“Thank You for the Wonderful Memories” - Inductees Enshrined to the Sports Wall of Fame
Published: Sunday, Jun 24, 2012
Family connections -- whether it was a brother and sister from the 1980s or ties developed as teammates over 50 years ago -- were constant refrains as St. Thomas University welcomed new inductees to its Sports Wall of Fame.
Over 260 friends, family members and supporters saw basketball and volleyball standout Bambi Horseman, the first female member of the Wall of Fame, inducted along with her brother Stephen, and four other individuals or championship teams in men’s basketball.
Each inductee reminisced about the lasting values that were instilled by their athletic experience.
“The greatest gift of the St. Thomas sporting experience was what it taught -- the importance of discipline, the absolute necessity of teamwork, the value of commitment, the need to keep getting up and fighting back and sometimes that the underdogs can prevail. It taught us the importance of will in sport, at work and in life,” said inductee John Lordon.
“Being such a small school with limited resources, St. Thomas was the ideal proving ground for these lessons, so well learned by the athletes of that generation and so well valued even to the present day,” he added.
“By the fantastic turnout again this year, our Sports Wall of Fame has become a great way to honour our athletes, coaches and builders,” said emcee and Athletics Director Mike Eagles. He noted that the Wall of Fame, now with three classes of inductees, will be unveiled at the new Grant-Harvey Arena on October 13 when the women’s hockey team play their season opener.
“’Green and Gold’ in good hands”
In welcoming the inductees, St. Thomas University President Dawn Russell assured them that their “Green and Gold” was in good hands today.
“I saw first-hand this year the intensity and excitement of our varsity sports. There were many exciting moments with championship banners, overtime victories and last-minute miracle shots. I am sure that athletes and teams who competed in 2012 will someday be in our Sports Wall of Fame.”
This past year Tommies’ teams won championships in women’s rugby, men’s volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball, and more than 50 student athletes were named CCAA National Scholars or CIS Academic All-Canadian status.
Russell added that she was pleased to see the first female inductee this year. “STU has changed over its one hundred years and in the future I expect we will be seeing even more accomplished female athletes and more athletes from our Fredericton campus.”
“Thank you for the wonderful memories”
Wall of Fame members Ed Hospodar and Lordon both spoke about the place of STU in the Chatham community and how the athletes were seen as role models.
“Growing up in Chatham in the 1950s before the days of television and computers, boys who were sports minded and athletic spent hours hanging around the St. Thomas playing fields and the rinks, admiring the exploits of our athletes and longing for the day when they too could wear the ‘green and gold,’ and like their heroes play football and hockey with the varsity teams,” said Lordon.
“I reminisce about skating in Chatham with the roar of the crowd and our team song playing “When the Saints Come Marching In.” And then I remember what a great place St. Thomas was -- we were provided the opportunity to pray, learn, play and make everlasting friendships. Thank you for the wonderful memories,” said Hospodar.
Sports Wall of Fame Inductees 2012
Pauline “Bambi” Marie (Horsman) Bradley
Although competitive female varsity sports took longer to become established at STU, Bambi’s impact was immediate. In her first year on the basketball team in 1984, she was named rookie of the year and most valuable player and female athlete of the year. The following year, she joined the first women’s volleyball team and was named most valuable player. She would eventually be a three-time most valuable player in basketball, four-time female athlete of the year and recipient of the “T” Award for leadership. Bambi was also a strong student who maintained a high grade point average and was class valedictorian.
Moncton native Don Grant is further evidence that Chatham produced some of STU’s best all-round athletes. Don was a skilled football player and he played quarterback for three of his four years and was named a league all-star. It was his basketball prowess for which he was most celebrated. He was the point guard, captain and an all-round leader on the court. In one game against Bathurst in 1952, he led the team in scoring with 27 points while bringing the crowd to his feet with his ‘coast-to-coast’ rushes. After graduating in 1956, Don taught and coached in high schools around New Brunswick. He also gained national recognition as a basketball official and refereed in nearly every province in Canada, both at the university and senior levels. He is a member of the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, the Moncton Sports Wall of Fame and the Miramichi Sports Wall of Fame.
Stephen Horsman was a force on the court and on the field. He played six seasons with the varsity basketball team and each year the team captured the collegiate title. He played on the varsity soccer team for three years, competed on the golf team and coached women’s volleyball to a collegiate championship, while still a student. He was male athlete of the year in 1983, 1985 and 1986 and was awarded the Sports Governing Board Medallion for his outstanding contributions to athletics. He was a two-time recipient of the John Frederick Walls Award for excellence in academics and athletics in 1984 and 1985 and was named most valuable player of the basketball team six times.
Ed Hospodar was one of the leaders of the 1960-61 hockey team that won STU’s first Maritime Championship. The right winger played six seasons in Chatham between 1958 and 1964, first as a St. Thomas High School student, when he was named athlete of the year in 1958, and then as a university student. He scored 186 points in 85 regular season games, as well as 36 points in 19 playoff games. In 1961-62, he led the league in scoring and the following year he was named a first team all-star. In 1963-64, he was named both most valuable player of the hockey team and male athlete of the year.
John Lordon’s four years at STU coincided with the most successful football and hockey teams in the school’s history. He was inducted into the Sports Wall of Fame as a member of the 1960-61 hockey team and he is now being inducted for his skills as an individual athlete. A high scorer on the ice, he is also remembered as one of the school’s best football players. He played quarterback, halfback, linebacker and defensive back and he was a strong passer, an elusive ball-carrier and a solid defensive player. For his achievements on the field, he was named the football team’s most valuable player in 1961. He is also a member of the Chatham Sports Wall of Fame and the Moncton Sports Wall of Fame.
Men’s Basketball 1962-65
Wally Bernard, Fran Brideau, Tom Bridgeo, Don Clavette, Fran Dunn, Tom Eagan, John Egan, Bob Fitzgerald, Ken Gould, Paul Hargreaves, Vince Ireton, Lester Johnson, Alex McConnell, John Moore, Bill Moynagh, Terry Murphy, Pat Murray, Mike O’Brien, Hugh Peters, Mike Reid, D. Roy, Vince Ryan, Pierre Sallenave, Brent Taylor, Ron Wallace, Lyman Ward, Raymond Young. These names represent three years of excellence on the basketball court as STU’s basketball team won the New Brunswick College Basketball Conference in 1962-63, 1963-64 and 1964-65. The team played a limited conference schedule, so to stay sharp, games were arranged with senior teams in the region.