Traditionally at the time of year in the county, we would be getting ready to celebrate the latest crop of inductees to the Glengarry Sports Hall of Game, but alas, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that isn’t happening.
The five inductees – Barb Benton, Glen Campbell, Heather MacLeod, Michael Robertson, and Corey Van Loon – from this year will officially be recognized at a celebration next year, scheduled for August 18, 2021, in Maxville.
I am told that there will be no additional inductees next year, as there are no plans to make the 2021 event a double bill.
The hall typically publishes biographies of each of the inductees in the lead-up to the event, and these articles are scheduled to be revealed the the public next spring.
Coleman MacDonald, a long-time member of the Lancaster and District Curling Club, died peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on June 15.
The 85-year-old Williamstown resident was predeceased by his wife Joan P. The couple were active at the curling club. Among their contributions over the years, they established the Glengarry Cup, an annual curling challenge with rinks from each of the county’s clubs competing in a friendly rivalry for county curling supremacy.
“Coleman was born at home, on the family farm – one of the few remaining bi-centennial farms in Glengarry. He milked cows with his brother, Mickey, until 2002, and continued to work the land until his passing. Coleman is known for having some of the best yielding crops in the area and was among the first to plant soybeans. Coleman made a lasting impression on those in the agricultural world, especially the young people who worked on the farm. Although he died at the house next to the farm where he was raised, Coleman was fortunate to have travelled throughout his life. He had a passion for curling and took every opportunity to sing its praises to those unfamiliar to the game. For this, he was inducted to the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame. He was proud to tell others of his Scottish heritage and his Glengarry roots. He will be remembered for the sparkle in his eye, the stories and jokes he told, and for his ability to make people smile.”
Mr. MacDonald was inducted into the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 when he was recognized for his 52nd consecutive season of curling.
In his induction biography, Coleman was recognized for his numerous accomplishments in curling: receiving the 40-year pin (in 2012) for participation in the Moose Bonspiel hosted annually by the Alexandria Curling Club where he won all-star skip in 1986, receiving the 20-year pin for participation in the Monctonian Bonspiel which at its peak hosted over 70 teams from eastern Canada and the United States, skipping his Lancaster team at the prestigious Lord Elgin Bonspiel in Montreal a spiel that once hosted over 80 teams, and winning the 11th Annual Moose Bonspiel in 1975 playing third.
Over the years, he also won numerous awards and trophies at various local clubs, including those in Glengarry, Vankleek Hill, Hawkesbury, Brownsburg, and Morrisburg.
In 1997, the Lancaster and District Curling Club granted Mr. MacDonald a lifetime membership, in recognition to his contribution, which included 29 years serving on the executive board.
In his hall of fame induction, Coleman was described as a “popular skip and an excellent ambassador for the sport he’s so passionate about.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a celebration of Coleman MacDonald’s life has been postponed, to be held at some point in the future. A mass of Christian burial was scheduled yesterday, for family and close friends, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, in Williamstown.
Memorial donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, Friends of the Ruins, The Bishop’s House St. Raphael’s, or to the Lancaster Curling Club would be appreciated by the family.
The 2020 inductees to the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame have been revealed, but along with the announcement came news that this year’s annual gathering to celebrate the new inductees has been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board of the hall of fame extends congratulations to the 2020 inductees:
Corey Van Loon (Martintown, sports organizer, canoeist, Raisin River Canoe Race)
Typically, members of the hall, along with inductees, family members, supporters, past inductees, and honoured graduating high school athletes gather for a celebration each August. The location rotates amongst the county’s three arena, with festivities held on the arena floor. Last year, the event was held in Williamstown, at the Char-Lan Rec. Centre, with the 2020 edition (the 41st annual) scheduled for Maxville’s arena.
However, “due to COVID-19, The Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame’s 2020 Induction Night has been postponed to Wednesday, August 18, 2021, in Maxville. Mark your calendars!”
New Website Address and Hall Visits for 2020
The Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame website address has changed slightly, with the website now available at glengarrysports.ca (formerly .com).
The website is chock full of stories on past inductees, since the facility, located in Maxville, was established in 1979.
Traditionally, the hall building opens after the long weekend in May, welcoming visitors through to Labour Day. The board of the hall of fame expects they will have a summer student hosting guests once again this year.
The hall building is located at 35 Fair Street, adjacent to the arena in Maxville.
Stay tuned for an official announcement on this year’s opening.
