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ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Dave Dorman, Track & Field
Bill Smith must have at least smiled to himself when he heard first Dave Dorman and then Allen Salter be named Ottawa’s athlete of the year at the Associated Canadian Travellers Sportsman’s Dinners in 1961 and 1962 respectively.
Smith was a physical education teacher at Smiths Falls Collegiate and had both athletes under his wing.
One of those diamonds in the rough, Dorman listed his high school track and field accomplishments — he still holds EOSSA discus and long jump records —and his 6 ft. 3 1/4 ins. Canadian schoolboy high jump record leap in 1961 in Montreal and said: “The one who made all this possible was a very dedicated PE teacher called Bill Smith”.
Said Salter: “Weightlifting had been suggested by my former high school physical education teacher, Bill Smith, in Smiths Falls (Salter now lives in Carp) as a sport that was included in the Olympics, was contested by a body weight classification and required a minimal amount of equipment. All of which suited my objectives very well.”
The Smiths Falls athletes were eligible under ACT regulations which permitted selectors to name sports candidates from the Eastern Ontario-Western Quebec territory, country the ACT salesmen cover. When Ottawa joined the 1975 ACT territory was reduced to the National Capital Region.
Dorman first caught up with his mountain to climb — the decathlon — and learned firsthand about the sport’s No. 1 problem of the time — no coaching expert or otherwise and particularly for the hinterlands — at the St. Lambert track club under the veteran Ian Hume.
“You wouldn’t believe me how I learned to pole vault,” he said without elaborating. His next step was university, first McMaster and then Royal Military College, and neither much help to track and field athletes, particularly decathletes in the making.
He did collect college track and field trophies but more on natural ability than through serious track and field training, but he turned his thinking around in 1966 deciding to do some serious work building toward the decathlon which he intended to challenge upon graduation “when I would have the resources to do so.”
He designed a training program “the best way he knew how,” and RMC handled the other which was to have him posted to Winnipeg, the 1967 site for the Pan-American Games and Canadian championships.
To everyone’s surprise he won the Canadian crown in his first crack with a score of 6,645 and his reward was a berth on the Canadian team for the Pan-Ams. There he startled everyone raising his score almost 400 points to 7,023., for the ten parts of the competition. His score, under the old decathlon points table, didn’t get him a medal, he was fourth, but he became only the third Canadian to break the 7,000-point barrier, Gerry Moro and Bill Gairdner, — the other two.
His performance included seven personal bests — 100 metres, long jump, shot put, javelin 400 metres, 110 metres hurdles and pole vault. And his score when converted to the new scoring drops only 60 points to 6,963., good for ninth place in 1985 national track and field ratings.
The only high spot in the next 12 months was the successful defence of his 1967 title. The low came after a trip to Mexico where he saw Bill Toomey claim the world’s outstanding athlete competition. He was stricken with myasthenia gravis, a muscle-nerve disease that is something of a medical mystery still. That meant starting over again, and the Dorman’s appear to have recovered well.
Dorman was awarded an Ontario government Bicentennial Medal for his work in track and field and assisting other organizations. He was also named to the Smiths Falls Hall of Fame in 1984.
And, said Dorman, speaking as co-ordinator of the Cornwall Legion Cougars track and field club; “I seem to be in for the long haul and there certainly are enough good times coming out of the sport to keep me interested.”
Salter began his weightlifting career at 20 years of age in 1957 and in the next 12 years lifted his way around the better part of the globe and between whistle stops managed to win eight Canadian crowns over three weight classes: bantamweight (123 pounds, 56 kg) featherweight (132 pounds, 60 kg); and lightweight (148 pounds, 65 kg).
His competitive global stops were at Tokyo, Japan, for the Olympics; Perth, Australia, and Kingston, Jamaica, for the Commonwealth Games and Teheran, Iran and Budapest, Hungary, for the world championships. He came away from the Commonwealth competitions with silver (second) and bronze (third) medals.
He had a fourth place finish as a featherweight competitor at Teheran, but he claims that “was more by good luck than good management.” He had a three-lift total of 726 pounds “about what I should have done” and he was about 125 to 150 pounds off the lead.
