Kenneth “Jr.” MacDonald Kenneth “Jr.” MacDonald was born on June 14, 1948 as the only son of Kenneth and Stella MacDonald. His father had a love of sports but was too busy making a living to spend time in their pursuit. His grandfather, however, made time and the family are very proud that he is a member of the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame.
Ken grew up and received his early education in Williamstown. His group was a hodge podge of boys of varying ages who shared a love of all games and sports. The games were forever and changed with the season. Summer ~ baseball, fall ~ football, winter ~ hockey and spring ~ fishing. It was a wonderful, leisurely, slow paced atmosphere and the boys grew up with very little organization or interference from the adult world. Despite the lack of formal rules,referees, or coaches the games were extremely enjoyable and intensely competitive. Disputes and arguments, were usually settled in a friendly manner by a knowledgeable older boy but other times fisticuffs were necessary to restore order!
Equipment was scarce and hard to come by and every boy’s Christmas wish list and birthday request was for sporting equipment which could be used by the group. Ken remembered receiving from his older sister Diane, a leather football for his tenth birthday. This was a prize and he was the envy of the town boys. The ball carried them through the years and countless games but always looked a bit odd and was difficult to throw. Years later a gentleman from overseas pointed out that it was a “Rugby Ball”.
A powerful positive force in these formative years was a young priest by the name of Donald Bernard McDougald. Williamstown was Father McDougald's first parish and his love of games was as infectious as his hearty laugh and singing voice. He joined the boys in cleaning off rinks on the river and in the following endless games. He drove them, at breakneck speed, after Sunday afternoon prayers, to Border league games being played in Alexandria. His was the first set of golf clubs ever seen and they could be borrowed for the asking. He coached the games, also joined in the games, built a tennis court and was the hero.
During high school, Ken played for school teams in basketball, soccer, football and track and field. In the evenings and on week-ends he played hockey. The hockey highlights included playing with the Maxville Highlander Jr. B Hockey team that won the Eastern Ontario Jr. B. Championship, which culminated in a seven game series against the Hawkesbury Juniors.
During these years he also played with Cornwall and Hawkesbury in the Central Jr. A. Hockey Loop. After high school, Ken attended Ottawa Teachers College and acquired an Ontario Teaching Diploma. The next move was to Loyola University in Montreal. During this time he played for the Loyola Warriors Varsity Hockey Team. The Warriors were, in those days, a hockey power house and were constantly ranked in the top 5 in Canada. In 1971 the team won the overall Quebec loop as well as the prestigious Christmas Hockey Canada Tournament. The event culminated at the gardens in Toronto with the Warriors defeating the University of Toronto for overall honours. That same year the team went to the finals in March for the Canadian playdowns (CIAU) which was played at Laurentian University in Sudbury. Graduation form Loyola College was in 1972.
Coaching became a love when Ken was asked to coach the Jr. B. Glens for the 1973-74 season. This was a very memorable year that was capped by a league championship to the delight of a large, hugely enthusiastic, group of fans. What was especially pleasing was the fact that every boy on the team was a Glengarrian, who had learned and played his hockey in Glengarry. This is, as far as is known, unique to this team.
Ken returned to coach the Glens from 1978-80 and later piloted the Williamstown based Char-Lan Rebels from 1984-86 and in the 1989-90 season. The 1985-86 version was an especially powerful unit who dominated the league and went on to defeat South Ottawa Junior Canadians to be crowned Eastern Ontario Jr. B. Champions. The 1989-90 Char-Lan Juniors were a spirited group of homebrews who captured league championship honours.
His coaching career was very satisfying both in terms of success on the ice but perhaps more importantly in the satisfaction derived from molding and directing young men towards a common goal. Perhaps his greatest contributions lay in instilling a “Pride of Team” and a work ethic that when harnessed to talent would pay off down the road. His association with many of these young men continues day to day and it is a constant source of satisfaction to see them develop careers, raise families and contribute to life in Glengarry.
Being a teacher summers were relatively free and were filled with fastball, touch football and golf. Fastball was played in the Border League, Alexandria men’s fastball league and for Dalhousie in a Quebec Senior Loop. Fond memories are easily recalled of these years. After evening fastball games at the Williamstown Ball Park the usual cast of characters would retire to Coach Bill Cattanach’s picnic table under an old maple tree. There cool refreshments would enliven conversations and pass away the long warm summer evenings. Never a game was lost under that old maple tree!
Golf was a game that Ken learned in his early 20’s at the Glengarry Golf Club. This sport, along with hockey, were games that he loved most passionately. Over the years he has derived hundreds of hours of leisurely enjoyment and intense competition from the game. His handicap presently hovers around a 7 but has been as low as 3. The most notable achievements would include 3 Alexandria Open Championships and 3 A Class Club Championships at 3 different courses. Glengarry Golf Club in the 70’s, Summer Heights Golf Club in the 80’s and Cornwall Golf Club in the 90’s. In addition over the years, he has represented these clubs in various leagues and competitions at golf courses ranging from Kingston to Montreal and down into New York State. He also ran and instructed at the junior golf program at Summer Heights for several years.
For the past 28 years, Ken has been teaching at the elementary level. He completed courses at Queen’s University and Ottawa U. towards a supervisor’s certificate in Health and Physical Education. He naturally took a keen interest in school athletics and has organized and coached the school sports teams at St. Andrews for the past quarter century.
In 1969, Ken married the former Norma MacCuaig. Norma is a graduate of G.D.H.S. and also enjoys sports and excelled in track and field. Norma has been very supportive and patient (as you can well imagine) of his passion for the games over their 30 years of marriage. Ken and Norma have raised two children, Walter (Wally) and Julie, both of whom have been active and successful in the Glengarry sporting scene.
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