Williamstown’s Christina Julien, a graduate of Char-Lan District High School, was recently inducted into the James Madison University (Virginia) sports hall of fame, in recognition of her stellar NCAA soccer career as a member of the Dukes.
Julien went on to play the beautiful game for Canada’s national women’s team and suit up professionally, before switching to her other sports passion, hockey, which she currently plays down under in Australia.
Here are JMU’s induction notes on “Corky.”
One of the top scorers in JMU history, Christina “Corky” Julien continues to enjoy a professional soccer career, highlighted by her participation on the Canadian National Team. Ten years after her last game as a Duke, Julien still stands second in program history in goals (44) and points (102), including sharing the school record for career game-winning goals with 19. She is also 21st with 14 career assists. Julien was a three-time All-Region honoree, including Soccer Buzz Third Team All-America and Second Team NSCAA/adidas Scholar All-America honors as a junior, when she was also recognized as the CAA Player of the Year and VaSID State Player of the Year. That year she had 16 goals, 35 points and five game-winning goals, highlighted by a program-record stretch of nine consecutive games scoring a goal. She was named to the CAA women’s soccer Silver Anniversary Team, honoring the top 25 student-athletes in the league’s first 25 seasons. Following her graduation with a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology, Julien made an immediate international impact after JMU, appearing on the Canadian National Team in the Cyprus Cup in 2009 and 2010 before earning a gold medal in the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico and participating in the World Cup in Germany. She was then an alternate at the London Olympics in 2012. As a professional, she most recently competed for 1. FC Koln in Germany. Her professional endeavors have shifted to include hockey, competing for the Melbourne Ice in the Australian Women’s Ice Hockey League and scoring 54 goals in three seasons.
Julien graduated from JMU in 2010. She was one of five athletes and a head coach inducted this year.
Each August, the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame celebrates our county’s athletes, as hundreds gather to induct the latest honourees and reminisce on the past year and years past. It’s an annual tradition that, in 2019, was marked August 21 in Williamstown, where five new inductees – Tina Cairncross, the late Hugh Michael MacDonald, the late Campbell ‘Geeses’ MacGillivray, Cathy MacLean, and Kent MacDonell – were formerly recognized.
Each of the inductees is immortalized in a painted portrait that is hung in the hall of fame building in Maxville. If you haven’t visited the facility, it’s certainly something you should see, to take in the exhibits of portraits and artifacts. The Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame’s stated mission is
Recognizing the contribution of sports to the lives of the people of Glengarry
Celebrating individual and team achievements and traditions in sport
Preserving the achievements of yesterday and today, for tomorrow
As part of the celebration, the hall of fame assembles biographies of the inductees, edited versions of which are copied below. Congratulations to inducted athletes and their families!
Tina Cairncross is a retired educator and a woman greatly involved in her community. Tina grew up in Ottawa and attended Carleton University where she co-captained the Carleton Ravens varsity volleyball team. She chaired the university women’s athletic board and experienced first-hand how strong collaboration and visionary goals could produce positive opportunities for women in sport. In 1970, she enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan and joined the varsity volleyball team and went on to compete with them in Women’s Open National Volleyball Championship representing the province of Saskatchewan.
In 1971, Tina was hired by the former Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Board of Education to teach physical and health education and English at Glengarry District High School. Here began a rewarding career where her years of dedication, innovation and commitment as a physical education teacher and coach would inspire her students to lead active lifestyles well beyond the gym and the classroom. During this time, Cairncross coached track and field, cross-country and volleyball. Volleyball was her passion, and she coached the senior girls teams for 30 years. Tina was not only a highly-skilled coach, but equally as important was her natural ability to teach her students the important life lessons of learning to win, learning from loss, respect for the authority of the official, and respect for one’s opponent.
When Cairncross assumed phys. ed. department head responsibilities, she looked for new course selection initiatives that would encourage more students to remain active after graduation and foster a lifelong desire to remain physically active. Thus in 1989, two new courses were developed and pioneered by Tina and added to the GDHS curriculum, namely, live fit and outdoor education. Live fit was purposefully designed to accommodate students who were interested in personal wellness and fitness rather than team sports. Students who enrolled in the outdoor education class experienced numerous day and overnight camping trips in and away from the community. Cairncross was involved in developing and writing curriculum as a member of the SD&G subject council, and in the early 80s volunteered at the provincial level with the Heart and Stroke organization when it began its popular Jump Rope for Heart program in the schools. Tina retired from teaching in 2001.
Her love for the outdoors led her to participate in the Raisin River canoe races during the years from 1980 to 1996. She completed the race six times with students, finishing second in the mixed division once, and second in the women’s division twice.
