Year Inducted: 1986
The biographies of two 1986 Sports Hall of Fame inductees, Lawrence Currier and Lawrence Coleman, are unique in Glengarry sport history. They are justifiably classed as builders and stalwart players of the original Maxville Millionaires 1936-39.
Lawrence Currier and Lawrence Coleman played a major role in the glory years of the founding Millionaires, three time winners of the Citizen Shield from 1936 through to 1939. But their achievements in Maxville’s new arena were shaded by the re-organized Millionaires, following the deaths of Currier and Coleman, when that team won the Eastern Canada Intermediate hockey championship, 1939-40.
Lawrence Currier was a song of Fred Currier and his wife, the former Armanda Seguin. He was born in Maxville, June 1914. Lawrence Coleman was a son of Dan Coleman and his wife, the former Ella Bergeron. Lawrence Coleman was also born in Maxville, September 1912.
January 11, 1935 became a hockey historic date in Maxville’s sport heritage. A new hockey club was organized, with Osie Villeneuve coaching a group of players determined to prove their credibility as a winning intermediate club. The nucleus were Lawrence Currier, “Doc” Munroe and Lawrence and Howard Coleman.
With two players leading the team defensively and in goal scoring, and both christened Lawrence, Ottawa sport writers were at times confused about which one scored or assisted. The problem was solved by reverting to their boyhood nicknames, “Marbles” Currier and “Collie” Coleman. That is how they were popularly known for the rest of their short lives.
The young Millionaires won the 1936 district championship, but lost 7-6 to Ottawa CDS in Citizen Shield playoffs. “Marbles” and “Collie” led the scores, but fell one short.
The Millionaires’ success in 1936 won the hearts of Stormont and Glengarry hockey fans. A special train conveyed the fans to Hawkesbury in the valley intermediate final. The Millionaires won, mainly due to “Marbles” and “Doc” Munro playing 60 minute games on defence. And aiding “Collie” and his wingers in scoring six goals to the Hawks’ three.
Another train load of fans headed by member of the 59th Pipe Band were on hand in the Ottawa Auditorium to cheer the Millionaires as they won the Citizen Shield for the first time by defeating Bells Corners 3-2. Ottawa sport writers classes “Marbles” Currier as an outstanding defenseman, a smooth skater and tricky stick handler. “Collie” was awarded the same rating as a two-way forward, a skilled goal scorer and assisted by his brother Howard.
The next year, 1937, after winning the league honors, Millionaires lost in the Citizen Shield finals to Ottawa Carsons by a two-goal margin.
The 1938 season opener indicated that the Millionaires were out to regain the prestigious Citizen Shield. They defeated a highly rated Massena team 5-4. “Marbles” scored two goals and assisted “Collie” on the game winner. As the schedule drew to a close “Marbles” Currier was awarded the Knight Trophy , emblematic of the league’s most valuable player. “Collie” Coleman was runner up by playing the best hockey of his career at centre, right wing and defence. In the finals, the Millionaires regained the Citizen Shield by defeating Bells Corners 6-4.
On March 24, 1939, the Millionaires recorded Ottawa District hockey history by winning the Citizen Shield for the third time in four years by defeating Westboro 10-2 . “Marbles” and “Collie” again led the way by each scoring two goals and two assists. The champions were later feted at a Maxville banquet attended by Ottawa and District hockey officials. Tommy Shields, Ottawa Citizen sports editor, was guest speaker and presented the shield.
“Marbles” and “Collie” basked in the 1939 warmth of hockey glory for only a few short weeks. On May 29th, they met death in a tragic car accident.