By Whitby Sports Hall of Fame Executive
The Whitby Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1997 for the express purpose of recognizing and honouring individuals or groups/teams of individuals who, as a result of their respective efforts, have contributed to the advancement and quality of sport in the Town of Whitby or who have exhibited and achieved athletic prowess in a particular sport of such a standard as to attract acclaim and recognition from the sporting community at large.
From its inception, the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame has been unwavering in its energies to acknowledge and preserve the history of sport in the community. Throughout this period of service to the town, the Hall's executive has supported the induction of seven teams and 43 individuals, culminating in a current membership of 238 athletes, builders, team executives, and media personalities.
In the spring of 2017, the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame will celebrate its 20-year anniversary, in conjunction with its Induction Gala, to be held at Royal Ashburn Golf Club on Saturday, April 22nd. Planning is currently underway to recognize three additional inductees at this event; release of the names of the 2017 inductees will take place in early February.
As part of these 20th anniversary festivities, the formal program for the evening will include a tribute to the Whitby Dunlops senior men's team that captured the 1958 World Ice Hockey Championship in Oslo, Norway. All members of this team formed the first class of inductees into the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame, honoured at the Hall's inaugural gala held in May 1997, and it is highly anticipated that some of the surviving members from the team will be in attendance at the Gala on April 22nd.
Memorabilia from the team's world championship in 1958, and its Allan Cup national titles in 1957 and 1959, will also be on display at the 2017 Gala. Attendees that night will enjoy the unique opportunity to appreciate the skills and the accomplishments of a team that brought worldwide recognition to the Town of Whitby almost sixty years ago; and since that time, no other club team in Canada has ever duplicated the level of hockey success achieved by the Whitby Dunlops from 1957-1959.
Individual biographies for each of the Hall's 238 inductees are posted and can be viewed at www.whitbysportshalloffame.com