BC Sports Hall of Fame inductee Barbara Howard was one of the fastest female sprinters in the world
Barbara Howard was inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. Howard represented Canada at the 1938 British Empire Games in Sydney, Australia.
Photograph by: Wayne Leidenfrost, PNG
Barbara Howard, 92-year-old track and field inductee, was in the best of hands at the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame Dinner Thursday night. Former NHL tough guy Jack McIlhargey never left her side. He was Morgan Freeman in Driving Miss Daisy; Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard.
The unlikeliest couple in the sold-out west wing of the Convention Centre have been neighbours in Burnaby dating back to the mid-'70s when a long-haired, mustachioed McIlhargey was terrorizing rival NHL forwards who dared take liberties in his defensive end of the rink.
Miss Howard was the belle of the ball at the 44th annual Banquet of Champions as a well-groomed McIlhargey gracefully escorted her to the podium
Considered to be one of the fastest female sprinters in the world at the time, she represented Canada at the 1938 British Empire Games in Sydney, Australia and as far as anyone can remember, Barbara was the first black female athlete to represent Canada in international competition.
“There was no such thing as flying to Australia in those days,” she related Thursday. “We arrived by boat – the RMS Aorangi – and it took us a month to get there.”
HERE ‘N’ THERE: McIlhargey found time from his commitment as a chaperon Thursday night to relive some old hockey memories with former Philadelphia Flyers teammate Joe Watson. Joe and Jimmy Watson, from Smithers, were inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame as a brother act in 2002.
Joe is president of the Flyers alumni and has been approached by a Hollywood producer who has a movie on the drawing board about Fred Shero’s notorious Broad Street Bullies and their back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in the '70s.
SHORT HOPS: A beaming Frank Smith and wife Diane were right at home Thursday night among the Banquet of Champions patrons. The legendary campus coach was toasted last week by players and coaches from the Thunderbird Football Association following his earlier induction into the UBC Alumni Hall of Fame.
Team 1040’s Barry Macdonald won the 50/50 draw and donated his winnings of more than $2,300 back to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame Foundation.
Long-time Hall of Fame trustee Dick Hibbard didn’t dare return his winning ticket for the grand prize of a Las Vegas trip donated by the B.C. Rugby Union. The USA Sevens international rugby tournament in Vegas next February is the fifth of nine stops on the world series tour. Hibbard, 77, quipped: “A trip to Las Vegas with rugby players? I don’t think my wife would be too pleased if I turned it down.”
END ZONE: The hockey fraternity at dinner Thursday acknowledged the passing of John Iacobucci, 70, the Canucks original NHL statistician. A celebration of life honouring the popular radio executive known to his multitude of friends as ‘Yak’ will be held at his home in Kimberley on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m.
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