Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Manitoulin Golf Men’s Open

Despite shortening up Sunday’s event because of the weather there smiles all around and very competitive flights. Even though there were cautions over COVID, 72 golfers competed. For the second time in three years the winners of the championship flight was duo of Dan Lefebvre and Craig Rogerson. They had an impressive run, amassing a total score of 97 for the 27 holes.

There was a tie for second place, with the team of Arron and Marvin Assinewai equaling a score of Troy Chatwell and Kyle Kauppi. One single stroke off the leader-board, nice try.

Other notables were Billy Biederman and Bryan Corbiere who won the first flight (107), just edging Marcel Leclair and Gordon Reid who shot 108.

In the second flight, the pair of Marc Addison and Garret Gouge scored 111, one up on Kyle Noble and Sean Case with their 112.

In the third flight, Kevin and Conor Sullivan put the father/son team to the test to win it with a 115.

In the special events, Justice Corbiere and Troy Chatwell had the longest drives for Saturday and Sunday respectively. Closest to the pin prizes went to Jesse Beaudin and Craig Rogerson.

AFT slow-pitch starts this week!

The AFT co-ed slowpitch was the brainchild of legendary Wiikwemkoong sports organizer Gerard Baibomcowai. Gerry, always quick with a crack about something. When I asked him what AFT stood for he said, “About F’n Time.” Since he always has some sports activities going at any one time and with COVID putting the kibosh to that you can understand the name.

He has four teams already drafted and the first game will take place in Manitowaning this week. Gerard has done a great job in strategizing the get to have fun but keep everyone safe from the virus right down to no high five-ing.

The Attempt Continues!

Natalie Hastings and Kristin Bickell knocked off another lake on their list of some 108 lakes they hope to eventually paddle around. This weekend’s adventure brought them to Silver Water and the aptly named Silver Lake. After paddling around the massive Lake Kagawong, Silver Lake’s perimeter of just 10.5 clicks and they have pulled themselves through 113.8kms of Manitoulin waters.

This was one lake that neither Kristin nor Natalie had never been and witnessed the usual beauty and wildlife, however Silver Lake boasts some amazing escarpment outcroppings. As you may know, Manitoulin is the last vestige northward of the Niagara Escarpment that continues south for over 750km.

Virtual runners worldwide planning for new run

The Fit-Family-Run is the third in a series of virtual runs. They invite you to take part in the third edition of the popular family run together with your loved ones. The routes offer the ideal distance for every age group, because running is fun and connects people. Get your ticket now at

Praise for “Wiggy”

It was nice to see this paper’s new section honouring local citizens, ‘I’m Your Neighbour.’ I was especially happy to read the piece on Dave Wiggins an employee, long-time, of Williamson’s Hardware. Just as he did when he played hockey for the Mindemoya Thunder and the MSS Mustangs, Dave still gives 110 percent in his adult job.

To get good advice, any advice, in a big city hardware is next to impossible these days. Growing up my father was a hardware manager both in North Bay and Sudbury. He knew every fact about every product. Dave reminds me of him.

A moment for Eddie

The great Eddie Shack died recently at the age of 83. He was a rough and tumble player, a fierce teammate and fan favourite. My dad got to see him play three times in North Bay. The Leafs would have exhibition games against the Cleveland Barons who were still in the AHL at the time. 

Dad got three autographs from him and remembers that he liked kids and would patiently and kindly sign autographs. “Clear the track, here comes Shack!”

Pickleball please?!

Pickleball is now in full swing with both indoor and outdoor play at the NEMI  Recreation Centre. The club offers equipment and coaching to recreational and competitive players.

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in North America, played by all ages. At this time, COVID-19 safety protocols are being followed according to provincial and municipal guidelines. 

The following are the play times: Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 10 am, Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7 pm. 

NHL playoffs begin

Say hey, Manitoulin sports fans hockey fans! The NHL draft will soon be over and August 1 will be the first day of the three-of-five series for 16 teams. The eastern teams will play out of Toronto while Edmonton is the site for Western teams. 

Meanwhile the top eight teams will wait until the best-of-five series finishes. There will be a few exhibition games prior to August 1 but the real shooting will begin in Toronto with the New York Rangers playing Carolina; Florida versus New York Islanders and Montreal taking on Pittsburgh. Meanwhile on the same night in Edmonton Chicago will play the Oilers with Winnipeg going up against Calgary. Some Island fans have noted that the setup gives a distinct advantage to the host cities in Toronto and Edmonton will get to control all the games at hand, but we’re just happy to have pro hockey return regardless.

Australian hockey star

Older fans of Junior A hockey, NOHA-style, will remember Jim Jones as a top-notch player with the erstwhile Espanola Eagles. He was good enough to be drafted by the Boston Bruins but was unable to make the show. 

But recently his daughter Tamra was voted into the Australian Hockey Hall of Fame! Tamara played boys’ hockey in minor rep as a youngster. In fact, our Panthers played against her team a number of times. Eventually she played for the women’s Team Ontario squad. This earned her a scholarship to Brown University at Providence Rhode Island, the same school that Little Current’s Sean Gjos attended. Following university she played for a while in Denmark and then headed for South Australia! There she was one of the main forwards of the South Australian Women’s Hockey League. She organized, coached and played well enough that her Australian under-18 team won the world’s B division gold medal. 

Meanwhile her playing was at a high enough level where she was chosen the MVP of the entire league in 2005. This spring the high-scoring Espanola product was voted into the Australian Women’s Hockey Hall of Fame! Quite an owner she continues to play while teaching sports athletic courses at the University of South Australian. What a story. Kudos, Tamra and the Espanola Jones family

Racist team names and logos 

slowly disappearing

Hats off to the Indigenous leaders in both Canada and the USA after much negotiations with the Washington NFL team as well as their sponsors FedEx, Nike, Pepsi and the Bank of America (wow, tough opponents). Washington football owner Dan Snyder and Coach Rivera have finally caved in and agreed to change the name and logos of the NX NFL team. It only took 87 years! Oneida leader Ray Halbritter had the negotiating team for the Indigenous contingent.

As weird as it seems Mr. Trump has already tweeted that he is angry in the loss of this “piece of history.” Mr. Snyder indicates that the new name and logos will honour the Indigenous people; meanwhile, in Canada the Eskimos of Edmonton are in the midst of similar discussions.

Cycle tours?

Cyclists should set aside September 7 to 11 or 14 to 18 for some Manitoulin cycle tour adventures. Hopefully those scenic tours will not be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The tours are each five days in length and they are known as the El VAR cycle tour and are sponsored by Okay Cycle and Adventure Tours. For more information visit

House on hold

Some sad news for curling fans. The Grand Slam curling season will not open until April 2021. All major sports face  uncertainty in these troubling times. 

Go, Greg go!

Sincere congratulations to sports guy Greg Lockyer on the occasion (July 20) of his completion of 35 years in adult and children’s mental health counselling. Eventually (with the help of Glenn Hallett) he landed at the Manitoulin Mental Health Clinic. Over the years he has had hundreds of clients who were helped by his advice and experience. 

A busy man who also puts in many hours umpiring ball, refereeing hockey, organizing youth ball etc., etc. Your dad, “Dubs,” would be so proud! Also on the 24th his youngest son Justin turned 28 years old. Fishing and golfing were the order of the day! Justin and his brother are former members of the Sudbury Wolves AAA midget team that won a national midget championship a few years back. Quite an accomplishment, guys!

A good sport is good for sports