Roy Calder | John Carey | James Kennedy | Frank McCormick | Maurice Sauvé | John Wensink
Like most teenage farm boys, prior to the possible ownership of a car, Roy Calder was keenly interested in horses, especially the roadster class. His father held the opposite view but granted his son Roy permission to buy a horse of his choice.
At age 18, Roy Calder had saved enough money to buy his first roadster from John Fraser. This was a ‘Little Bay Mare named Daisy’ to quote Roy Calder in an interview many years ago.
Roy, despite his youth and lack of driving experience in the show ring took great pride and satisfaction competing at Riceville, Maxville, Alexandria, Williamstown, and Cornwall fairs.
Roy Calder had raised his sights to a future beyond the family pioneer farm home. He sold his pet Daisy, completed his high school studies at Cornwall Collegiate, and joined the Two Mountains Sand Company operated by his uncle, the president, north of Montreal. Eventually Roy bought his retiring uncle’s shares and succeeded him to the presidency.
In the meantime, Roy Calder, although devoted to the sand business, maintained his youthful interest in roadsters. Fortified with resources and leisure time he returned to his first love of show ring competition.
Calder bought a horse, Andy Spencer, from Leonard MacEwen of Russell, Ont., and a teammate, Vivian Lee, in Richelieu, Que. He then entered the urban fair circuit; each horse competing individually, then hitched as a matched team roadster class. They were shown at Ormstown, Sherbrooke, Lachute and Ottawa. The horses were kept at the Calder farm, now Laval-Chomedy, and the stable groom was Real Lalonde from Alexandria.
After gaining major success at the fairs, Roy Calder was anxious to get into the ‘big league’ of horsemen. In 1956, he attended the Chicago International Fair and was struck by admiration of a horse named Royal Commander.
Wishing to be assured that this roadster was as good as he appeared, Roy summoned a knowledgeable Ormstown horse judge, Bob Gregg. They travelled to St. Charles, Ill., to meet the owner of Royal Commander and appraised his value and soundness. An intense discussion resulted in the purchase of Royal Commander at $5,000. (We insert here the difference between Williamstown Hall of Fame, Gordie McNeil and his counterpart Roy Calder. Gordie bred, raised and trained his show horses while Roy bought his.)
Royal Commander was transported to his new home by General Motors vice-president Jim Humphries, (not our retired Agrep), in his luxury van.
The following spring Calder and his prized horse competed at the early fairs from Maxville through Quebec circuit and finally the Ottawa fair. They were winners all the way.
In 1960 Calder scaled the ultimate in his ambition to join the elite horsemen by driving Royal Commander in the prestigious Toronto Royal ring.
Here Royal Commander was judged the winner in the roadster class and also the open stake championship.
Eventually age prevented Calder’s horse from competitions. In his sportsmanlike character Calder gave Royal Commander to family friends north of Toronto where he was humanely cared for until he died three years later.
In the depression years of the ‘30’s, hockey was played on open air rinks with the exception of the new Jubilee Arena in Maxville. That was the era that Howard Carey moved up from “River Shinny” to organized hockey.
In football, too, Howard recalls that Williamstown high school, coached by “Wellie” Barrett, was the Glengarry pioneer of the school game. They defeated Cornwall Collegiate, 13-0 in an exhibition game, Saturday, October 12, 1935. Among the players, in recollection were: Archie and Howard McDonald, Ernie Larocque, John McBain, Lloyd McRae and Norman Cumming, With the outbreak of World War Two, Howard Carey joined the RCAF and first played with the Winnipeg hockey team. In 1944-45 Howard was in England and played with the Wellesbourne (RCAF) team with the Birmingham arena their home ice.
Back home in 1947, Howard Carey attended the training camp of Cornwall Cougars of the Quebec Senior Provincial League from N.H.L. After playing the first few games Howard, now age 30, retired in favor of “younger legs.”
Howard Carey, stellar defence player, the next few winters were spent with Finch, Maxville and Lancaster. Along with several Cornwall players the Finch team was champions of the Central Ottawa Valley League, 1948. Among the club members were Father M. J. O’Brien, Henry Payette, D.A., Melvin and Clifford Ouderkirk, Orville “Farmer” Graham, F. Markell and W.A. Fortin, president.
Next year Howard Carey paired on Maxville defence with Ottawa’s Gordie Pantalone, the Massena Archambault brothers, Benny MacDonell, “Peewee” Larabie, H. and D. Ferguson and Maurice Lobe in the finals with Finch.