There were four top-flight European lifters in front of him still to finish, but along the line they all fouled out.
His 726 at Teheran composed of a press of 220 pounds, a snatch of 220 pounds and a clean and jerk of 286. (The press, very similar to the snatch was dropped between the Munich Games and Montreal in 1976).
He considers his best one lift, a clean and jerk of 280 pounds as a bantamweight, which he turned at Perth, here in Ottawa and in Montreal. The lift was 28 pounds off the world record at the time.
Salter still counts his recognition as athlete of the year and winner of the Tom Foley Memorial Trophy “a thrill of a lifetime because of the spirit of the award and the high calibre of the other athletes being honoured in their respective sports that year. It is an award not forgotten and remembered with great pleasure. The ACT dinners and awards are remembered by me as a very special occasions when a pat on the back was given me by my peers and my community. Thanks to the ACT for those fond memories.”
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR
Henri Laperrière, hockey, baseball
No matter what Henri Laperrière has accomplished on behalf of amateur sports in this region, he’ll be best remembered for a never-to-be-forgotten acceptance speech following his being named winner of the ACT special award for 1981.
“You ACT. You good guys!” blurted out the veteran LeDroit reporter and editor, two of the many hats that he worn.
And his enthusiasm for baseball ranks with the honesty expressed by his acceptance speech.
But what other type of person would help reorganize a league after the war and provide the circuit with a small pocket newspaper and pay it all the bills himself.
Laperrière did both with Western Quebec’s Papineau circuit, a 12-club league that took in such places as Brownsburg and Oka.
“They liked the newspaper, too.”
Laperrière, he learned scoring under Sid Hooper too — also had a hand in running the Senior Baseball League that operated out of Lansdowne in the early years after the Second World War. And looking to find something for the 18-and-under baseballers, he dug up Connie Mack Baseball and officially registered with their Michigan headquarters.
He’s also been involved with baseball tryout camps and they picked Paul Lajoie. He finished one season but returned home early in the next season because “he was newly married and he missed his wife.”
To his complete surprise, Henri got a scouting fee from one team and still has the letter.
As has been indicated Laperrière is a man of many hats including that of cartoonist, civil servant and tourist guide. He’s also writing his autobiography. “And,” he says, “it will be bilingual”.
He still leads a full life and spends much of his time visiting other senior citizens and shut-ins. In earlier days, they would be meeting at the ballpark. Dupuis Park, for one.
That’s where he saw Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in one of their barn-storming safaris. “Buck Boucher caught the fly that ended the game,” recalled Laperrière.
“It was 1928. The last game in the park.”
Badminton — Jim Millen
Basketball — Clark Goldie
Bowling — Emile Cote
Equestrian — Mrs. Frank Ryan
Figure skating — Marilyn Crawford, Blair Armitage
Football — Ricky Miles
Golf — Dorothy O’Reilly
Hockey — Terry Slater
Lacrosse — Red Charron
Paddling — John Guigue
Rowing — Tony Biernacki
Softball — Doug Berry
Soccer — Ross Lester
Skiing — Vicki Rutledge
Trap and skeet — Barney Hartman
Tennis — Rosemarie Fletcher, Terry Leach
Track and Field — Dave Dorman
Weightlifting — Allen Salter
Skeet king Barney Hartman, athlete of the year in 1959, returned to the 1961 and 1962 dinners with world records each time… Probably the outstanding achievement was the 200 x 200 with four guns in the Champion of Champions shoot in Montreal… Leading the hockey list was Renfrew native Terry Slater, who would be in the middle of a number of storms involving the soon-to-be-born World Hockey Association… Selectors settled for a rare tie in tennis and they named both Terry Leach and Rosemarie Fletcher… Football’s man of the year was Fisher Park graduate Ricky Miles… His only real problem was a lack of size… Sculler Tony Biernacki continued to keep the Ottawa Rowing Club flame alive against all odds including the Canadian Rowing Association… The ORC is 1 18 years Old this year, the oldest rowing club still active… Sir John A. Macdonald was the first president.