N.B. Sports Hall of Fame

Six inductees for New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame (04/03/08)

NB 277

March 8, 2004

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Six names will be added to the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame honour roll for 2004, including the hall's first-ever veteran honoree. The names of those elected were announced today by Howie Trainor of Saint John, chairman of the Sports Hall of Fame's board of governors. The dinner and induction ceremony will be held at the Delta Beauséjour Hotel in Moncton on June 5th.

The inductees are Sean Barry, formerly of Saint John, a two-time Canadian champion and member of the Olympic wrestling team in 1980; Betty Bouma of Bathurst, who has played a significant role in the development of figure skating both provincially and nationally; Ed Skiffington, Jr. of Moncton who introduced Canadian football into the provincial interscholastic sports program; the Melissa McClure curling team from Grand Falls who won the world junior championship in 1998; and the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus hockey teams of 1980-81 and 1981-82, winners of consecutive Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships. The veteran inductee is Lou Kiley of Saint John, a standout in Maritime senior hockey with teams in Saint John, Moncton and Amherst during the 1950s and '60s.

With the latest elections membership in the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame now stands at 176.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Background information follows on the six inductees. MEDIA CONTACT: Kathy Meagher, executive director, NB Sports Hall of Fame, 506-453-8930 (work), 506-457-9111 (home),fax 506-459-0481, e-mail kathy.meagher@gnb.ca.

Sean Barry - Wrestling - Athlete

Sean Barry, who successfully combined academics and sport to become a world class free style wrestler, laid the foundation for his wrestling career with his early training in judo under the guidance of Carl Schell.

The Saint John native joins younger brother Mike, who was inducted last year, in the provincial Sports Hall of Fame. He too had followed the same path of judo, study and wrestling.

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In 1975, Sean Barry was named to the national free-style wrestling team in preparation for the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. The following year he won the Ontario and Canadian intercollegiate championships in his weight class, and was selected to represent Canada at the World Cup in Ohio. However, at the trials to select the Canadian team for Montreal, he lost to his brother, and had to settle for an alternate's spot on the Olympic team.

Barry then set his sights on making the Canadian team to the 1980 Games in Moscow. Wrestling at 57 kilograms, he won gold medals at several national and international meets. In 1978 in Cuba, he won his division and was named the outstanding wrestler in the competition. He represented Canada at the World Championships in Mexico City and finished 7th.

The year 1979 proved to be a banner one for Barry. He won the prestigious Ryerson Wrestling Festival and the Eastern American Amateur Athletic Union meet in New York, and then took the gold medal at the Canadian free style championships in Thunder Bay. He and Mike were named co-winners of the outstanding wrestler award at the competition. He represented Canada at the Pan-American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and at the World Championships in San Diego, where he finished 9th.

Canada's decision to boycott the 1980 Olympics was made prior to the trials to determine the make-up of the free-style wrestling team. The Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association went ahead with the competition in recognition of the work the athletes had put into their sport over the years. For Barry, his victory in the 57 kg division was bitter sweet. He did not agree with the decision to boycott the games and was deeply disappointed not to have the chance to fulfill his dream of competing on the world's grandest stage.

Barry retired in 1981, after winning the Canadian open championship and receiving recognition as the outstanding entry in the competition.

Having earned degrees from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, and the University of Western Ontario in London, he now lives in Regina, Saskatchewan with his wife Salina and their three children.

Betty Bouma - Figure Skating - Builder

Like so many volunteers, Betty Bouma's introduction to figure skating began when her oldest son enrolled in a pre-school program organized by the local club in Bathurst. She attended meetings and helped with the ice show. That was in1968, and in the years since she has risen through the executive ranks of local, provincial and national figure skating associations, culminating with her election as President of the Canadian Figure Skating Association (now Skate Canada) in 1998.

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Her impact on the sport has been profound at every level. As a member of the Bathurst Figure Skating Club, she was instrumental in establishing a commitment to on-going leadership development, and stressed the importance of clubs taking an active role in the decision-making process at the provincial and national levels.

