Celebrating the athlete inductees and their accomplishments will be the focus and theme of the upcoming Powell River Sports Hall of Fame induction weekend, culminating in the induction ceremony on Saturday, June 15.
“The whole focus on the coming weekend is on the inductees and their family members,” said Jim Palm, chair of the Powell River Sports Hall of Fame committee. “They are going to be treated royally. The preparation has that in mind every step of the way.
“I’ve got to hand it to my committee. Everybody is chipping in and doing a lion’s share of all of the work that needs to take place. There are so many fine details to take care of and it’s a time-consuming process.”
The one team and eight individual inductees are upbeat about the sports hall of fame weekend. Palm indicated that sports hall of fame committee member Tod English has been dealing directly with the inductees and has reported back how excited they are to be coming, especially those residing outside Powell River at this time.
“They are very happy to be coming home and meeting old friends and sporting pals from years gone by,” said Palm.
Preparations for the weekend started more than a year ago. All of the pieces are coming together in the last month leading up to the event, and that’s where the scramble is.
“It’s a labour of love, but when I’m sitting there next Saturday night viewing the proceedings, I will have a smile on my face, because I will know we have taken care of all of the finer details, and that the inductees and their families will be the focus of the event,” said Palm.
Powell River’s sporting success stems back to the community’s formative years. Palm said thinking back to the early days of Powell River, the mill was bringing in workers and was looking for certain characteristics, such as athleticism, from the new hires.
“It shows and shines through on the sporting front,” said Palm. “When you read the old writeups in the Powell River News, you see the legacy of sporting history that Powell River represents; it’s quite awe-inspiring when you think back to that little mill town. What they were able to accomplish was pretty amazing.”
The sports hall of fame, for Palm, is a process for reliving the great sporting history of this community.
“It’s long overdue that we give credit where it’s due and bring sports to life,” he said.
In terms of attendance at the induction dinner and ceremony, ticket sales are around the 400 mark. There is seating for up to 600 in Hap Parker Arena.
“I believe, over the course of the next week and a half, we will reach our goal of 500, if not reach our goal of 600 by the time the event takes place,” said Palm.
Taws on Marine Avenue is the only outlet in Powell River for tickets.
Palm said what he can assure to those coming out for the sports hall of fame induction ceremony is that it will be first class all the way, and when people look back on what transpired at the Hap Parker Arena that night, attendees will have nothing but fond memories to cherish and take away.
“It will be a night to remember,” said Palm.
Inaugural Powell River Sports Hall of Fame inductees include the 1969/1970 Powell River Regals hockey team; soccer and boxing athlete Les Adams; track and field pioneer Gino Bortolussi; hockey player Bob Crawford; soccer player Drew Ferguson; football players Roy and Ted Gerela; hockey player Gary Lupul; and 1984 Olympic track and field athlete Connie Polman Tuin.