Tag Archives: almonte thunder

Doug Gibson–Founder of Junior Hockey in Carleton Place



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.




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.


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”