Reporter: Jesmarnin Lafuente
Five new athletes will be inducted into Oshawa’s Sports Hall of Fame.
The announcement was made on Jan. 27 at city council. The ceremony will take place on May 28 at the General Motors Centre.
“We would ask you would mark this date on your calendar and plan to be with us as we recognize the outstanding achievements of many of your friends and neighbours,” said Dan Walerowich, President of Oshawa’s Sports Hall of Fame. “It is truly a gathering of the sports elite of Oshawa.”
The first inductee was Ed Aru, who has contributed to Oshawa football for over 50 years.
Aru began his career with the Oshawa Imps in 1959 (now known as the Hawkeyes) and moved into coaching and executive management. Aru was also an influential figure in rep level house league football programs in Oshawa, now known as the Oshawa Hawkeye program.
Sean Brown, the second inductee, was an NHL defenceman who played 436 games with the Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks between 1996 and 2006.
Following his NHL career, Brown became an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oil Kings. Brown was also part of three Ontario Minor Hockey Association championship teams while growing up in Oshawa.
A star player with the Oshawa Generals hockey team and the Green Gaels lacrosse team, Joe Greentree was the next inductee announced. He won a silver medal for Team Canada during the World Lacrosse Championships in Los Angeles, the Mann Cup with the Peterborough Lakers lacrosse team and was a member of the Blue Knights field lacrosse club, which won six provincial championships.
Gil Hughes was inducted because he has been a coach and scout for various teams since 1977.
From 1985 to 1992, Hughes was the coach of the Oshawa Kiwanis midget hockey club which saw many players graduate to the OHL level. He is also an honoured lifetime member of the Oshawa Minor Hockey Association and continues to scout for the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves.
The fifth inductee was the 1972-73 Oshawa Parkway TV Midget All-Star hockey team. Although they won 66 of the 76 games and took a tour of Sweden, it was their playoff run during the All-Ontario Championship that captured the essence of hockey in Oshawa. The team won the series, beating Peterborough, Kingston, Guelph, Windsor and Toronto before taking down the northern champions in Sudbury.
“Now, I’m hoping Chair Anderson didn’t give away anything here when he mentioned a four-legged variety of an inductee this year,” said Walerowich. “This year we also have a special tribute inductee, Northern Dancer.”
2014 marked the 50th anniversary of Northern Dancer, a thoroughbred racehorse born and raised in Oshawa, and his wins at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1964. Although he died in 1990, Northern Dancer has fathered many offspring, which have also become prominent stallions in the horseracing world.
Dinner tickets will be on sale at the beginning of March and will be available at the GM Centre box office.