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"VIP" 2006 Obituary


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VIPOND o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-10-02 published
Ike HILDEBRAND, Athlete (1927-2006)
Pint-sized competitor may have been a world champion in hockey, but he happened to be an even better box lacrosse player
By Tom HAWTHORN, Special to The Globe and Mail, Page S9
Victoria -- Ike HILDEBRAND led a hockey team from small-town Ontario to the world championship tournament in 1959. A small, baby-faced athlete, he was a sparkplug on the ice and a general on the bench.
His greatest moment occurred as playing coach of the Belleville McFarlands. The Macs faced a gruelling schedule of exhibition matches across Europe before arriving in Czechoslovakia for the round-robin tournament in March of 1959.
A senior club team, the Canadians wore a maple leaf on the chest of their sweaters. They were defending on Canada's behalf the world title, won the previous winter by the Whitby Dunlops. Few hockey fans back home appreciated the difficulty of the task. The Czechs were no longer patsies, the Soviets were on the cusp of becoming the dominant force in hockey, and the Americans would show their skill by winning the Olympic tournament the next year. Anything but a championship for the Macs would have been regarded as failure.
The Canadians opened by defeating Poland 9-0, then shut out Finland 6-0 in a chippy game in which Mr. HILDEBRAND suffered a facial cut.
The next game featured the undefeated Soviet Union, seen as the only likely challengers. The Macs gained a 2-0 lead before Mr. HILDEBRAND scored what would be an insurance goal in Canada's 3-1 victory. The Macs mobbed their goaltender and celebrated for 10 minutes before the end-of-game ceremonies could begin. "They acted as if they had already won the title," the New York Times reported.
The Macs then defeated Sweden 5-0, before knocking off the United States 4-1. Mr. HILDEBRAND, one of five Macs with National Hockey League experience, scored in each of the games.
The only way the Macs could lose the title would be to lose to the hometown Czechs by a large margin. After exchanging gifts of Canadian cheese and Czech chocolate on the ice at Prague, the local side came out roaring, gaining a 2-0 lead in the first period. With the score 4-3 for the home side, the Canadian playing coach ordered his goalie off the ice in favour of an extra attacker. The move backfired. The Czechs won the game, 5-3, but Canada claimed the championship.
Surrounded by teammates on the ice, Mr. HILDEBRAND hoisted a trophy in the air while still wearing hockey gloves.
Back home, the accolades were restrained. The Toronto Star's story was headlined: Macs are champs, but… folks will recall loss to Czechs.
"We were meeting a club that was fresh," the coach explained to the paper's readers. "I still think we should have beaten Czechoslovakia, but I cannot begrudge the Czechs this win. They played well. We did not play a good game.
"It could be that the grind is beginning to catch up with us. In the last 20 weeks the McFarlands have played roughly 85 games and have barnstormed through Europe."
He spent another season with the Macs before being fired, an ignominious end to a solid career at a sport that was not even his best. For Mr. HILDEBRAND, a world champion in hockey, was perhaps the best box lacrosse player of his day.
Isaac Bruce HILDEBRAND was born in Winnipeg and raised near Grande Prairie, Alberta. He had never heard of lacrosse until he was 14 and his family moved to New Westminster, British Columbia, then, as now, a hotbed for the sport.
In 1943, the city's Salmonbellies won the Mann Cup as national champions with 16-year-old Ike on the roster. The 'Bellies again qualified for the Mann Cup playoff the next season.
Although they lost to the St. Catharines Athletics of Ontario, the teenaged phenomenon from New Westminster won the Mike Kelly Award as the most valuable player in the series. He remains the youngest person to have won the award.
The same teams met again in the 1946 Mann Cup, by which time the slick, 5-foot-7, 147-pound attacker found himself a target. "Little Ike HILDEBRAND, leading scorer in western competition, looked like a midget on the big [Maple Leaf] Gardens floor and he found the going rough and nasty," the Globe and Mail's Jim VIPOND reported in 1946. The Athletics again won the cup.
Mr. HILDEBRAND would score more than 900 goals and 700 assists in his lacrosse career, which saw him play in five Mann Cup series. He was named to league all-star teams 13 times in 15 seasons. He won scoring titles in 1946, 1948, 1954 and 1955, the last two coming while playing for the Peterborough Timbermen.
A talent in both of Canada's national sports, he played hockey in winter and lacrosse in summer.
He had two successful seasons with hockey's Oshawa Generals and another with the Toronto Marlboroughs, before being invited to training camp for the National Hockey League's Maple Leafs at Owen Sound. He practised during the day and then flew to Peterborough to play in the Mann Cup. The Leafs owner wanted the budding star to sign.
"Major Conn SMYTHE called me into his office and here's the deal he offered me -- $1,000 up front, $3,000 a year if I played in the minors at Tulsa, $4,000 if I went to Pittsburgh, and $5,000 if the Leafs kept me," Mr. HILDEBRAND once told Toronto Star columnist Jim PROUDFOOT. "I told him I'd have to talk it over with my mom and dad."
Instead, he telephoned Charlie CONACHER, the retired National Hockey League star who had been his coach at Oshawa. His advise was to ask for $1,000 on top of each of those figures. When Mr. HILDEBRAND did so, suggesting the higher salary came as parental advice, Mr. SMYTHE became furious. "You little so-and-so, have you been talking to CONACHER?"
Mr. HILDEBRAND wound up playing for the Los Angeles Monarchs and would spend five high-scoring seasons in the minors, all the while studying to become a structural engineer for a career he would later follow.
In 1954, he finally broke into the National Hockey League when the New York Rangers put him on a line with Don (Bones) Raleigh and Nick Mickoski, a fellow Winnipegger. He scored two goals and added three assists in his first five games.
Despite the terrific early success, Rangers coach Frank Boucher juggled lines, placing Mr. HILDEBRAND with rookie winger Billy Dea and centre Max Bentley. The goals stopped coming and the Rangers sold him to the minor-league Vancouver Canucks before being flipped to the National Hockey League's Chicago Black Hawks.
He soon rediscovered his scoring touch, but his season came to a sudden end after he broke a leg in a game in Toronto in February of 1954. He wound up with just seven goals and 11 assists in a 41-game National Hockey League career.
As a coach, he had success behind the bench at both lacrosse and hockey, as he handled junior and senior Ontario teams in Pembroke and Orillia. He led Belleville to an upset Allan Cup championship over the Kelowna Packers in 1958, earning nomination as Canada's representative to the world championship the next March.
In 1985, he was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in Toronto. He had earlier been enshrined in the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame at New Westminster and the sports halls of fame in the Ontario cities of Peterborough, Belleville and Oshawa.
Even so, being a small man in a roughneck sport like lacrosse was not the most dangerous job Mr. HILDEBRAND ever held. As a young man in New Westminster, he painted bridges along the wind-swept Pacific Coast.
Ike HILDEBRAND was born on May 27, 1927, in Winnipeg. He died on August 27 in St. Albert, Alberta. He was 79. He leaves his wife Barbara, two sons, three daughters, four grandchildren, a sister and a brother.

