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ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Bob Stimpson, Golf
Bob Stimpson’s biggest golf thrill was a loss that came in the 1957 Canadian Amateur championships played at the Winnipeg St. Charles Club when he was beaten on the 18th hole to Irish international Joe Carr. “And I was three under par,” added the ACT athlete for 1963.
The former Hunt Club member and a Winnipeg native now working in Toronto has won his share as well. But he’s never had a hole in one or any other memorable shot.
He was the low Canadian qualifier when the Canadian Amateur was held at the Hunt Club in 1960. A Mexican, here for the America’s Cup matches against the U.S. and Canada that led off the golf festivities, was No. 1 on the leader board.
Like his good friend, Andy Nezan of the Rivermead who won the ACT honour in 1964, Stimpson caught up with golf as a caddy in 1940. He moved through the ranks to the amateur golf field.
He has represented two provinces, Manitoba and Quebec in the Willingdon Cup team championship run in conjunction with the Amateur. Today the team members counting their first two rounds of the Amateur twice.
His best showing in the Amateur came when he reached the semi-finals in one of the last years the championship was decided by match play. The 1963 season was his biggest in the Ottawa area, a berth on the Quebec Willingdon Cup only one honour. He also posted a grand slam, PQGA-Ottawa district style as he dominated the sport.
He won both the Alexander of Tunis and the Duke of Kent titles, the coveted PQGA early-season honours. He also swept the city and district match play and city and district medal (54 holes), and allowed that it was an exciting time.
Stimpson also tossed a bouquet to the Associated Canadian Travellers saying they all deserve feathers in their caps for nursing the dinner through 33 years. He said he was also delighted with the ever increasing numbers on the banquet lists.
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR
Hugh Riopelle, Sr., hockey, baseball, softball
Bruce Hamilton knows a bargain when he sees it.
That’s why, he said, he took Hugh Riopelle, Sr.’s Montagnard Club as a model for his Ottawa-Nepean Sports Club.
And the sports club has been fabulously successful in three short years. The membership is in the 1,000 range and the club’s purpose to play Sugar Daddy to the area’s amateur sports bodies is on schedule.
Turning back to 1963 and “Mr. Rip’s” special award as sportsman of the year for his efforts on behalf of the city’s young people, he allowed he was “quite surprised”. They told me there was no one more deserving, so I had to go along with them.”
Mr. Rip had the very difficult decision of deciding or not to keep operating the Montagnard Club back in 1980. He was unable to find a successor willing to devote the time and interest to run the operation efficiently. So he felt he had no alternative but to retire the charter and sell the equipment.
“I believe it kept me young,” said the retired police mechanic, who counted 86 candles on his birthday cake last January.
His decision to disband the club ended his 65-year run as a member, and 50 of that as president. That must be a sports longevity record for the area.
Under his guidance Montagnards fielded teams for men and women in all sports but lacrosse and football. The emphasis was on hockey. The club dressed both junior and senior teams, the juniors a charter member of the old City League. The club’s last big venture was a European tour back in 1965 under ex-National Hockey Leaguer Johnny Wilson.
Badminton — Ralph Wintle
Basketball — Barry Ager
Baseball — Wayne Thomas
Bowling — Nola Ferguson
Curling — Bob Knippelberg
Cricket — Dave Cashen
Figure Skating — Marilyn Crawford, Blair Armitage
Football — Ken Riznek
Golf— Bob Stimpson
Hockey — Bill Inglis
Lacrosse — André Despard
Paddling — Annabelle Delaney
Softball — Gilles Fournier
Soccer — Dick Golle
Sailing — Ward McKim
Snowshoes — Yvette Whissell
Skiing — Don MacLeod
Tennis — Scott Dunlap
Trap and Skeet — Franc Sutcliffe
Track and Field — Judy Dallimore
Versatile athletes are the bane of sports dinner selectors… Whenever they are picked for one sport they invariably turn up a greater achievement under another hat like Wayne Thomas, baseball player of the year in 1963… He parlayed his athletic ability into a scholarship at the University of Wisconsin and jumped to the National Hockey League for stays with Montreal, Toronto and New York Rangers as a goalie… Rideau paddler Annabelle Delaney earned another of those elusive firsts, this one the first female to win a kayak gold medal at the Canadian Canoe Association championships… Don MacLeod, the enthusiastic spark behind a Canadian marathon to stay in line with other skiing nations beat the drums for a marathon established as a Centennial Year project, and the marathon got off the ground in 1967… The endurance test survived a deep freeze and a snowless year on the way to reaching a 20th running last February… Whether the marathon sees 21 races is a $64,000 question.