Monday January 8th, 2018

Kiwanis Club of Orillia

               Monday January 8th, 2018 – Theo’s Restaurant

        

Present:

 

Mike Bunn                      Joanne Watson                       Erin Watson

Matt Watson                   Mitch Shaw                             Ben Cole

Korine Keyzer                Doug Downey                         Noel Sterne

Peter Head                      Bruce Waite                            Bob Brown

Rob Town                       John Morton                           Adam Borutski

Heather Breckles            Lawrence LaFrance                        John Parker

Don Haskins                   Dave North

 

Guests:

 

Mike Koza                      Gill Tillman                            Cathy Hunt

Dave Tunstall

Oh Canada:

 

Nicely done today Gang. Must be that gold medal win the Team Canada at the world juniors!!!!!

 

The Blessing:

Noel Sterne delivered a fitting blessing as he always does – thanks Noel.

 

Happy Loonies:

 

Rob Town had much to be happy about today. Daughter Kristie just got married!!!  Daughter Kimmy is about to this spring and daughter Amy is off to med school down in Saint Martin!!!!!   That’s a bunch of great news and that’s about as much as Rob Town has said in one shot since I’ve known him!!!

 

Bob Brown was happy about something – can’t read my own writing so I’m not sure what

Steph via Heather is happy to be cruising around the Caribbean like some sort of Hollywood diva. Ya, we’re all following you on Facebook!!!

Kiwanis Hoedown:

 

This June 16th is the date.  Burl’s Creek is the place.  Kiwanis is the club.  Boots, buckles, big hats and beer is the theme.  See you all there!!!!

Today’s Guest Speaker:

 

Gill Tillman of the Orillia 2018 Ontario Winter Games was our guest speaker today. The big event happens this March 1st to 4th on the heels of the 2018 Olympic winter games in Pyeong Chang.  Gill brought the club up to speed on how the games are coming together.  She spoke about the huge amount of support the games have received from both local business the all levels of government.  She also mentioned a possible $100,000.00 legacy grant if the games come in on budget.  Some of the challenges to that include food and accommodations which are coming in over budget.  Gill emphasized that all events are free and open to the public.  The idea now is to fill the seats.  We can help by liking the event on social media.

Thanks so much for being with us today Gill. The logistics involved in pulling this thing off are mind-boggling!!!!  We’ve definitely got the right person in charge!!!!

Special Notice of Passing:

 

I’m sure that most of you have heard about the passing of longtime Maple Leaf goaltender Johnny Bower on Boxing Day. I’m taking the time to say a few words here because as a goalie dad and life- long Leaf fan, I love this guy’s story.

Johnny Bower was born on November 8,1924 as John William Kiszkan into a Ukrainian Canadian family in Prince Albert Saskatchewan.  He had one brother and seven sisters.  His first goalie equipment included a branch as a stick and some pieces of old mattresses as goalie pads.  At age 15 he lied about his age and entered WWII with the Canadian army with the second Canadian Division as a gunner.   He was discharged in 1943 due to rheumatoid arthritis in his hands.

He returned to Prince Albert in 1944 to play junior hockey.  He then became pro with the AHL where he spent the next 11 seasons – mostly with the Cleveland Barons.  Johnny’s parents divorced in 1946 and that’s when he adopted and legally changed his sir name to his mother’s maiden name of Bower (sport writers couldn’t seem to spell Kiszkan).  He was an AHL star leading his team to 3 Calder Cup championships.

In 1953, Johnny was signed by the New York Rangers of the NHL.  At the age of 29 he made his NHL debut.  He started in every game in the 1953-54 season recording 29 wins.  The number two goalie for the Rangers that year was the previous rookie of the year – a guy named Lorne “Gump” Worsley.  The “Gumper” won back the starting role the next year and it was back to the minors for Johnny.  He played 4 more years in the “A” for the Providence Reds, the Cleveland Barons and the Vancouver Canucks.

In 1958 he was claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the interleague draft.  At this stage Johnny was 34 years old and looking to finish out his hockey career with Cleveland in the AHL.  That was until Toronto GM Punch Imlach drove down to Cleveland and convinced Johnny to give the NHL one more go.  The Leafs were an up and coming team filled with young star players (like right now).

The rest is history.  Johnny, nicknamed the China Wall, brought his scrappy style of play and the poke check to the NHL.  He won his first Vezina Trophy in the 1960-61 season with the Leafs allowing the fewest goals that season.  He won his second Vezina in the 1964-65 season and he was the co-winner of the Vezina in the 1966-67 season with goalie partner Terry Sawchuk.  He led the Leafs to four Stanley Cup Championships in 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1967.  He has five careers shut out games in a Stanley Cup championship series.  Jean Beliveau described him as “undeakable”. He is second only to Lester Patrick (1928 NYR) as the oldest goalie to play in an NHL final.  At the ripe old age of 45 he was the second oldest goalie ever to play a full season (behind Maurice Roberts).  Including Roberts, he was surpassed as the oldest full-time player by only three guys and maybe you’ve heard of them – Gordie Howe, Chris Chelios and Jaromir Jagr.  Every game Johnny ever played for the Leafs he was the oldest member of the Leafs on the ice.  The part I like the best, his facemask was his face!!!!

Johnny retired with 552 career NHL games including 250 wins, 195 losses, 37 shutouts and an incredible G.A.A. of 2.51.  This was a guy who didn’t really get started until he was 34 years old!!!!  Johnny hung it up for good on March 19, 1970 at the age of 45 years and four months.  I was turning 5 the next month so I missed seeing Johnny play (at least that I can remember).  Maple Leaf goal tending was then left for Jacques Plante and a young newbie by the name of Bernie Parent.  This began a disturbing trend with the Maple Leafs that has lasted far too many years – sign up the old has-been and trade away the future hall of famer!!!!  Johnny was rightfully inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976 and named as one of the 100 best players of all time.

He was no less a hero and a legend off the ice.  He devoted much of his time and resources to charity and volunteering.  He was known as a guy who always had time for everyone who he met whether it was to sign an autograph or to just chat.  He was a true philanthropist and used his good name to support so many causes they are far too numerous to mention here.  Throughout his career and afterwards, he set such a great example of how a pro athlete should behave.  I really wish todays crop of selfie taking, self-absorbed, all about me athletes and celebrities (except Steph) would take note!!!! To generations of Leaf fans like me, he was like a grandfather and he will be greatly missed!!!!

Next Week:

 

We’re all back at Theo’s next week when the real Ben Cole and Super Jet-setting Diva Steph Worthington will be revealed. That’s all for now, have a great week everyone!!!!

 

 

 

Categories Latest News | Tags: | Posted on January 15, 2018

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