Tina’s desire to help individuals keep physically active did not stop in retirement. Over the years she has remained very active. She encourages many others to join her golfing, hiking, snowshoeing, and playing pickle ball. Her leadership skills to organize and motivate people of retirement age to join any of the countless activities in her community is remarkable. Tina is currently a board member with the Friends of Summerstown Trails organization. She has served as a past director with the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame.
The late Hugh Michael MacDonald
Living with a physical disability did not limit the late Hugh Michael MacDonald from achieving great sporting accomplishments. Those who may remember him from the community refer to him as Hughie; however, when he moved to Kingston in the early 1970s he preferred using the name Michael. His sport results list him by his preferred name.
Michael was born in Hawkesbury and was adopted as a toddler by the late Rita (née Sayant) and Donald MacDonald from the 7th Concession Glen Nevis. He attended St Margaret’s Separate School in Glen Nevis, and schoolmates remember him being active playing baseball, hockey on the outdoor school rink and as the boy who would defend the little kids on the rough and tumble school yard. At an early age, Michael developed severe seizures and required frequent medical attention. Later in life he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. MacDonald moved to Kingston in the early 70s and became a resident of the Tercentennial Lodge on King Street, an assisted living centre. It was here where he had the opportunity to rekindle his interest and desire to become active in sports.
Between the years of 1978 to 1986, Michael trained to compete in the Eastern Ontario Games for the Disabled. For over a decade, he recorded top placings in weightlifting, shot put, club throw, javelin, archery and 60 and 100 metre races. Michael also played community basketball and received an award as the most improved player as a member of the High Gate Park Laser wheelchair basketball team (Kingston).
In 1986, he participated in the Ontario Cerebral Palsy Games in Windsor and finished second in weightlifting, 100 metres and third in shot put. In 1988, he attended the Provincial Championships for the Physically Disabled in Toronto and captured a third in the javelin event. Michael’s top finishes in these most competitive sporting events give testament to his perseverance, determination and strong athletic abilities. Combine these qualities with his involvement in community programs, and unwavering support from family and dedicated support workers, Michael thrived as a fierce competitor and decorated athlete.
The late Campbell ‘Geeses’ MacGillivray
“It was an unanimous opinion of the Lions Club Sport committee that no young hockey player of any era in Glengarry showed more potential than the late Campbell MacGillivray, son of Mr. and Mrs. H.J. MacGillivray of Kirk Hill.” (Sports in the Glens columnist Angus H. McDonell for The Glengarry News)
The late pilot officer Campbell ‘Geeses’ MacGillivray was born on June 17, 1921, and it was during his Alexandria High School years that Campbell’s reputation as an exceptional all-round athlete in skill and in sportsmanship emerged. Amongst friends in the Glengarry community, Campbell was affectionately known by the nickname ‘Geeses’.
He earned the distinct honour of winning the Alexandria High School Senior Men’s Track and Field trophy for four consecutive years, beginning in Grade 9 in 1937, through to Grade 12 in 1941. A similar feat has never since been repeated.
Geeses was a member for the Alexandria High School hockey team, and in the spring of 1941, he led the team to an undefeated league season. MacGillivray served as team captain and was top scorer, netting 25 goals in eight league games. In the final match for the league championship, Geeses scored five of the team’s six goals, and the team went on to win the Powers Trophy as league champions of the Prescott and Glengarry Intercollegiate Hockey League.
In 1939 while still a student at AHS, Geeses was recruited to play with the Cardinals, Alexandria’s entry in the Glengarry Junior Hockey League, and with the Alexandria Red Blacks in the Cornwall O.C.O.T Juvenile League. Many years later Geeses’ parents were approached by former school and teammates to name a trophy in honour of their friend that would recognize the best hockey player in Glengarry. In 1968 Geeses’ parents donated the J. Campbell MacGillivray Memorial Trophy in their son’s memory to the Alexandria Lions Club for presentation at its annual Sportsman’s Dinner.
Geeses was previously inducted into the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 as a member of the Pine Grove Football (soccer) team during the years 1938 to 1941. As a prolific striker, he contributed invaluably to this Pine Grove team which claimed four GSL titles, three GSL championships, and two Ottawa Valley Championships, all with an incredible 36-game undefeated streak. Geeses received the GSL top scorer award in the 1941 season.
When not on the soccer field or the ice rink, MacGillivray was recruited to play with the Alexandria lacrosse team and found time to play baseball as pitcher for the Kirk Hill church team.
