John Charlebois | Maurice Deguire | Coleman MacDonald | Bonnie MacLeod | Cabers of Glengarry
The Marauders won 14 GSl and 10 Greespon Cup championships. Charlebois won a league championship with the men’s Hearts of Glengarry soccer team in the Cornwall Soccer League in 1981, playing from 1981-1988. During the winter month, Charlebois played minor hockey with the Alexandria Peewee, Bantam and Midget All-Star teams and then three years with Alexandria Junior B Glens hockey team, winning the Glen’s Sportsmanship and Ability Award in 1975-1976.
Charlebois also played touch football with the Lochiel Loks in the Glengarry Touch Football League, winning seven league championships and five first-place finishes in nine years from 1976-1984.
He was chosen to attend the Ontario Athletic Leadership Camp in 1975 and won numerous ribbons and trophies in track and field, top scorer award in all three football years and was the recipient of GDHS Sportsman of the Year award in 1976-1977.
He received a Lions Club Athletic Award more than once.
After he moved to Ottawa, he continued to come back to Glengarry on week nights to play soccer in the GSL and Cornwall Soccer League during the summer months. He also played touch football with a men’s team in the Ottawa Nepean Touch Football League (ONTFL).
Johnny C played on teams that won five division championships and two first place awards from 1985-1994 and a Canadian championship in 1992. He also completed the full Ottawa marathon in 1985.
Charlebois continues to stay active despite a number of injuries. He bicycles almost every day in Ottawa and skates in the winter.
“It was the hardest competition I ever did,” Deguire said of the 70 mile race he completed in 1994. “I was leading the race most of the time.”
Deguire described the world-class even in Bainbridge, N.Y., that attracts more than 1500 paddlers including US Olympic medalist Greg Barton and 28 time General Clinton winner Serge Corbin.
In 1992, Deguire placed second in the 140 mile Classic that saw him go through a half mile of rough rapids.
Beginning in 1977, Deguire won top broomball goalie in the Seaway Valley league as well as winning in the class B pool tournament in St. Zotique.
In 1979 he won Alexandria’s tennis tournament and won gold medal in the C-2 canoe race in Les Jeux du Quebec.
From 1980 to 2014, Deguire won canoe races in Rigaud, Prescott, Alexandria, Lac-des-Plages, Ogdensburg, Campbellford and Brockville.
Over the years, he’s teamed with canoeists Bruno Major, Maurice Sauve, Yvon Ranger, Corey VanLoox, Pierre Brault and Pierre Pinard to win many challenging canoe races.
He took the championship title in the Glengarry Triathlon Cup from 1984 to 1989 and continued to win several other canoe races including the National Marathon Canoe Championships in Fredericton, N.B., in 1993.
Another highlight of his canoe career was winning both the Raisin River Canoe Race and Jock River race on the same weekend in 1996 with partner Pierre Brault.
In 1997 and 1998 he won the Alexandria and Glengarry Open Low net “C”, the Alexandria Open Low net “B: in 2007 and the Cornwall Open Low net “C” in 2010. When Deguire hangs his paddle and golf clubs for the season, he dons his cross-country skis and participates in gruelling winter events. One of the hardest ski races was when he participates from Lachute to Ottawa on a two-day, 100 mile competition.
Along with his late wife Joan, they founded the Glengarry Cup that’s been running successfully for over 30 years. MacDonald has won many trophies and bonspiels in Glengarry, Vankleek Hill, Hawkesbury, Brownsburg and Morrisburg.
In 1997, he was granted a lifetime membership at the Lancaster Club where he was a member of the executive for 29 years.
According to members of the Lancaster and District Curling Club of which he’s been a member since he started playing he’s been a popular skip and an excellent ambassador for the sport he’s so passionate about.
MacDonald recalled a year when he won 17 games in a row, inside the club and out.
As a leader in the sport, he truly recognizes that it’s team effort and its cohesion that produces success.
