Marie McNeil and Evelyn McCall, accompanied by her son and Rob’s brother, Steven with SCNS Chair, Ross Ashbourne.
Marie McNeil Bowness (Bedford) & Robert McCall, (1958 – 1991)
(as of 7 June 2017)
They both started out as single skaters. However, may I say “kudos” to the decision made to pair these two wonderful athletes as a Dance team in the early 1970’s. It goes to show that you can never know the ultimate outcome when an opportunity presents itself.
Their competitive Dance success started in 1972 when they became the NS provincial Junior Dance champions. In 1975, Marie & Rob won a silver medal in Novice Dance at their 1st national competition. This was followed by a 7th position placement in Junior Dance at the Canadian Championships in 1976.
1977 was a busy year in that Marie & Rob won the national Junior Dance title as well as a bronze medal in their 1st international competition – the World Junior Dance Championships in France. Bronze medals in Senior Dance were garnered at the 1978 & 1979 Canadian Championships. A further move up the ladder was witnessed in 1980 when this time they won a Silver medal in Senior Dance at Canadians as well as a 13th placement in Senior Dance at Worlds.
So-o-o, the “piece de resistance” is on its way. In 1981 Canadians was hosted by Halifax and, in fact, I remember it well as this was the first time I volunteered at a major skating event. Yes, they did it! Marie McNeil & Robert McCall won the Gold medal in Senior Dance in front of a home crowd at the Halifax Metro Centre – now Scotiabank Place.
Marie retired after Canadians in 1981 and became a professional coach. She later became, & still, is a most valuable and very busy ISU Technical Specialist in the discipline of Dance.
Rob continued his skating career with partner, Tracy Wilson from British Columbia, winning Canada’s 1st Olympic medal in Ice Dance – a bronze in Calgary, 1988.
Rob was inducted into the NS Sport Hall of Fame in 1993 and 3 years later in 1996, Marie was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.
SCNS Chair Ross Ashbourne with Katherine Short, accepting on Louise’s behalf
Louise Loriaux Mathers (1952-2017)
(as of 6 June 2017)
Nova Scotia was very fortunate indeed when, in the late 1970’s, she decided to coach in Nova Scotia – predominately in the Dartmouth and Bedford clubs.
Luckily for us, she fell in love with a local boy and the rest, as they say, was history. Even thinking of a possible return to Ontario was no longer a viable option.
She was a Senior Women’s National Competitor training under such well-known coaches as Donald Jackson, Ozzie Colson and Ellen Burka.
She achieved her Canadian triple gold test designation as well as both her U.S. & ISU double gold test levels in figures & free skate. Following her retirement from competitive life and prior to her arrival in NS, she performed in various ice shows such as Ice Follies and Holiday on Ice.
Louise Loriaux Mathers taught in Nova Scotia for more than 35 years. Her obvious professionalism and dedication was continually witnessed whether she was teaching a CanSkate session, an Adult session or private lessons to those skaters who were working on Preliminary tests or diligently preparing for national competitions.
This level 3 coach inspired skaters of all ages from the moment they stepped on the ice to winning national medals. She set the bar high and then provided the means to attain those goals.
Her constant professionalism and values have not only influenced her skaters but many of our current coaches and officials as well.
Louise was the recipient of the Nova Scotia Section Coach of the year on three different occasions.
To quote one of her skaters: “Louise had a way of making every skater feel special, giving each and every one of them a piece of her heart. She taught all of her skaters perseverance, determination, discipline, hard work, passion & beauty, how to be gracious in defeat or victory and most importantly how to take life and embrace every moment.”
Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, she courageously continued to coach. Sadly, she lost her battle with this debilitating disease in mid-January. She would have been 65 years of age tomorrow (Sunday, 11 June).
SCNS Chair Ross Ashbourne with Jane MacLellan.
Jane MacLellan (Halifax)
(as of 6 June 2017)
Our next honoree, like many of our others today, became involved in our sport as a skater herself. In fact, she skated with a # of tonight’s inductees.
Jane’s involvement with our sport continued as her 3 daughters, Kathryn, Heather & Janet also “took up our sport”.
As with many of our volunteers, Jane became involved at the club level when she became the Publicity Chair for the Halifax Skating Club in the 70’s eventually moving to become its President.
This dynamic individual became President of Sport Nova Scotia in 1974.
She moved onto the Section level – once again volunteering in the Publicity area, followed by a # of years as the Skater Development Chair and ultimately as the Section Chair from 1984 – 88.
In 1987 when the Canada Winter Games were held in Sydney, I witnessed Jane as a true motivator for our athletes as evidenced through her “nothing is impossible” attitude & demeanor and indeed resulted in Nova Scotia skaters positioning on the podium.
In 1989, Jane received the Sport Nova Scotia Executive of the Year award.
However, most of you know Jane as the undisputed leader in our goal to successfully host the 1990 World Figure Skating Championships. Her persuasive encouragement resulted in creating a Local Organizing Committee who were determined that this endeavour, once granted the “nod” to host by the CFSA (Canadian Figure Skating Association) – Skate Canada’s previous name – would be the best possible under her leadership as Chair.
