Doug Gibson–Founder of Junior Hockey in Carleton Place

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Doug Gibson, who died at age 81 in 2011 was one of the founders of junior hockey in Carleton Place. Gibson was instrumental in launching the former Carleton Place Legion Kings hockey club.  He not only coached, but managed the team during their first years in the Eastern Ontario Junior B Hockey League in the 1970s.  That team was to be the foundation for the Almonte Thunder  team, who then became part of the Mississippi Mills franchise.

In 1970 the Carleton Place resident was the chairman of a drive for funds to install artificial ice in the new arena, and his team found themselves raising only a total of $18, 823. 30. They desperately needed another $25,000, so they offered each contributor of $25 or more a chance for a trip to Britain donated by Branch 192 of the Canadian Legion.  They ended up raising the money, and the winner of the draw was Milton Saunders.

Gibson managed the team when the late Bill Griese Sr. was the head coach. Griese Sr. was said to be the most vocal coach the Kings ever had. Even though Doug wrote a letter to the editor of the Ottawa Journal in 1976 about no decency left in society, he put up with with the antics of Griese Sr. Yes, Doug could not handle profanity on television; but he would just sit back at the games and let Bill rant and scream while he coached. Doug also told Coach Griese to stop bringing in so many Ottawa players, and insisted they focus more on the local area boys.

Following that winning formula Carleton Place won five Valley championships in their Junior B history including back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009, their final two campaigns. It was important to Doug to make sure that each player knew who they were representing– that would be the Town of Carleton Place.

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Doug is third in the back row- Carleton Place High School Football team 1947-1948- Photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

After stepping down from his position with the team, Gibson was still one of the club’s biggest fans and seldom missed a home game. Doug was married to his wife, Iona, for  over 60 years. Iona supported Doug 110% and used to work in the canteen selling hot dogs and drinks during the games.

Some will remember Doug as a stationary engineer at our Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital for 27 years, and when he died they lowered the flag to half mast. He was also a strong believer in our local service clubs and was a member of: Royal Canadian Legion Branch 192, Carleton Place and a member of the Army, Navy and Air Force Club No. 396, Carleton Place. Last but not least, he also belonged to the St. John’s Masonic Lodge No. 63 A.F. and A.M., Carleton Place.

Doug might have been a man of the community but he loved to fish for perch and pike. That man lovingly taught family members how to smack the fish on the side of the head to knock them out. To the fish and some he might have appeared tough,  but there is no doubt in my mind he always will be remembered as one of the great community leaders in Carleton Place with a heart of gold.

With files from the Ottawa Journal and The Carleton Place Canadian.

Photo:

Carleton Place High School football team. Group of boys wearing “CP” sweaters, helmets, posing in grass. Written on reverse: “1947-48. Front Row left to right – Jack Hastie, Mike Findlay, Chris Findlay, Sandy McEwan, Doug Gueraud, Art Evoy, Gordon McNabb.

Back Row left – right

Delmar Dunlop, Bill Findlay, Doug Gibson, Don Napier, Murray Sadler, Doug Brown, Keith Hamilton, Eldon Bittle, Murray McRae, Ken Cook, Louis Levi”

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

4 responses »

  1. Doug is my grandfather, this story put a huge smile on my face knowing and remembering the stories of everything he has contributed to this community. Some things I didn’t know and am beyond glad to know now. We all love and miss him dearly.

    Thank you!
    -Abi Gibson

    Like

  2. This is a gift to my family from me, seeing I am not home for Christmas. Linda put this together for me but I never thought it would be the best Christmas gift I had this year.Merry Christmas.

    Like

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