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2019 Inductees
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INDUCTEE 2019 - ATHLETE - Jack Manson


1945-46 Edmonton Maple Leafs Provincial Junior “B” Champions
1948-49 Edmonton Flyers Allan Cup Champions
1950 Edmonton Mercurys World Champions
From 1937-1951

 Jack Manson is being inducted into the Wetaskiwin & County Sports Hall of Fame for his special achievements in the sport of hockey.  Jack played goalie for two outstanding and historic Edmonton hockey teams, the Edmonton Flyers, winners of the 1948-49 Allan Cup and the Edmonton Mercurys, winners of the 1950 World Championship.  As a goalie for both of those teams, Jack has twice been inducted into each of the following: the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame (Flyers-2005, Mercurys-2011), the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame (F-2013, M-2007) and the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame (F-2001, M-1995).  Jack has the distinction of being the only hockey player of his era that was a member of both of these famous Edmonton amateur hockey teams.  In his 93rd year, Jack is now receiving the individual recognition he deserves for his amazing hockey accomplishments.

War Interrupts Hockey

As a youngster growing up in North Edmonton, hockey was Jack’s choice of winter sport and goalie his chosen position.  In 1937 Jack played on his Norwood School team.  Moving through age group hockey, Jack played for the Stadium Flyers Midget team, the Edmonton Athletic Club as a Juvenile and at the Junior level for the Edmonton Maple Leafs.  In 1943 during WWII Jack enlisted in the RCAF at the young age of 17. This interrupted his hockey career although he did play with an RCAF group while stationed in Winnipeg.  Still a Junior after the war, Jack continued playing for the Edmonton Maple Leafs.  His prowess in the net helped the Maple Leafs win the Alberta Junior “B” Championship in 1945-46. 

Flyers Captured the Hearts of Edmontonians
to Fill the Gardens to Overflowing

After graduating from junior hockey, Jack began playing with the Edmonton Flyers Senior Men’s Hockey Team in 1946-47.  In his second season with the Flyers the team won the league and the Western Canadian Senior “A” Hockey title.  With no professional team in the city, the Flyers captured the hearts of Edmontonians so much that the Edmonton Gardens was filled to overflowing during the season.   In the Allan Cup tournament leading up to the final, the Flyers played in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Out of 24 games played, the Flyer’s record was 19 wins, four losses and one draw. In the Allan Cup finals, played in Calgary, the Flyers defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-1 in the best of seven finals thereby winning Canada’s National Senior Amateur Ice Hockey Championship.  Edmontonians embraced their hockey champions when the Flyers returned to Edmonton with the trophy and the party lasted a week.  A celebratory parade down Jasper Ave attracted over 60,000 onlookers, nearly half of Edmonton’s population at the time.  In New York newsreel fashion the yelling thousands lined the avenue and showered the champions with snowstorms of confetti.  To date, the 1947-48 Flyers are the only Edmonton Hockey team to win the Allan Cup in the 110 year history of the trophy.

Hectic Schedule Playing Five Days a Week in Europe

The Edmonton Flyers became a professional team affiliated with the Detroit Red Wings and Jack moved to playing for the amateur Edmonton Mercurys team in 1948-49.  That season the Mercurys won their league, the Provincial Title and the Western Canada Intermediate “A” Championship.  In the Western Canada playoffs they defeated the Nanaimo Clippers in the semi-finals and the Melville Millionaires in the finals.  Because of their wins the Mercurys were chosen to represent Canada at the 1950 World Championships.  Prior to the World Championships, the team traveled across Europe for three and a half months playing 33 exhibition games in Scotland, Belgium, Sweden, Holland, Switzerland, Italy and England.  It was a hectic schedule, the team played 5 days a week and Jack and another goalie alternated the nightly goal tending position.  The Mercurys lost only three exhibition games - to professional teams.  The Mercurys were well received wherever they played and admirably represented Canada abroad.

At the World Championships in London England the Mercurys successfully won the title.  During the 10-day, round robin event, the Mercurys won all eight games, outscoring their opposition 88 to 5.  The Edmonton Mercurys were the first Alberta hockey team to win gold on the international stage.  On their return home the city celebrated by declaring “Mercury Week” and honoured the team with a parade and banquet.  60,000 fans lined the parade route and school children were given a half-day holiday to attend the parade. 

World Champions Outscoring Opposition 88-5

After the 1950 World Championships Jack played one more year of senior hockey with the Edmonton Pats.  He would have continued playing with the Mercurys but his job commitments wouldn’t allow as much time off as needed.  Most of the players on the Mercurys were employed by the owner of the club at his Waterloo Mercury dealership and were given time off to play.  Jack hung up his skates and pads for the next 25 years.

At the age of 51, Jack started playing “old timer” hockey and did so until he was 79 years of age.  He played on many different teams, traveled to international tournaments and enjoyed the physical participation, the competition and the comraderie the sport provided him in his senior years.  In 2002, Jack played in the Alberta Winter Games and his 65+ Team won the gold medal. From 1968-1976,  when his two sons were playing hockey, Jack coached in the Edmonton Minor Hockey Association.  Today Jack is the only living member of the 1947-48 Flyers and he and Harrison Young are the last two of the 1950 Mercurys still alive. 

Nonagenarian - Goalie to Author

As a youth Jack spent his summers at the family cottage on Silver Beach at Pigeon Lake.  He and his wife Joan became permanent residents of the lake community in 1979.  At 93, Jack is still an active member of his Mulhurst Bay community and plays floor curling once a week in the senior’s league.  In the summers he can be seen riding his bike down the Silver Beach Road to pick up the mail.  Jack is also a recognized author with two books to his credit.  One book is “Mulhurst, The First 50 Years” and the other “Brick in Alberta”.

We are privileged to induct Jack Manson into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame.  This nonagenarian with his positive attitude towards life, his vibrant personality, his interest in his hobbies and his vivid memories of his years spent playing the sport he loved is a role model to all; passions in life keep us active and alive.  Congratulations Jack!

Read the presentation speech by Sandy Wright





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