1945-46 Edmonton Maple Leafs Provincial Junior “B” Champions
1948-49 Edmonton Flyers Allan Cup Champions
1950 Edmonton Mercurys World Champions
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.
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
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
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!
the presentation speech by Sandy Wright