Hon. Gordon L. Bennett (1912-2000)
The Honorable Gordon L. Bennett was the thirty-fourth Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island. Born in Charlottetown Bennett obtained his elementary school education locally prior to obtaining his higher education at Prince of Wales College (B.Sc.) 1937 and Acadia University (M.Sc.) 1947. In 1976, Bennett was awarded the degree of Doctor of Civil Laws (D.C.L.) from Acadia. Bennett was engaged in teaching on the island for thirty-two years before entering provincial politics in 1966. From 1966 to 1974 he served in the government in several capacities before being appointed the Lieutenant Governor for the province in 1974, serving that role for 6 years.
From the start Bennett had an interest in sport and recreation, as during his teaching years he carried out coaching duties in football and hockey. He was a Past President of the Canadian Curling Association and a member of the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame as a builder. Bennett also served as Chairman of Charlottetown’s first Recreation Council. In 1967, Bennett was elected to the prestigious Governor General’s Curling Club, and appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1983. At the end of such a recognized career in public service and volunteerism, Bennett served as Chancellor of the University of Prince Edward Island from 1985-1992. Bennett received his honorary membership from the federation in 1979, he was the first honorary member for Sport PEI.
Dr. David Boswell (1927- 1998)
Born in Victoria, Prince Edward Island, Boswell made his mark on a number of athletic competitions. In 1946, he was acknowledged to be one of Canada’s top quarter milers. Boswell captained the Mount Allison University Track Team in the 1947-1948 season, and became Dalhousie’s first and only Four Letter man in intercollegiate sport. In 1948 Boswell took part in the Canadian Olympic Trials where he went on to win gold in the 400 metre race. A member of the Charlottetown Abbies who were Maritime Senior Track and Field Champions in 1949, as well as, a Canadian Finalist in the British Empire Games Trials.
Boswell has an impressive eight year coaching record that resulted in provincial interscholastic titles, and produced several individual and national record-breakers in track and field. From 1960 to 1968 Boswell served as the director of Alcohol Studies and Physical Education for P.E.I., before becoming the Provincial Director of Youth and Fitness for the island’s Department of Education for 28 years. Boswell used his time in the position to focus on the advancement of health, physical education, recreation and amateur sport within the province. In 1976 he received the highest physical education award in Canada, the R. Tait McKenzie Honour Award of the Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, at the International Congress of Physical Activity in Sciences in Quebec City.
Boswell was the Chef-de-mission for the island five times and is known as the “Father of the PEI Provincial Games”. He retired in 88’ and was the longest serving head, including deputies, association’s deputies, and directors of government sports, fitness and recreation programs in Canada. Boswell can be viewed as one of the leaders in providing the employment of community recreation directors.
Al Rach (1930-1997)
Alfred Alvin Rach (Al) is an outstanding community volunteer and is known as one of the “Best Ambassadors that Prince Edward Island ever had”. In 1986 he was awarded P.E.I.’s Transportation Man of the Year, and is a Life member and President of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce.
Al is known for his work with Air Canada as the district manager of PEI from 1930-1997, and was a major fundraising sponsor for Sport PEI throughout his years of work. He was inducted as an honorary member in 1984, due to the strong fundraising relationship Al and Sport PEI built. Al was an intricate part in providing necessary awards and promotions to help Sport PEI raise funds over the course of their years. Such projects included the “Travel On” project, and the “Hop Around Australia”. Al was apart of the 1991 Canada Games Board of Management and was also an Honorary Chairman of the 1995 Swing into Spring Event.
Charles Trainor (1916-2004)
Charles was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. In 1938, he graduated with a BA degree from St. Dunstan’s College. He was articling in law when World War 2 broke out and in February 1940 he enlisted in the RCAF in Moncton New Brunswick. In October 1940, Trainor graduated as a pilot, from No. 1 Service Flying Training School at Camp Borden, Ontario and then took on duties as an air crew instructor. He later taught at RCAF Station, Trenton ON, at Moncton NB, and Summerside PEI. Throughout his tours Trainor was awarded first and second Distinguished Flying Cross, and in 1944 was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Postwar Trainor became an airline pilot with Maritime Central Airway.
Charles transitioned to the Regional Sales & Promotion Manager of Eastern Provincial Airways, after his time as a pilot. In 1980 Charles was granted a lifetime honorary membership in recognition of his assistance and special attention to travel needs of different sport organizations. Charles and Sport PEI worked together for years to provide easy travel for athletes, families, and fans.
Cy Yard (1930-2015)
Cy spent a large portion of his life serving radio and TV stations in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Ontario. In 1975, he came to the island to work with CHTN radio station as a sports reporter. Sport PEI pursued this Cy by offering him a part-time position as a public relations coordinator. This quickly became a permanent position in which he held until retirement in 2000.