A farmer all his life, MacDonald’s been a cash cropper since 2002 and still curls twice a week despite knee injuries. Last year he won two bonspiels in Lancaster and feels as good about the sport as they day he started.
She returned to Glengarry and continued playing for Laggan, a team she’s now played with for 37 years. She was a key member of the original Hearts of Glengarry Ladies team in the Cornwall & District Soccer League and the Ottawa Soccer League. She won various awards, one of which was league top scorer. She was the Secretary-Treasurer for GSL from 1992-1997 and coached Bantam girls and co-ed soccer.
The hard-hitting forward was top scorer ten times from 1984-1996 and voted Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1990 and again in 1994 during the playoffs.
The humble mother of three scored the Louis Shepherd Award in 1994 for her many contributions towards the advancement of sport in Glengarry and helped the Laggan Ladies Team win seven out of eight championships in the 1990s.
MacLeod’s still playing soccer for Laggan, plays hockey on the women’s recreational team in Williamstown, teaches kindergarten at Laggan Public School, raises a family who all play soccer and hockey with husband Chris McPherson who also plays both sports.
MacLeod credits the success of the Laggan team to the amazing group of girls that she’s played with over the years, including her sister and wonderful coach Bruce Kennedy.
MacLeod will join her mentor grandfather in the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame.
The Cabers of Glengarry
Members of the Cabers of Glengarry have proven that Glengarrians are a force to be reckoned with while travelling internationally to promote the heavyweights.
The club that started in 1982 includes Lloyd Kennedy, Don McDonald, Rod McLeod, Ron MacDonell, Willie Lang, Robin Thompson, Doug Fales, Ian Sandilands, John MacDonald, Finlay McDonell, and late Dr. Joseph Senecal.
Years ago, the men who were looking to improve their skills in the heavyweight events in preparation for the Glengarry Highland Games began practicing wt the Senecal’s home in Alexandria. The dentists from Montreal had been a track and field athlete and weightlifter all his life and had taken an interest in the Scottish heavyweight games when he and his family moved to Alexandria. “He was more than happy to offer competitors a place to practice,” said Senecal’s daughter Tess who remembers well the practice days. “Dad really got involved in the Celtic life. He even practiced in the games a couple of times.”
Over the years, the fierce and determined men have competed in Florida, New York, Chicago, Fergus, Cobourg, Tyconderoda, Tennessee and many other games where some have won world championship titles. Rod MacLeod of Glen Nevis participated in the games for close to 40 years, is past director of the heavyweights in Maxville and was world champion in the caber toss in 1973. He explained that Dave Harrington, “King of the Caber” from Quebec use to join them at their practices. “It’s a sport like no other,” explained award winner Sandilands who’s travelled extensively to participate. “If you really want to do well, you have to practice a lot. You have to be dedicated.”
Robin Thompson of Martintown was a world record holder in the sheaf with a distance of 27’8” thanks to many hours of practice.
McLeod explained that local legends Rory McLennan and Lloyd Kennedy were key players in bringing the heavyweights to the games in 1948. “It was Ronnie MacDonell, Lochiel councillor, who really pushed the club to start,” said McLeod of their early days. “Thankfully we had a lot of support.” Finlay McDonell offered up his Loch Garry property as a practice field when they athletes were looking for another site. McDonell chaired the heavyweights in Maxville in 1993 and was president of the games in 1994 and 1995.
Sandilands and McLeod said the club started after the death of Angus H. McDonell, one of the founding members of the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame. They explained that Angus donated an annual trophy for the heavyweight winner of the games. Today that trophy is awarded for the top caber throw. Members of the Cabers of Glengarry are glad to have had the opportunity to practice together, learn from some world-class athletes and have inspired each other to improve.
“Heavyweights are unique because it’s a sport and a cultural event at the same time,” explained Sandilands. “But whatever sport you grab onto, you want to do it as well as you possibly can. The club really helped us to be the best we could be.”