Alexandria Maroons were to the forefront in 1950 mainly due defensively to Fred Murphy in goal, Bill L’Heureux and Howard Carey while up front there were such sharpshooters as Cheyne, Duncan (Angus Katie) McDonald, Max Pope, Bernie Thibaudeau, Reasbeck and “Harley” Coleman.
Among Glengarry sportsmen heading for the Hall of Fame has to be Bill Cumming, builder of Lancaster Dodgers in the early 50’s. And here again Howard Carey played with such stars as Pete Bonneville, Eric Reasbeck, John McLaren, Bill Marlin, Bill and D. Larocque with Jim McArthur on the executive line.
But the foregoing years of playing with some of Glengarry greats and neighborly Cornwall plus Ottawa, Howard Carey moved on to that heritage builders of hockey the Ottawa Olde Tymers, age 60 and over. We quote from the July 27, ‘87 Ottawa Citizen : “The Ottawa Olde Tymers are flying home today with two gold medals won at Snoop’s Senior World Hockey Championship, Santa Dosa, California.”
We note further that two of Alexandria Maroons of 1950, Howard Carey and Bernie Thilbodeau along with, we seem to recall, Sam Gaw of Inkerman Rockets.
A just reward will be the enshrinement of Howard Carey, Wednesday, September 12th, in Maxville at the annual induction banquet following the official “ribbon cutting opening” of the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame.
Lloyd Kennedy is a son of the late William Kennedy and his late wife the former Flora “Sandy Angus” McDonell. He is a typical Glengarry “farm boy” having spent the nearing four score years of his life at the Kennedy family pioneer home, Lot 10, Third Kenyon.
During the spring seeding, 1948, walking behind the plow and spring tooth harrow, Lloyd’s thoughts centered on the approaching, July 31, Highland Games in Maxville that included the famed revival features of tossing the caber and throwing the hammer.
Despite his age, 34, when most athletes are heading to retirement, Lloyd was still an agile box lacrosse goal keeper with Alexandria Maroons in Glengarry Gardens. Still debating the challenge, Lloyd recalled that Loch Garry’s “Big Alex MacIsaac” (MacDonald) won the world’s caber toss championship at the British Empire Forces “Games” in England after World War One, 1919, and he was in that age bracket, so why not accept the challenge?
That is exactly what the six foot, 185 pounder of brawn, athletic skills and desire did, ably assisted in the decision by the same “Big Alex MacIsaac.”
Unknown to most of us (neighbors) Lloyd Kennedy six weeks before the Highland Games became a caber tossing protege of the now again world champion “Big Alex MacIsaac,” living in retirement at the “Ranald MacIsaac” (MacDonald) homestead across the fields from historic Loch Garry.
The training began with a shorter and much lighter caber than standard size, one that Lloyd hewed from a cedar tree. Technique was stressed by the master.
Lloyd demonstrated his natural adaptability from the beginning and a second caber, longer and heavier, was required thus maintaining steady progress towards eligibility for Highland Games competition.
By this time Lloyd was mastering the technique of picking up a caber, posture; balance; run and toss. He was told to go to the “bush” and get about a 20 foot, 120 pound caber. In the sport jargon, “Lloyd Kennedy never looked back.” In the advance revival publicity of the approaching Glengarry Highland Games there was a sports story confirming that two members of the Toronto Police Athletic Association would compete at the Maxville Games and they were rated in the champion class of tossing the caber at Highland Games in Toronto and area.
The thought of meeting such experienced athletes would crumble the enthusiasm of any novice competitor for the first time in highland heavy events. But not Lloyd Kennedy.
There was considerable program confusion at the July 31 first Highland Games, after many dormant years, due to the estimated crowd of 17,000 that was 10,000 more than expected.
Late in the day the infield was cleared for the feature sports event – tossing the caber. The Toronto police entries were dressed in the latest style track and field uniforms.
Then, for a moment, the encircling crowd wondered about the identy of the tall, brush cut athlete, flashing a relaxed grin, in casual slacks and blending sports shirt. Why, that is Alexandria’s box lacrosse goal keeper, Lloyd Kennedy. The response was instant acclaim, evidence of the crowd’s delight that a native son was competing. That wave of welcome applause gained momentum to a rousing cheer that could be heard beyond historic Christie’s Pitt as Lloyd Kennedy defeated the Toronto police in each of the three distance tosses.
The rest is 43 years of contributing to the history of Glengarry Highland Games Scottish heavy events. At least 10 years successive champion from that great opening “Games.” Continuity as an instructor and official.