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VIPOND o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-10-19 published
STEWARD/STEWART/STUART, Gene
Peacefully and valiantly, passed away on Tuesday, October 17, 2006 at Toronto General Hospital. Loving husband of Sue JOEL. Adored father of Janet (Bruce WISE,) and Geoff. Dear brother of Marjorie STEWARD/STEWART/STUART, Margaret VIPOND, Martha LAWRENCE and Elizabeth ELLIS. Much loved brother-in-law of Peter and Joan and son-in-law of Rae. Dear uncle of Danielle, Kerry, Penny, Chris, Anne, Ted, Kim and Ian. Gene was a Church Warden, engineer, publisher, businessman, traveler, scholar, philosopher and a wonderful friend. He was a true renaissance man, who brought joy, vitality and love to all who knew him. The family would like to express Gene's and their sincere gratitude to Father Mark Andrews for his love and support. The family will receive Friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home - A.W. Miles Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Eglinton Avenue East), from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, October 19th. The Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, October 20th at 11 o'clock in Saint Thomas's Anglican Church (383 Huron Street). If desired, donations in Gene's memory may be made to the Toronto Humane Society, 11 River Street, Toronto, Ontario M5A 4C2. The family will receive Friends at home on Saturday, October 21st from 7-9 p.m. and on Sunday, October 22nd from 2-5 p.m.

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VIPOND o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-01-23 published
CONWATH, Agnes Gertrude
Quietly passed away, at York Central Hospital, on Thursday, January 19, 2006. She was born in New Waterford, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, on January 22, 1928 and came to Toronto over 50 years ago, where she met and married the late George William CONWATH. Agnes is survived by her loving daughter Georgina (John) DANIEL, sister Irene (Ralph) McCARTNEY, brothers William (Marie) and John Joe (Maryann) McMULLEN, step-sons Edward and Ralph (Dianne) CONWATH. She was predeceased by her sisters Florence, Betty, Patricia, and her step-daughters Eleanor (Bill) VIPOND and Madeleine (Dave) BARTLETT. She was a devout Catholic, good friend and neighbour. Lovingly remembered by her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Family and Friends may visit at the Highland Funeral Home, 3280 Sheppard Ave. East (west of Warden), 416-773-0933, on Thursday, January 26, 2006 from 10 a.m. until the Memorial Service in our Chapel at 11 a.m. Reception to follow the service with interment at Highland Memory Gardens following the reception. Donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society. A Mass will be dedicated on February 24th 8: 20 a.m. at Saint Margaret's of Scotland on Avenue Road.

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VIPOND o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-02-10 published
VIPOND- RIDDING, Kathy
At Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie on Thursday, February 9th, 2006, Kathy VIPOND- RIDDING of Barrie. Beloved daughter of Helen VIPOND of Richmond Hill. Dear mother of Becky and Chris of Barrie. Dear grandmother of Aaron, Dawson, Alexx and Kathryn. Sister of Carole and Lesley. A memorial service will be held at the Paul F. Kent Funeral Home (Hwy. 27 north) Cookstown on Sunday, February 12th, 2006 at 1: 00 p.m. Memorial donations to the National Service Dogs or the charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family.

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