As chairman of the New Brunswick Figure Skating Association, Bouma was committed to improved quality of services for all skaters, coaches and official, resulting in the development of the Atlantic Training Centre for New Brunswick's elite skaters and coaches. She was the first New Brunswicker to head the Canadian Figure Skating Association (CFSA) and during her tenure she established an athlete-centred approach, fairness, and transparency to the operation of the association.

She has been a member of the board of directors of the CFSA for 18 years, during which time she has been the chairman or an active member of committees dealing with every aspect of the sport's structure and organization.

In the words of current Skate Canada President Marilyn Chidlow, "her passion for the sport of figure skating and most importantly her recognition for each and every individual athlete have played a significant role in shaping our sport and our organization as you see it today."

Bouma served as Team Leader for the Canadian contingent at several national and international competitions including the World Championships in Lausanne Switzerland in 1997 and the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Her athlete-centered approach to these assignments was appreciated by those in her charge, including former Canadian champion Jennifer Robinson who described Bouma as "providing the foundation that the athlete needs to find their dream." Robinson adds, "Betty has proven time and time again that she loves to help young adults reach their ambitious dreams, with no credit given."

In her capacity as CFSA president, Bouma represented Canada at the International Skating Union (ISU) congress on several occasions. She was instrumental in pushing for the implementation of a new ISU judging system, first introduced by Skate Canada.

As past president of Skate Canada, Bouma continues to advance the sport through her contribution on several committees, and as chairman of the National Athlete Trust and the National Board Restructuring Commission.

Bouma and her husband Hans live in Ste. Therese Sud, N. B.

Edmund Skiffington, Jr. - Football - Builder

As a coach, Ed Skiffington was a man for all seasons. A legend at Moncton High School where he taught physical education and served as director of athletics for nearly 30 years, "Skiff" also coached the football, basketball and track and field teams. His Purple Knights won numerous NB Interscholastic Athletic Association championships.

A native of Sommerville, Massassachuttes, Skiffington arrived at MHS in 1957. He introduced Canadian football to the provincial high school sports program in 1960, and was the driving force behind the organization of the high school football league, serving as chairman and director of the league until his retirement in 1984. Today, 44 years, later the league has grown into two conferences and is played by 17 schools in the AAA and AA divisions. (Large photo.)

Skiffington served as head coach of the Royal Canadian Legion's summer track and field programs from 1958 to 1973. He was also the head coach for the New Brunswick team at the 1969 Canada Summer Games in Halifax, and served as an official at two other Canada Games.

Joyce Douthwright Slipp, a member of the NB Sports Hall of Fame, was coached by Skiffington in high school, and credits him with making her a much better athlete. "He made me train with the boys' team, and pushed me harder than any other coach ever had," she said. Slipp,who was captain of the Canadian women's basketball team at the 1976 Olympics, also credits Skiffington with her decision to pursue a career in sport. "I saw the strong leadership qualities he had and wanted to emulate those."

A certified International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO) official, Skiffington conducted an intensive program in basketball officiating as part of the physical education curriculum at Moncton High School. The program significantly raised the level of officiating both in Moncton and throughout the province. Several of his students became certified officials, and one, NB Sports Hall of Fame member Richard Steeves, officiated at the Olympic Games in Seoul and was assigned the gold medal game at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

Ed Skiffington's greatest contribution has been in the shaping of the lives of the young men and women whom he taught and coached. Many of those under his tutelage went on to successful careers in education, sport, business, and politics. In the words of one former athlete, "he instilled the values of clean, hard, aggressive, but fair play."

His contributions to sport in the province have been recognized by Basketball New Brunswick, Football New Brunswick, the Royal Canadian Legion, and Athletics New Brunswick. He was inducted into the Moncton Sports Wall of Fame as a builder in 1990.

Still active and fit, Coach Skiffington and his wife Lois live in Lower Coverdale, NB.

Melissa McClure Curling Team 1998 - Curling - Team

In the history of New Brunswick curling national championships are few and far between and world championships are even more scarce. Only two teams have ever earned the right to be called World Champions: the Jim Sullivan rink of Fredericton in 1988, and ten years later, Melissa McClure and her "curling cousins" from Grand Falls. Both won world junior titles.