Many of you may not be aware that the “seed” to host 1990 World’s was planted by Peter Newman at the 1983 Skate Canada Championships.
As a result of the monumental success of 1990 World’s, she has received a plethora of Awards including:
- Skate Canada’s Award of Excellence in June 1990
- The Queen Elizabeth II Medal
- The Jubilee medal
- Been declared an Ambassador of the Province of Nova Scotia
I note that many of you attending this inaugural Hall of Fame event were volunteers at this extremely successful event. This was the last event of this magnitude that was organized totally by local volunteers without any involvement from Skate Canada. Its financial success allowed the creation of the World Legacy Committee / Fund, with Jane as Chair, and has benefitted so many of our athletes and officials for more than 25 years – truly a wonderful legacy indeed.
Jim Gavin with SCNS Chair, Ross Ashbourne
(as of 4 June 2017)
Jim Gavin was our very own “music man”.
He was our lovable Technical leader ensuring that our Nova Scotia skaters experienced the best possible program sound quality on the ice.
Jim was a member of Skate Canada Nova Scotia’s Board of Directors as its very valuable Music & Equipment Chair from 1997 – 2004.
He led not only as skating’s local music technician, but also influenced and helped many others at a plethora of national & international events for well over a decade.
He also served as Skate Canada’s Music Technicians Chair for a # of years.
Some of the local (held in Halifax) national & international events at which he volunteered include:
- 1981 Canadians in Halifax
- 1987 Skate Canada
- 1988 Champions on Ice
- 1990 World Figure Skating Championships
- 1997 Canadian Precision Skating Championships
- 1997 Skate Canada
- 1999 Four Continents
- 2004 Skate Canada
- 2007 Canadians
- 2011 Canada Games
As a result of his knowledgeable involvement, he has been the recipient of a # of awards including:
- Sport Nova Scotia awards in 1985 & 1999 (Volunteer of the Year)
- Skate Canada Sections Award in 1991
- Skate Canada Volunteer Award of Excellence in 1999
We are very pleased to welcome Ross Phelps from Ontario and Harvey Vautour from New Brunswick, who along with our own David MacPhee have worked and volunteered together with Jim at many local, national & international events
As his daughter, Janice, has mentioned to us & I quote:
He enjoyed playing music as much on a Saturday morning club session as he did at World Championships!”
Officials (all Judges):
Edmund Boyd with Ross Ashbourne
(as of 9 June 2017)
Our next inductee, Edmund Boyd, celebrated his 92nd birthday in October of last year. Quite an accomplishment in itself!
He started skating when he was 6 or 7 years old on the “ponds”.
At 22 years of age, Edmund’s doctor recommended that he “do something” to relieve tension. Philip Fraser from Halifax, who was coaching in the United States suggested he “take up skating” and that’s exactly what he decided to do!
In 1948, he went to Schmacher where he met Maxinne Armstrong who also became Lynne Donahoe’s coach.
He became a member of the Halifax SC in 1952 at the age of 27 and held the office of President of the Halifax Skating Club in both 1958 & 59.
Edmund attained his Bronze Figures and Dance.
In 1972, he and his partner, Shirley Beckman, competed in Veteran’s Dance at Sectionals.
In 1975 at the age of 50, he volunteered as an amateur coach at the Halifax Skating Club.
For many years Edmund could be found in various rinks volunteering many hours as an official at test days and various competitions such as Areas and Sectionals.
In 1978, he received the Sport Nova Scotia Award. Edmund also received his 25-year volunteer pin in 1987.
Edmund was a French professor at Dalhousie University for 30 years.
Ross Ashbourne with Sue Burke
(as of 3 June 2017)
Sue began her involvement in the sport of figure skating at an early age in Timmons, Ontario.
She eventually moved to Greenwood with her husband, Sonny, and children, Christopher & Kelly. Following membership in the Wolfville Skating Club, she then became a founding member & the 1st President of the Greenwood Skating Club. It wasn’t long before she was the Valley Area Co-ordinator where, among other activities, she introduced both skaters & judges to development programs.
As a member of the Nova Scotia Section Board of Directors, she served as Awards Chair, Skater Development Chair & was the Section’s 1st Precision Chair. She also found herself sitting on both the Section’s Competitions & Judges Committees. She became Section Chair in 1978.
Sue evaluated tests at the Junior Silver Free Skate & Dance levels as well as the Bronze/Adult Artistic level and judged at the Novice competitive level.
However, she developed a wonderful aptitude and true love for the discipline of Precision skating, now know as Synchronized skating. Sue was a Gold level test Evaluator and Canadian Competitive level Synchronized Skating judge and her enthusiasm in this area greatly influenced its growth throughout Nova Scotia.
She was the recipient of the Sport Nova Scotia Award in 1982 and the Elizabeth Swan Award in 2000.
Shirley Beckman with Ross Ashbourne
(as of 6 June 2017)
Many of you in attendance today will remember our next honoree when she was presented with her 50-year volunteer pin from Skate Canada in 2008. No other Nova Scotia official can claim this unique accomplishment. She retired from judging shortly after this award was presented.
