Doc Seaman inducted to Calgary Sports Hall of Fame

The late Doc Seaman. (File photo)

The late Doc Seaman. (File photo)

Randy Sportak, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:24 AM ET

Deservedly, Daryl ‘Doc’ Seaman had the awe of his grandson Cory Seaman.

 

But their relationship went beyond the usual.

“I was also his friend, and that was a different aspect than most people would think,” Cory said. “He was one of my groomsmen at our wedding.

“That says how important he was in a lot of different facets.”

In the lives of everyone in his family.

And in the lives of so many around Calgary and across the country.

Doc Seaman, one of the members of the ownership group which brought the Flames to Calgary, will be posthumously inducted into the Calgary Sports Hall of Fame Thursday in Calgary.

Cory Seaman has the task of providing the acceptance speech.

“The only pressure is trying to get it into one-and-a-half to two minutes,” he said with a laugh.

That’s because Doc Seaman was so much more than just a co-owner of Calgary’s NHL franchise.

In the Second World War, the product of Rouleau, Sask., became a decorated pilot.

He once was wounded, having been shot in the leg, but safely returned a handful of other soldiers who’d been wounded.

Another time, he returned from a mission without instrumentation.

“He was proud of his war record and was a devout Canadian,” Cory Seaman said. “That’s why the honour he’s getting makes our family extremely proud. He fought for our country and he battled for our country in so many ways, especially amateur sport.”

A pioneer in the oil industry, Doc Seaman was instrumental in not only bringing the Flames to Calgary, but also getting the 1988 Olympic Winter Games to the city, and then helped create Project 75 (now known as the Seaman Hotchkiss Hockey Foundation) for amateur hockey.

His sporting passion went beyond hockey, too. Thanks to his involvement, the Okotoks Dawgs baseball team has a glorious stadium to call home, which was named in his honour. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of his philanthropic endeavours, which has also benefited the Calgary Prostate Cancer Institute, Hockey Canada, the University of Calgary’s NeuroArm project and the Seaman Family MR Research Centre, just to name a few.

He also purchased the OH Ranch in 1987 and, in partnership with the Alberta Government and private conservation groups, was able to preserve it as a heritage site.

All with next to no fanfare.

“That’s the impressive part, and what I want to reiterate when I do my speech,” Cory said. “He did all these things and never took the accolades or pat on the back that a lot of other people would.

“He was into it for what he could contribute to society, rather than what he can derive out of it for himself.”

Seaman, who is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, has also been named an officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence.

It’s just part of a legacy Cory Seaman witnessed his grandfather create and ensure others knew the importance of being part of the community.

Cory can recall a time he and his wife, Nancy, were horseback riding with his grandfather.

“He looked at me and said, ‘It’s not what you can do as a man, it’s what you can be as a man. It’s his legacy,’ ” he recalled. “I looked at him and he said, ‘Make sure you leave everything as good as you found it, if not better.’ He said that to me when I was a young kid, and back then I thought he meant to clean up after myself.

“What he meant was in respect to the community. It was how you can make the country better, the province better and even down to a small scale, say help an animal in distress.”

Doc Seaman sure made the world a better place.

“He passed away five years ago, and I still have people come up to me and say how he touched their lives. And it’s not just one facet of life, it’s so many,” Cory said. “People from the cowboy industry to hockey to business. It’s quite neat how people he touched respected him.” 


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