Cy was the MC to many official events, the host of the TV show Sportsbeat, writing newspaper columns or giving radio interviews for all Sport PEI activities. Cy dedicated his time to the Canada Games mission staff in both 1979 and 1981. In 2002, Cy was made an honorary member of the federation.
Paul H. Schurman
Born in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, for many years Paul portrayed his leadership and natural athletic talent regionally in the sports of baseball and hockey. At the young age of 22, Paul would serve as playing-coach for the 1955-1956 Sussex Legionaries, Maritime Intermediate champions. After a strong athletic career Paul chose to pick up the mic like his brother and described hundreds of games in a variety of sports to listeners of radio station CJRW. During his time as General Manager, Paul was instrumental in the success of a series of radio appeal programs.
Paul was the publicity chairman for the First Provincial Centennial Summer Games in 1973 and was also a member of the P.E.I. Centennial Commission Sports Advisory Committee and is a past member of the Provincial Games Council. In 1978, Schurman was elected to the Board of Directors of Sport P.E.I. for a two year term. He was later made an Honorary Life Member of the Federation in 1984. In 1987, Schurman was presented with the Perfection/Sport PEI volunteer recognition award. An award that was greatly deserved for all the work he has down and posts he has assumed, Provincial Junior Golf, Sport PEI, Summerside Minor Hockey Association, Red Cross and Cancer Societies, the PEI United Fund and the Regional Cultural Events Centre committee.
Don LeClair was the first executive director of Sport PEI in 1978 and was the forefront of developing Sport PEI. Don was the Chef-de-Mission for the island at Canada Games for 4 games, and a teacher on the island for 12 years. LeClair was on the first executive of PEI School Athletic Association back in 1961. In 1972 Don worked directly with the government under the position of Amateur Sport Consultant. Don is also known for his time as President of PEI Physical Education Association, charter member of the Canadian Federation of Provincial school athletic association, and chairman of Provincial Canada Games Committee Inc. A Vice President of the Canadian Federation of Amateur Baseball, as well as the president of Baseball PEI. Don was also actively involved with the PEI Minor Hockey Council as the secretary registrar. LeClair was made an Honorary Life Member in 1988 for his hard work and dedication to Sport PEI.
Rundell Seaman Jr.
Rundell Seaman Jr. is the former owner of PEI’s Seaman’s Beverages. Rundell has dedicated countless hours and donations to Sport PEI to aid in the fundraising of the organization. He was an intricate part in Sport PEI’s annual fundraisers such as the “Travel-On” project, Seven UP/Sport PEI Team Challenge, and many more. Along with being an UPEI annual donor, Rundell was actively involved with the Unit of Youth, Fitness and Recreation and the department of Community Affairs. Rundell was made an Honorary Life Member in 1994 for the strong relationship between Sport PEI and Seaman’s Beverages which was due to Rundell’s hard work and desire to promote sport on the island.
Jamie Ballem is an Island farmer and politician, who served as cabinet minster, notably as Minister of the Environment and Minister of Health and was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island from 1996 to 2007. Ballem served as the chair for the PEI Milk Marketing Board and Potato commission. The Milk Marketing board was an involved sponsor with the Sport PEI banquet for years which Jamie was apart of. In 1996 Jamie was elected to the Board of Directors which he served for a number of years. Jamie was also heavily involved as the President of the Panther Booster Club, Administrative Assistant for Canada Games in 1991, and served on the Provincial Canada Games Committee from 1994. As Jamie’s career as a politician took off he still kept an involvement with athletics on the island. Jamie was instrumental in the creation of House of Sport which is where Sport PEI head office resides currently. In 2007 James was made an honorary member of the federation for his dedication to sport and volunteering.
Dave MacNeill was elected to be the director of Sport PEI in June of 1978 and was a member of the 1979 Canada Games Mission Staff. Before being elected as director of Sport PEI MacNeill was the UPEI Women’s Basketball coach and worked directly with the varsity teams at UPEI for years. Dave was the Chairman of Sport PEI Fitness and Participation Committee, was the Vice President of the Sport PEI executive in 1980, and was the President from 1981-1983. In 1992, David became the executive director for what was deemed one year term but, resulted in a longer stay in the position until 2006.
Dave was part owner and worked at the West Royalty Fitness Center, was associated with basketball on the island and heavily involved with the PEI Football Association. In 1975, Dave was Sport PEI administrator of the year for his work with disabled athletes in the province. In 1991, Dave was names executive assistant of sport with the Canada Games host society. In 2012, Dave was made an honorary member of the federation for his time and commitment to the province.