She was a Gold level evaluator in all disciplines as well as a Junior Singles, Junior Pairs and Senior Dance competitive judge.
Other volunteer areas include:
- Central Area Judges’ Chair in the mid-1970’s
- Team Leader, 1975 Canada Winter Games
- Assistant Technical Chair for the 1981 Canadian Championships in Hfx
- And she became a Master Judges’ Clinic Conductor in 1991
You won’t be surprised when we mention that Dance is Shirley’s special love. In fact, she remembers a live orchestra playing compulsory dances at the Cricket Club in Toronto.
In 1972, she competed in Veteran’s Dance with partner, Edmund Boyd.
- A criteria of Veteran’s Dance: that their combined ages totalled 85.
An interesting fact: On one occasion when she judged at an Eastern Ontario Sectionals, they rented a red thunderbird for her.
Another passion for Shirley is musical theatre as she has been a member of the Gilbert & Sullivan Society for many years.
Shirley has received a number of other awards including:
- Her Skate Canada 25 year pin in 1987
- 2 Sport Nova Scotia Awards – the 1st one in 1978 and the 2nd in 1998
- Skate Canada Nova Scotia Officials Award in 1999 and again in 2004
SCNS Chair Ross Ashbourne with David Youle
(as of 4 June 2017)
This inductees in the Officials’ category turned 94 in 2016.
David Youle skated in Ottawa @ the Minto SC from 1930–34 & again from 1939–42 – initially on double runner skates that you strapped on.
Two of his coaches were Otto Gold (Barbara Ann Scott’s 1st coach) & Gustave Lussi (who coached Dick Button, Donald Jackson, Barbara Ann Scott & Dorothy Hamill).
David earned his Silver Figures levelamillH & competed in the Pairs category @ Junior Canadians in 1941 & 1942 after which he joined the Air Force.
In 1959 David came to Halifax & became a recreational skater @ the Halifax Skating Club.
He was the Nova Scotia 1968 Veteran Dance Champion.
David started judging in 1960 and continued to judge until 1987.
David judged free skate, figures & dance tests & was very proud of the fact that Skate Canada sent him as a single panel judge to Churchill Falls in 1984 – a highly trusted role.
David received his Skate Canada volunteer 25-year pin in 1987
He was a member of the Halifax SC Board of Directors in 1966 becoming its President in 1971.
In 1969, David was the 1st Chair of the NS Section. The meeting at which he became Chair was held in Amherst.
- I’m sure that many of you don’t know that prior to this point in time, NS was considered part of the New Brunswick Section.
David was on the Section Board for quite a few years including 2 terms as the Section Public Relations Chair – in 1972 and again in 1985.
- In 1984, he received the Volunteer of the Year Award from David Dore in Ottawa & also in 1984, the NS Section presented an Outstanding Contribution to Figure Skating Award to David.
He was the oldest volunteer at the 2011 Canada Winter Games held in Nova Scotia.
David continued to skate until he turned 92. His last skate was with his 2 step great-grand children.
He has been married to his wife, Kay for 62 years – 63 years this coming July with whom he has 2 sons – Ian & Gordon.
Jean Milsom with Ross Ashbourne, SCNS Chair
(as of 4 June 2017)
Jean Milsom was a member of the Halifax SC & skated at the Old Arena, located at the corner of Pepperell & Cherry Streets, in the early 1940’s. She also skated at the original Dalhousie & Saint Mary’s University arenas.
As most of you are aware, Barbara Ann Scott won the Figure Skating Gold medal at the 1948 Olympic Championships. The following year, 1949, North Sydney happened to invite Barbara Ann to visit & perform in their area. Members of the Halifax SC were asked to perform with her and so in 1949, Jean Milsom, who was a member of this group, joined Barbara Ann on this Cape Breton arena ice surface.
In the summer of 1948, Jean, Mary Beazley & Edmund Boyd went to Schmacher, ON. Jean & Mary went for 2 weeks; Edmund went for the entire summer.
As a skater, Jean attained her Bronze Figures and Bronze Dance tests. There weren’t as many test categories & levels as there are today.
A special guest from Toronto with Jean this evening is Sally Roper Lomas who’s Mom was instrumental in encouraging Jean to take up skating.
Jean began her judging career in 1950. One of the people with whom she judged was Percy Take whose daughter was the runner-up to Barbara Ann Scott). She retired from judging in 1990 – 40 years later.
Jean was a member of the Halifax Skating Club’s Board of Directors in 3 different decades – the 60’s (1968), the 70’s (1971) & the 90’s (1996).
She was the Skate Canada NS Section Judges Chair in 1972 as well as the Awards Chair for the 1981 Canadian Figure Skating Championships in Halifax.
Similar to our local judges today, Jean & her comrades had to travel to Toronto or Montreal to attend judges’ seminars and trial judge at various test days and competitions so that they could increase their judging qualifications.
Jean also received her 25-year pin in 1987.
Jean celebrated her 91st birthday in 2016.
Mary Beazley (Halifax)
- Mary volunteered for more than 30 years.
- Awarded posthumously
More information can be obtained by contacting email@example.com or 902-425-5450