Lloyd Kennedy has deservedly earned the honor of enshrinement in the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame along with mighty men of Glengarry’s pioneer track and field heritage, especially world champions “Big Rory” McLennan, hammer throw and “Big Alex MacIsaac” MacDonald, the caber toss.
Frank McCormick was the elder son of Rory McCormick and his wife the former Ann Amanda Geelan. He was born at their pioneer home near McCormick’s Post Office. Frank lived his life on his parental farm now the Glengarry Golf and Country Club and then historic Tomb’s Mill homestead; now the home of his son Cameron and his family.
Frank McCormick was a talented, natural born mechanic and equally gifted in field stone masonry as evidenced by several Glengarry home fire places and monuments. Before bilingual was a common word, Frank was trilingual, Gaelic, French, and English; thus rated among the few Glengarrians in that distinguished category.
In his youth, Frank McCormick excelled in football (soccer) playing with a formidable Lochiel team of older players. That was before World War One suspended all games until 1919. The Lochiel team of that era played home games at “Joe Charlie” recollection among the players with Frank were – Hector McCormick; Duncan (later Father) McPhee; J.J. MacDonald; Dan Weir; Johnny Gauthier and Jerry Gagnier.
Frank McCormick gave baseball a brief whirl when sport resumed with a few Third of Kenyon players supplementing the Lochiel nine playing at Johnny Cuthbert’s, Eigg Road. Greenfield were the opposition but the game faded in favor of lacrosse and football.
Lacrosse was Frank’s forte as a home (attack) player in the 12-man (later 10) game that was a Saturday afternoon feature attraction in Alexandria at the long gone Fairgrounds opposite the monastery.
Frank McCormick was a rangy, six-footer and roamed near the opposing goal positioning for a pass. With the ball he could pivot on a dime around the defence and be in scoring position. In a football comparison; getting the ball to Frank was similar to Alouette’s Sam Etchevery rifling a pass to “Red” O’Quinn or Ottawa’s Russ Jackson firing to Bod Simpson; either would catch the ball and score; that was the class of Frank McCormick. He was rated by his peers among Glengarry’s all time great lacrosse players. Frank’s tenure in the realm of lacrosse was the last decade of the field game following the cease fire of World War One. The hockey pattern of box lacrosse at Chisholm Park, now Alexandria town hall, was a survival effort.
Frank and Alexandria’s best years were 1924 winning the championship and defeating in exhibition play England’s touring Oxford-Cambridge team. They repeated in 1926 winning the Laplante Cup emblematic of the United Countries lacrosse championship.
Again in recollection among Frank’s team mates were – Lawrence Weir; Fergus McRae; Alex Campbell and Hall of Fame colleagues; Dave Lalonde; J. Alex Macdonell; Ben Villeneuve; Jeo Marcoux; Jerry Gagnier and club president J. J. MacDonald.
From minor hockey and still only 15, Maurice Sauvé displayed soccer skills with ruggedness that impressed the management of the Lochiel club to sign this promising teenager. This was a wise move. Maurice played as a regular with Lochiel in the Glengarry Soccer League for the next 18 years.
Summer’s gruelling soccer play was ideal conditioning for Maurice to participate in Glengarry District high school athletics. He was among the pillars of the Gaels in school football and found time to be a leader in track and field competitions. Maurice Sauvé set a 44 foot, 10 inches, 12 lb. shot put record, shared with John Tkachenko, that still stands during the past 29 years. That year at the Glengarry Highland Games heavy events Maurice added to his laurels placing second in the caber toss. All the while, he has continued to play tennis.
And what, one may wonder, did Maurice do in the winter season? Then miles, racing pace, cross country skiing nearly every day. This led to competitive racing and in again a gruelling sport. Maurice won the Alexandria X-C ski race loppet once and finished second in two other races. He also completed several X-C races and then moved up to the top class, the 55 km, participating in the Gatineau 55 World Loppet and the 50 km Montebello cross country ski race.
When Maurice retired from soccer, his former high school football coach, Stanley Fraser, knowing his natural talent, invited Maurice to team with him in the Raisin River spring canoe race. Old friend Stanley will wager, never dreamed that his challenge would be the launching of Maurice Sauvé into a career of canoe racing that will last longer than the shot put record.
In our interview with Maurice, he stated: “After my initial race with Stanley I really got serious with my entry into canoe racing.”
