50 years in the mak­ing

P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame cel­e­brat­ing its golden an­niver­sary

Journal Pioneer - - SPORTS -

The P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame and Mu­seum Inc. is cel­e­brat­ing its 50th an­niver­sary this year. There are 186 mem­bers in the hall that has al­ways been lo­cated in Summerside af­ter its in­cep­tion in 1968. Each year new in­ductees are voted into the shrine that in­cludes ath­letes, builders and teams. The orig­i­nal seven mem­bers were named on July 14, 1968, as part of the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame’s Ban­quet of Cham­pi­ons and In­duc­tion Cer­e­monies, in con­junc­tion with the Summerside Lob­ster Car­ni­val’s celebrity din­ner.

The first mem­bers in­ducted were: Al­fred Groom (track and field), Vern Han­dra­han (base­ball), Forbes Kennedy (hockey), Davis Lid­stone (base­ball/ coach), Nor­man Macdon­ald

(sports jour­nal­ist), Dr. Archie MacMurdo (base­ball/um­pire/ of­fi­cial) and Joe O’Brien (har­ness rac­ing).

The hall’s first home was at Summerside High School in 1968, then the Summerside Town Hall be­fore mov­ing to the Eptek Cen­tre in 1978 and the Wy­att Cen­tre in 1999. In 2014 the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame (PEISHOF) re­lo­cated to the main floor at Credit Union

Place where it is found to­day. The hall has served two pur­poses. The first is to rec­og­nize and pay trib­ute to ath­letes, builders and teams that have brought spe­cial hon­our to the prov­ince and sec­ond to col­lect ar­ti­facts, pho­to­graphs and other mem­o­ra­bilia re­lat­ing to, and il­lus­trat­ing the his­tory of sport in Prince Ed­ward Is­land and display them to be en­joyed by all who visit.

El­i­gi­ble nom­i­nees are those who have brought dis­tinc­tion to P.E.I. in any field of sport, and those who have made a ma­jor con­tri­bu­tion to the de­vel­op­ment of sports in the prov­ince.

The PEISHOF is man­aged by a board of di­rec­tors ap­pointed by the ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil of the prov­ince of Prince Ed­ward Is­land.

To­day a six-mem­ber com­mit­tee is se­lected to over­see the vot­ing on nom­i­nees each year (two mem­bers in each of Kings, Queens and Prince coun­ties). The fi­nal stamp of ap­proval is

made by the board of di­rec­tors prior to the nam­ing of the new in­ductees.

Each year an in­duc­tion cer­e­mony is held to in­tro­duce and hon­our the new­est in­ductees. The din­ner has ro­tated be­tween Summerside and Char­lot­te­town in re­cent years.

The hall con­tin­ues to be im­por­tant in writ­ing the story of sport and honour­ing the best in the prov­ince, which has be­come an im­por­tant part of the cul­ture dur­ing the past 145 years since Prince Ed­ward Is­land be­came a prov­ince of Canada.

Forbes Kennedy, left, and Joe O’Brien were two of the first in­ductees into the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame in 1968.

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