Melissa McClure (skip), Nancy Toner (third), Brigitte McClure (second), Bethany Toner (lead), and coach Lee Toner, are all related and learned to curl at the Grand Falls Curling Club. Julie Webb of Grand Bay-Westfield, who is not related to anyone on the team, was recruited as the alternate in 1998.

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Their journey to the top step on the world podium was steady, but not without its challenges. They won the provincial high school championship in 1993 and 1994, and captured the bronze medal at the 1995 Canada Winter Games in Grande Prairie, Alberta. In 1996 and 1997, the team won the New Brunswick Junior Championship, earning the right to play for the Canadian title. While they did not qualify for the play-offs either year, the team gained valuable experience which served them well in 1998.

Their last year as juniors proved memorable. As full-time students at five different universities, team members had to practice on their own and travel at their own expense for coaching and team practice sessions. Their dedication and hard work paid off when they won their third consecutive New Brunswick championship and a trip to Calgary in search of a national title.

In the round robin, the McClure rink finished 10 and two, and defeated Suzanne Gaudet's team from Prince Edward Island 6-4 to advance to the final against Ontario. With an 8-4 win, they became only the second team from the province to win the Canadian junior women's crown, and the first from New Brunswick to qualify for the world championship. Two team members were selected as all-stars: Melissa McClure as skip on the first team, and Brigitte McClure as second on the second team. Coach Lee Toner was recognized as the 3M Coach of the Year.

After losing the first two games at the world championships in Thunder Bay, the rink won nine straight to qualify for the play-offs. They defeated defending champion Scotland 6-4 in the semi-final. With a large contingent of family and friends from Grand Falls and New Brunswick in attendance, they defeated Japan 11-3 to win the world title, and a place in New Brunswick curling history. Brigitte McClure, who led all players in her position during the tournament, was selected to the all-star team.

The team's success and the pride engendered, was summed up in a newspaper editorial, "through it all the McClure rink presented itself with dignity, sportsmanship, and-that essential ingredient in athletic success-determination … As New Brunswickers, we're proud!"

Les Aigles Bleus de l'Université de Moncton 1980 & 1981 - Hockey - Team

At the start of the 1980-81 season, coach Jean Perron set a goal for his Université de Moncton hockey team: win the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CIAU) championship.

On March 15, 1981, François Bessette scored two goals in the final nine seconds to defeat the Saskatchewan Huskies 4-2, giving the Aigles Bleus their first-ever national title, and setting off celebrations in Moncton and across New Brunswick. The victory marked the first time that a team east of Ontario had won the national intercollegiate championship, an event which had been won in each of the previous three years by the University of Alberta Golden Bears.

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During the regular season the Aigles Bleus compiled a record of 18 wins, five losses and one tie finishing first in their division. They defeated the Dalhousie University Tigers and won their second consecutive Atlantic Universities Athletic Association (AUAA) championship. Four players, goaltender Jean-Claude Charest, forward François Bessette, and defencemen Charlie Bourgeois and Michel Bédard were named to the AUAA all-star team. At the national tournament in Calgary goaltender Benoît Fortier was named tournament MVP and Charlie Bourgeois was selected as a CIAU all star.

Fourteen players returned to the team for the 1981-82 season. After finishing third in their division with 17 wins, eight losses and one tie, the "Blue and Gold" defeated the University of Prince Edward Island for the AUAA championship. Bessette was again named to the Atlantic conference all- star team along with forward Jean- François Boutin and defenceman Louis Durocher.

The 1982 Canadian championships were hosted by Université de Moncton and the Aigles Bleus were determined to reward their loyal and supportive fans. In a replay of the 1981 final, Moncton and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies met in the championship game at the Moncton Coliseum.

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One year less a day after their dramatic win in Calgary, Durocher scored with 33 seconds left in the game to give the Aigles Bleus their second consecutive CIAU championship. Forward Alain Grenier was named tournament MVP, and goaltender Benoît Fortier and defenceman Patrick Dodier were named to the all-star team.

