Cricket, hockey, and swimming: Aurora Sports Hall of Fame Announces 2017 Inductees   May 23, 2017

Four outstanding athletes are on the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame 2017 slate of inductees for ASHOF’s fifth year.

“Aurora has a deep pool of excellent sports figures and because of that, the selection process is always interesting and at times, difficult. This year was no different and on behalf of the Induction Committee, I am extremely proud to bring forward this year’s slate,” said Stephen Forsey, Chair of the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame Induction Committee.

The inductees are:

  • William Fleury – (Cricket)
  • Mike Palmateer (Hockey)
  • Dan Thompson (Swimming)
  • Bob Wall – (Hockey)

“It’s so exciting to finally hear this big announcement,” says Nancy Black, Executive Director, Aurora Sports Hall of Fame. “What’s even more exciting is planning the Induction Ceremony and knowing that everyone will get to discover each Inductee’s amazing sports journey. These stories, and some other new elements, will make our 5th Annual Dinner Celebration super entertaining.”

The induction celebration dinner with sports celebrity James Duthie as MC is on November 8th at St. Andrew’s College in Aurora. Tickets are available online: http://bit.ly/2rBi89e 

“We are thrilled to announce the Class of 2017; four superb athletes that are a great reflection of Aurora’s rich 150-year sport heritage,” says Ron Weese, President, Aurora Sports Hall of Fame.  “This class features some of Aurora’s greatest sport heroes who will inspire others in sport and life.”

This year, the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame is proud to induct the following four individuals onto its 2017 inductee slate in the following categories.:

William Fleury – (Athlete/Cricket)

Aurora born William James Fleury, at the age of 22, was chosen to represent Canada as a member of the Gentlemen of Canada touring the US, Ireland and England. As a left-handed batsman, Mr. Fleury continued to play cricket locally and internationally until 1910. From 1907 to 1908 he coached and played with the Toronto Zingari. In 1908 and 1910, he was appointed as Captain of the Canadian XI. And in 1910, he coached and played for the Canadian Zingari against UK teams, still batting, bowling and fielding at 45 years of age. Born in Aurora in 1865, he played cricket locally in Aurora and Newmarket and in 1883, he played for Upper Canada College. In those days, Cricket was considered the National Sport as declared by Sir John A. Macdonald in 1867. From 1883 to 1887, he played for various teams until going international. Some of his ‘professional’ highlights included hitting a ‘Half-century’ (over 50 runs) against Staffordshire in 1887. In addition to this, in 1890 he recorded a “Century” (over 100 runs off a single bat) and was awarded the Silver Trophy Badge by the Ontario Cricket Association.

“I’m thrilled that his nomination was successful, and that he will be honoured and therefore remembered by future generations of the people of Aurora, athletes and residents alike,” says David Fleury, William Fleury’s grandson.  “I never knew the man, but I’m sure he would be quietly proud of this recognition, if surprised to be singled out in this way.”

Mike Palmateer (Athlete/Hockey)

Michael Palmateer is one of the greatest Toronto Maple Leafs goalies and was named number 58 in the Leafs all-time Top 100 in the last 100 years. Mr. Palmateer’s second season with the Leafs was his best, (he joined the Leafs in the 1976) where he posted 34 wins with five shut outs in 63 games and was key in the Leafs’ drive to the Final Four of the Stanley Cup playoffs, having defeated the New York Islanders. Known for his acrobatic style, he played as a goalie in 365 games in the NHL, retiring in 1984, when he and his family moved to Aurora, immersing himself in the community as coach, businessman and resident for 30 years. