Kwong opens Hall to old pal

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:52 AM ET

Now a three-time inductee, Normie Kwong took it upon himself to welcome some old friends into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame yesterday.

Of course, the current lieutenant-governor had to give them a hard time about it.

When Flames owners B.J. Seaman and Harley Hotchkiss were brought up, Kwong said they were much older than he remembered.

Kwong took the podium to speak and jokingly asked what his former colleague John F. Mayell did to earn an invite to the news conference. The two were coaches at Western Canada high school in the late '40s and have stayed good friends.

"I've been around so long I've gotten into all these different things," said Kwong, a Flames co-owner in 1980s along with D.K. (Doc) Seaman, who was also inducted but on vacation. "It's great to see them being honoured for what they did and it's nice for me to be associated with them."

Kwong was inducted yesterday for a third time, this one as a member of the Edmonton Eskimos teams from 1954-56 that won three straight Grey Cups. He was previously honoured as an athlete and a member of the undefeated 1948 Calgary Stampeders.

It was during his time in the late '40s he first met Mayell, who was a teacher and coach at Western Canada. Kwong referred to Mayell as his old teacher but that is somewhat in jest as well.

"He was coaching football when I came back from the war," Mayell said. "I never was his teacher and I always tell him so. He just says, 'You know what you taught me.' "

Mayell is the founding father of the Alberta Schools Athletic Association and Canadian Schools Sport Federation but his impact was felt as much in training.

"John was a great leader in high school sports," Kwong said. "He brought in a lot of new innovations before they were common. I'm glad he is being honoured."

The ceremony June 1 in Red Deer will induct an outstanding group for the Hall's 50th anniversary. Rower Megan Delehanty, swimmer Curtis Myden and hockey players Earl Ingarfield Sr. and Cassie Campbell go in as athletes along with the 1987 and '88 Medicine Hat Tigers.

Eldon C. Godfrey (diving) and Lorna Snow (swimming) will go in as builders, while disabled golfer Robert MacDermott receives the Achievement Award. Broadcaster Wes Montgomery is honoured posthumously with the Bell Memorial Award.


Videos

Photos