Chilliwack Sports Hall of Fame welcomes Class of 2018

Ex-NHLer Don Martineau, badminton champ Gord McConnell and the 1963 Fraser Vale Chiefs are inductees

Chilliwack’s first ever National Hockey Leaguer, a national and international badminton champ and Chilliwack’s first ever provincial hockey champions.

The Chilliwack Sports Hall of Fame inducts its Class of 2018 Nov. 22 at the Chilliwack Sports Dinner.

Don Martineau is one of two individual athletes heading into the Hall, and is the CSHOF’s first posthumous induction.

Martineau, who passed away in 2006 at the age of 53, was a fourth round pick of the NHL’s Atlanta Flames in 1972 and made his big-league debut the following fall. A right winger, Martineau played four games with Atlanta in 1973-74. He played 76 with the Minnesota North Stars in 1974-75 and logged 10 with the Detroit Red Wings between 1975-77.

He had six goals, 16 points and 63 penalty minutes in 90 career games.

“Don was a trailblazer who proved that a hockey player from Chilliwack could compete at the highest level of the game,” said CSHOF spokesperson Barry Douglas. “He paved the way for players who came after him, like Dave Archibald, and we are honoured to induct Don into the CSHOF.”

He will be represented at the induction ceremony by his brother, Cal Siemens, and his mother, Anne Siemens, who is 91 years old.

The second athlete going into the CSHOF this fall is badminton great Gord McConnell.

Hitting his stride in the 1980s, McConnell vaccuumed up championships at the provincial, national and international level.

In 1988 he competed at the U.S. Open Senior Badminton Championships in California, coming home with gold and silver.

Still going strong as recently as 2013, McConnell won double gold at the Canadian Masters Championships in Richmond.

His name is all over the Badminton Canada list of past masters champs.

The Canadian singles winner in 2004 (in the 60+ division), McConnell has collected 18 gold medals in doubles competition since he turned 55.

“Few local athletes have a resume as impressive as Gord’s” Douglas said. “He exemplifies what it means to be a Hall of Famer, competing against the best of the best and helping to put Chilliwack on the provincial, national and international sporting map.”

The CSHOF is very excited to induct a team this fall.

The 1962-63 Fraser Vale Chiefs won B.C.’s junior B championship, defeating Quesnel in the final. The win made them the first ever Chilliwack team to win a provincial hockey title. Led by captain Chester Stachara, the roster consisted almost entirely of local skaters.

Orv Litchfield coached the team with help from manager Ralph Dixon and trainer Johnny Bolko.

Members of the team were Kevin McDowell, Gary Shaw, Frank Henry, Cary Weiss, Ron Abrams, Bob Davies, Gary Jennings, Kurt Kuiper, Johnny Englebrecht, Gary Dixon, Art Klassen, Doug Ewing, Rob Dillabough, Jack Nelson, Blair Kellington and Billy Hannah.

“Like Don Martineau, this was a pioneering group of players,” Doug- las said. “Members of this team were in Chilliwack for a reunion in September, 2016 and they are a great group.

“Any time we induct a team it is a special occasion and these guys are over-the-moon excited to be inducted.”

The inductees will be recognized at the Chilliwack Sports Dinner, which takes place Nov. 22 at the Tzeachten Hall.

The night will also feature keynote speaker Theoren Fleury, a former National Hockey League star with an inspiring message of hope and perseverence.

Get tickets online at eventbrite.ca (search Theoren Fleury) or follow the link on the CSHOF Facebook page.

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