Geeses’ sports accomplishments end here and what could have become of his future as an elite amateur or professional athlete can only be imagined. Following high school, MacGillivray enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in July of 1942 and was deployed to England in the spring of 1943. He was the pilot of a Lancaster bomber and flew eight missions before his plane was shot down on January 21, 1944. The gravesite of pilot officer Campbell (Geeses) MacGillivray is located in the Berlin Commonwealth Cemetery, Charlottenburg, Germany.
Cathy MacLean has achieved elite running results both within and outside Glengarry.
It wasn’t until she was in her late 40s and after her family had grown up and left home that Cathy began to run consistently and participate in local long-distance road races. She completed her first marathon a month short of her 50th birthday. MacLean is responsible for her own training program, her diet, her mental preparation, and the important and costly logistics involved when she travels outside the community to compete. Training for the top marathon events requires incredible self-discipline, perseverance, and determination.
Beginning in 2002, Cathy completed her first Ottawa Race Weekend marathon, recording a finish time of 4 hours, 3 minutes, and 21 seconds. Again in Ottawa at the 2007 marathon, she ran and achieved her personal best time ever of 3:48:02 in the 50 to 54 age category. Cathy has raced and finished the Ottawa marathon 10 times. In three of these marathons, she finished first in her 60 to 64 age grouping. Later years saw her place second three times in the 65 to 69 age grouping.
MacLean ran in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2005, and her result served as a qualifying time to run Boston in 2006. Since, she has completed the Boston Marathon 10 times and has qualified once again to compete in April 2020. Cathy was only 500 metres from the finish in 2013 when race officials halted the runners due to the bombings at the finish line. Cathy qualified and ran in the New York City Marathon in November of 2018. On this day Cathy, finished 28th of 172 runners in her age group, and was second amongst the Canadian runners.
Woven throughout the 20-plus marathon races, MacLean has completed over 20 half marathons and too many to count 5 and 10 km races. Since 2011, she has been a regular participant at the Canada Army Run event held in Ottawa each September.
As an aside from her running accomplishments, for the past five years Cathy has participated in the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame Polar Bear Dip fundraiser event.
There are many great hockey players native to Glengarry, but those whose talents have earned them a spot on a NHL, AHL, OHL, Canadian junior, and European elite team rosters are deserving of special recognition. Such is the hockey journey of Williamstown’s Kent MacDonell.
Kent is another Williamstown resident who grew up on the banks of the Raisin River and learned to skate on it in the winter and fish on it in the summer. Kent played with the Char-Lan Minor Hockey Association from novice through to minor bantam and was fortunate to be coached by his father, Bruce. He credits much of his early success to the many good local hockey players he played alongside.
MacDonell joined the Char-Lan junior ‘B’ Rebels at just 15 years of age, playing the 1993-94 season. The following year the Cornwall Colts picked him up to play in their 1995-96 season. That season Kent, playing the right-wing position, collected 33 points in 35 games. The Colts advanced to the Fred Page Cup final, losing in the final game to Dartmouth.
At just 17 years of age, Kent entered the major junior A draft and went in the second round to Guelph Storm, in 1996. In his second year playing with the Storm, the team advanced to the Memorial Cup, only to lose in the final game to Portland in overtime. Kent experienced great success while playing in Guelph. He captained the team in 1999. That same year he was named the team MVP and selected to the OHL first team all-star roster. Including playoffs, MacDonell played 287 games and accumulated 227 points, which speaks to his stellar contribution while in the OHL.
A definite highlight of Kent’s hockey career was his selection to represent Canada at the World U20 Juniors in 1999, a tournament held in Winnipeg. He finished the event with a plus-2 rating, notching a goal and an assist in seven games. The team advanced to the final before losing in a heartbreaking loss to Russia in overtime.
Kent was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997 and returned to the draft again in 1999, this time drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. He signed his first professional contract in 2000. He made short stops playing in the East Coast League, before he signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets. MacDonell played with their affiliate in the American Hockey League in Syracuse. He was called up to play with the Columbus Blue Jackets and tallied 3 points in 32 games.
The 2004-05 season saw the infamous NHL lockout, and Kent made the decision to play professionally in Europe. Here began an illustrious 10-year journey playing on division one teams in Norway, Germany, and Finland, but the majority of these hockey years were spent playing in the Swedish League.