The following in sequence are the records of Maurice Sauvé’s canoe racing with his partners at the time: in 1980 he won the Raisin River race with Tom Bryson; in 1981 a repeat with Maurice Deguire; 1982 and 1983 were firsts with Pierre Pinard; 1984 and ‘85 saw third and second respectively with Bruno Major; in 1986 he came first with Bruno Major and in 1987 he lost first by two seconds with teammate Bruno.
Maurice won the Ontario Master solo championship each year from 1984 and fished second in 1989 and ‘90. In the Canadian Masters Solo championships Maurice was third and fourth in his two entries.
In the doubles, Maurice, teamed with Williamstown’s Bruno Major, won the Ontario Master championship three times; they finished second in two other races in this class; third in 1988 and fourth, in ‘89 all with Bruno Major.
In 1987 he came first in the North Bay 40 mile canoe race again with Bruno. Sauvé won several masters solo races in N.Y. state during the 1980’s , and completed the longest canoe race in the world five times, 125 miles in three days “La Classique International de Canot” at Trois Rivières.
In the last three years, Maurice completed the 70 mile “General Clinton” canoe race at Cooperstown, N.Y. in the average time of nine hours. Despite the time consuming canoe racing activities during the past 10 years and his professional association with his father and colleagues at Sauvé Real Estate, Maurice is a genuine sportsman as evidenced by his organization and leadership in the interests of the community.
Maurice was the founder of the Alexandria Cross Country ski loppet, several canoe races in Alexandria, also triathlons, tennis tournaments and the Terry Fox canoe flotilla.
Maurice Sauvé will truly be the enshrinement of a versatile athlete in the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame, one week from tonight.
When John was still a toddler, the Wensink family gave up Alberta living in favour of a Glengarry home. They bought a dairy farm from C. Gordon McKillican on the south border of Maxville. At the tender age of seven John Wensink was a blossoming minor hockey player with the Sprites. He progressed each winter in his respective age groups through to Junior B coached by George Currier.
In the summer, after completing his allotment of farm chores, John Wensink played baseball, soccer, and he was also adept in handling a lacrosse stick.
In 1970 he attended the training camp of major Junior A Cornwall Royals and what he may have lacked in skills John Wensink was filled with desire and rugged style of play that impressed coach Orville Tessier, known as a tough task master; John Wensink was signed and played with the Royals.
The next season, not only did John Wensink’s play improve in hockey, but the entire team improved so much that Cornwall Royals won the Memorial Cup, emblematic of the Canadian Major Junior A championship.
In the following NHL draft, John Wensink was selected by the St. Louis Blues and in turn was instructed to report to their farm team Rochester of the American Hockey League. St. Louis Assistant GM Frank Mario had been keeping tabs on Wensink while he was with the Royals, Mario’s home town.
Don Cherry was Rochester’s coach and he was aware that all through Wensink’s Cornwall junior career his game stayed rather basic and not by choice. Cherry opined that when you are as big and as strong and as willing to mix it up as John Wensink and your coach has an ample supply of talented forwards and heavy defensemen, it’s not too surprising when you are tabbed as the club’s “enforcer.” John will always be that according to Cherry, who reserves a very special place in his heart for John. Quoting a Rochester sports writer, he stated, “his biggest attributes are his willingness to learn and ability to absorb. In fact his improvement since he first came to the Rochester camp has just been amazing.”
John Wensink’s pro hockey career, in 1976, was feared to be at an end due to a severe back injury. However, after a brief term with the Denver Spurs and major surgery he made a full recovery and was back in Rochester.
In the meantime, Don Cherry was behind the Bruins’ bench coaching and he still rated Wensink as NHL class so he drafted his favorite son to Boston.
Cherry’s confidence in Wensink was fully rewarded in the 1978-79 season as he scored 28 goals. Playing beside a star in the class of Terry O’Reilly and being a 6’2″, 195 pounder, John Wensink had fulfilled his lifetime ambition. He recorded four successful seasons in Boston. Harry Sinden, Boston’s manager, came to the parting of the ways with his coach Don Cherry. There were more changes including the trade of Wensink to Quebec Nordiques.
In the following season, 1981-8, Don Cherry and John Wensink were again united with the Colorado Rockies but the term was short lived as the club ceased to operate. Wensink was sold to New Jersey Devils but John retired from further play except for a brief period near his father’s home in Holland with the Vissers club in Nijegen.
Now in retirement and operating a lucrative home construction business in suburban St. Charles, John Wensink is still involved in his first love, hockey, coaching the St. Louis Peewees. They will play in the Quebec City tournament this winter again for the fourth consecutive year.
Watch an ESPN "30 For 30" Short film about John Wensink.