The game also featured a match-up of future National Hockey League coaches: Moncton's Jean Perron and Saskatchewan's Dave King.

Perron, who took the reins of the Aigles Bleus in 1973 as head coach, was considered by many as the man most responsible for building the team into a respected and powerful presence in intercollegiate hockey, both on the regional and national levels. He later guided the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup in 1985-86.

1980-81 team members: Jean Claude Charest, Benoît Fortier, Mario Larouche, François Robert, François Bessette, Rémi Levesque, Michel Béchard, Louis Durocher, Denis Marquis, Michel Laforest, Charlie Bourgeois, Jacques Plante, Alfred Goguen, Roch Bois, Denis Rochon, Michel Breau, Raoul Boudreau, Kevin Gaudet, Jean- François Boutin, Jean Sansfaçon, Jon Coster, and Pat Morgan.

1981-82 team members: Jean Claude Charest, Benoît Fortier, Mario Larouche, François Bessette, Rémi Levesque, Louis Durocher, Michel Laforest, Alfred Goguen, Roch Bois, Michel Breau, Raoul Boudreau, Kevin Gaudet, Jean- François Boutin, Jean Sansfaçon, Pierre Giard, Alain Grenier, Jean «Chico» Belliveau, Jean « Dixie » Belliveau, Sylvain Allard, Doug McGrath, Michel Vautour, Patrick Dodier, and Jacques Jobin.

Jean Perron, Bob Bellefleur, Denis Gingras and Ronnie LeBlanc were the coaches for both teams.

Louis Kiley - Hockey - Athlete

Lou Kiley had the reputation of being hard-nosed and fearless. He was also a natural leader who at age 23, led the Saint John Beavers to the Maritime senior hockey championship as their playing coach.

The Saint John native honed his skills at the Forum in the city's north end, and was a member of the Saint John Maroons in 1948-49 when they won the provincial junior championship.

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In 1949 he signed a try-out agreement with the New York Rangers. When he didn't make the team he joined Trois Rivières of the Quebec Junior Hockey League, which featured future National Hockey League stars such as Jean Belliveau, Dickie Moore and Bernie Geoffrion. Between 1950 and 1952 he played in the Quebec league with the Shawinigan Falls Cataracts and in the Eastern Amateur Hockey League with the Boston Olympics. A serious knee injury effectively ended his dream of playing in the NHL.

Kiley returned to Maritimes and started the 1952-53 season with the Charlottetown Islanders before joining the Saint John Beavers of the New Brunswick senior hockey league in December 1952, as their playing coach. He quickly became a favourite with the fans, often playing the full sixty minutes, and showing leadership at both ends of the ice.

Kiley was selected to the league's second all-star team, and the Beavers won the Maritime championship. They lost to Smith Falls, Ont. in the Eastern Canadian Allan Cup play-offs.

Senior hockey in the Maritimes was at its peak during this era and for much of the next ten years, Lou Kiley was a dominant presence on teams in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. With the exception of a two year hiatus between 1958 and 1960, Kiley played and coached with teams in Saint John, Amherst, Bathurst, Moncton and Halifax.

He coached the Amherst Ramblers to the Maritime final in 1957-58. The Ramblers won the senior title in 1960-61 and again in 1961-62, and Kiley won a third consecutive Maritime championship with the Moncton Hawks in 1962-63. Moncton advanced to the Eastern Canadian Allan Cup final before losing to the powerful Windsor, Ont. Bulldogs.

NB Sports Hall of Fame member Oscar Gaudet, who played with Kiley in Moncton, described him as "a general on the ice. Opponents feared him because of his rugged style of play; team mates respected him because of his intensity and knowledge of the game. He made everyone on his team a better player." Sports Hall of Famer Norm "Red" Mullins another former Moncton team mate said of him, "he had a lot of drive and demanded a lot out of the other players on the team. He was an outstanding leader."

Kiley retired from hockey in 1964. He and his wife Gail make their home in Saint John.