Kent retired from professional hockey in 2017, and he returned from Europe to establish his home in Caledon Hills with his wife Julie and daughter Logan. Along with other business interests, MacDonell presently runs Prospect Hockey, a hockey school where he focuses on developing the aspects of the game that served him well during his years of play, specifically the importance of strong communication, team effort, and individual work ethic.
Each year, thanks to support from the Hill family, the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame recognizes a contingent of graduating high school athletes for their excellence in their sport (or multiple sports). The teens are welcomed during the induction ceremony, which this year is taking place August 21 in Williamstown, seated at a long table in front of the hundreds of attendees to the county’s biggest sports celebration.
The 2019 ceremony is the 41st annual for the Hall, which will officially induct Tina Cairncross, the late Hugh Michael MacDonald, the late Campbell “Geeses” MacGillivray, Cathy MacLean, and Kent McDonell.
Here are the young athletes recognized at the youth table, along with their respective sports highlights.
Kurt Alexander (Char-Lan)
Winning two SD&G championships with high school teams
Being a part of the Char-Lan Rebels major midge rep. hockey team last season as they won UCMHL championship and skated to a record of 26 wins and only 3 losses
Graduating in June as an Ontario scholar, while playing on multiple school sports teams
Olivianne Devine (le Relais)
Attending OFSAA twice, getting silver and gold medals in soccer
Playing in the JWHL’s (hockey league) all-star game
Being awarded Student Athlete of the Year two times
Aaron Keurentjes (GDHS)
Grade 10 varsity football finalist
two-time SD&G cross-country running senior boys and overall school team champions
OFSAA soccer gold
Ethan MacDonald (Char-Lan)
Winning at EOSSAA and at East Regionals for midget pole vault and placing in the top 15 at OFSSA
assistant captain of the Char-Lan major midget rep ‘B’ Rebels Upper Canada Minor Hockey League regular-season and playoff champions
member of the EOSSA championship Char-Lan junior boys soccer team
Lochlan MacDonald (GDHS)
OFSSA gold medal for senior boys soccer
senior male Athlete of the Year at GDHS for 2018-19
playing for the Jr. ‘B’ Glens, the team which his grandfather, Gary Shepherd, was a founder, and getting to wear his dad Kennedy’s number 25
Odin Marfurt-Breakenridge (GDHS)
GDHS basketball MVP
track and field MVP
Upper Canada Cup top 10 cross-country runner
Sarah MacGillivray (GDHS)
Athlete of the Year at GDHS and recipient of the Brian Filion Memorial Bursary
EOSSAA basketball 2019
Glengarry Soccer League U16 Best Midfielder
Hamish MacLeod (GDHS)
won OFSSA soccer gold with the Glengarry Gaels
won silver at EOSSA for volleyball
named Male Sportsman of the Year at GDHS
Connor MacMillan (Tagwi)
AIA All Star Bowl 2016-2017, Most Outstanding Lineman Award
playing at Football North
making it to the Eastern Conference final as a member of the OFC Cornwall Wildcats football team
Shayla MacNaughton (GDHS)
Going undefeated in the Intermediate Women’s Heavyweight Events at the Glengarry Highland Games
EOSSAA basketball and curling 2018-2019
SD&G gold two years in a row, women’s doubles tennis
Hunter MacPherson (GDHS)
winning a gold medal in soccer at OFSAA (school team was undefeated during the 2019 season)
winning the Eastern Ontario Hockey (HEO) championship with the U18 Cornwall Colts ‘AAA’ hockey team in 2017
winning a silver medal in volleyball at EOSAA in 2019
Lachlan McDonell (Char-Lan)
winning EOSSAA soccer in grade 10
winning SD&G hockey in grade 12
winning hockey league championship in 2019for the Char-Lan Rebels
Rebecca Oeggerli (Char-Lan)
Top Female Athlete of the Year (2018-2019)
playing as a call-up in grade 10 for the senior girls EOSSAA soccer team
Brian Filion Sports Award in grades 8 and 12
Jeremy Quesnel (le Relais)
being drafted into the CCHL at 15 years old
named to OHL Gold Cup in 2017
winning the 2018 Franco hockey tournament with le Relais
Madison Ruffo (Holy Trinity)
winning ‘The Falcon’ award as TopStudent-Athlete during the 15th Annual Holy Trinity CSS Athletic Awards Banquet. The winner of this award is a student athlete who: “Exemplifies the embodiment of a student-athlete by demonstrating the ability to combine the rigours of academic excellence and integrity with outstanding athletic prowess.”
competing in the ‘AA’ EOSSAA soccer final in 2019.
winning hockey and soccer Most Valuable Player awards in 2019