refereeing and upgrading clinics for would-be soccer referees. In 1969 Gordon began teaching physical education at Philemon Wright High School. He quickly became involved in extra-curricular activities, coaching gymnastics, soccer and football teams.
During the 1970’s the Philemon Wright Falcons football team were Quebec finalists for eight of those years winning the championship six times. The girl’s soccer team who competed in the Ottawa High School league were always competitive. As they were out of province, they were never allowed to represent Ottawa at the Ontario Federation of Secondary School Athletics championships even though they may have qualified.
More recently Gordon has become involved with ski racing along with soccer. He has qualified through the Canadian Ski Association as a level II race official and has spent many hours volunteering his time while freezing on the side of a slalom or giant slalom race course.. Gordon is currently the assistant coach of the Nepean Hotspur girl’s soccer team. During the 1990’s this team has won the league championship eight times and the Ottawa Youth Cup seven times. As well, they have won many Class A tournaments such as the East York, Guelph, Waterloo and Gloucester tournaments and they have been finalists in the prestigious Robbie and National Capital International Tournaments.
They have also qualified as finalists in the Ontario Cup tournament and have been invited to the women’s premier league for the 2000 season. As Gordon’s teaching career winds down, he will no doubt fill his leisure time with more involvement with amateur athletics. He has appreciated what people such as Father Gauthier, Dougald MacGillivray, Stanley Fraser, his various teammates, coaches and others have taught him and he takes great pleasure in helping others improve their game.
Ivan watched older brother Stanley play football with the Lachine Lakers in the West Island Juvenile league. Stanley gained recognition from the Montreal Alouettes using his soccer-style placement kick and it was only natural that kid brother Ivan would emulate his brother’s side-wheel approach to belt the football through the goalposts.
Eager to gain experience, Ivan began playing soccer with the Verdun Invictus Junior Football Club in 1968. He returned to High School in Alexandria and to the school football team. In 1969 he attended the Ottawa Rough Riders training camp but with Don Sutherin still at his peak he held little chance of being selected. Again in 1970 Ivan attended the camp. There were a lot of changes in the Rider camp and Frank Clair was now general manager. Ivan was enthusiastic but there was still Don Sutherin, Moe Racine and others to surpass. A confident Ivan held his own in accuracy and kicking distance and Coach Jack Gotta took a great interest in the young lad. He made the team as a first-string placement kicking specialist and finished fourth in the Eastern Conference scoring race in his first year.
The following year, Ivan was replaced by a bigger, more versatile Canadian named Gerry Organ, and he found himself doing the placement kicking for the Toronto Argonauts under coach Leo Cahill. After completing two successful years with Toronto, Ivan was on his way to Empire Stadium and the British Columbia Lions where he played until his career ended in 1975.
The Lions Club of Alexandria selected Ivan as the recipient of the Vern de Geer Memorial Trophy for 1970. This trophy is awarded to the outstanding Canadian athlete with a Glengarry tie – Glengarry County’s Athlete of the Year.
Ivan lives with his wife and young daughter in North Vancouver where they have their own business, Freedom Sports / Vikan Trampolines, which Ivan has operated for almost twenty years. The primary focus of the company is the marketing of family backyard trampolines. Ivan considers himself “very lucky” and says “to have grown up in Lochiel/Alexandria was certainly a big part of my good fortune.”
Bernard Major of Williamstown is one of these practitioners. He became interested in Taekwon-do when he was stationed in Alert while with the Canadian Armed Forces. After six years of military service he concentrated on his Taekwon-do school, which he started in 1986.
Team Taekwon-do schools grew to four locations including Kingston, Nepean, Kanata and a satellite school in Vancouver. Major was a school owner and professional instructor for over 10 years.
He was also a coach for the American All Stars martial arts team. This is a company that takes the best competitors out of each martial arts school to form teams that compete from local to national levels.
In competition there are several different categories in which one can compete and Major has competed in them all throughout his Taekwon-do career, doing well in most of them and loving them all. These categories are sparring, patterns, power breaking as well as height competitions for various techniques.
1987 saw Major win the Canadian Taekwon-do Championship in Quebec City, followed by a Canadian Championship in 1989 in Regina and five more Canadian Championships.
In addition he has won two World Championships (in Montreal in 1990 and in Japan in 1992) and many other international challenges. He has competed in close to 200 tournaments and has well over 130 awards in the form of gold, silver and bronze medals, plaques and trophies. He has travelled to England, Scotland, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, the U.S.A and Puerto Rico to compete.
Over the years he has coached individuals and teams. Two of his students have become world champions. He also coached the Ontario ladies team that competed at the Canadian National Championships, receiving an award for coaching from the Olympic Torch Relay committee that year presented to him by the Hon. Flora MacDonald.
At a charity event in 1994, Major mashed an unofficial world record, which he still holds, by breaking 363 boards in one minute. He then broke another 1,00 boards at the event. He states he “still had some kindling.”
Born in Williamstown and now residing in Little Rock, Arkansas, Major would like to continue to teach and coach others to help them achieve their goals. He feels that the years of training have helped him to develop empathy, patience, physical strength, tenacity, a sense of justice, courtesy, integrity, perseverance and the one thing that has been most valuable to him in his day of day life: a positive attitude. Taekwon-do tests every conscious and subconscious action you and your body can generate.
As Taekwon-do becomes an Olympic competition, the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame salutes Bernard Major for his accomplishments.
There was no hockey team in Maxville so Morris decided to organize a girls’ hockey league composed of teams from Maxville and the neighboring communities of Hawkesbury, Vankleek Hill and Alexandria. She captained the Maxville team to an undefeated year and won the league scoring title.
After her graduation from Grade 13 in 1942, Morris attended Ottawa Normal School, graduating in 1943. Fellow students learned to appreciate her drive and her Irish wit, as they wrote in her yearbook: “And then there’s Gwen, full of Irish humor and wit; when there’s work to be done, she just can’t quit.”
After teaching for two years in one-room school house at St. Elmo East, she enrolled at Queen’s University in 1945. Morris won all track and field events in her first year at Queen’s and won the trophy for highest points. She captained the girl’s softball and hockey teams. The hockey team was undefeated and Morris captured the scoring title. She also broke the record in softball throw.
During the pioneer years of minor hockey in Alexandria and district, 1959-1965, Morris was president for six years. She coached both at the sprite and peewee levels. The peewees brought home the silverware from the Lake Placid International peewee tournament in both 1964 and 1965.
After her minor hockey exploits, Morris’ sporting activities began to wind down. She returned to Maxville as an elementary school teacher in 1965, where she stayed until she retired after a 35-year teaching career. During this period she decided to resume her studies first in special education, then working towards her bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Queen’s University, and finally obtaining her Master’s in Education. However, this and her family duties did not deter her from one last hurrah in a ladies softball league in Alexandria where she played catcher with Zoe Grant’s Red Devils, a team that went on to win the league championship. In her retirement years, she turned her energies to yet another theme – that of local politics. Morris offered her services to Kenyon township in early 1990s and after two terms, was elected Reeve in 1995. She was the first woman reeve in the 200 year history of the township. The rough and tumble of politics was a fitting conclusion to a life filled to the brim with the spirit of competition.
When Morris is not trying to keep track of her great grandchildren and 24 grandchildren she can be seen walking or )if you look closely) jogging down the 4th of Kenyon. But she is most at peace skiing through her evergreen bush under the stars on a wintry evening much as she used to, long ago, on her way home to Maxville from teaching in the one-room rural school in St. Elmo East. What better portrait would there be for this deserving entry into the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame?
Gwen Morris passed away on February 28th, 2014.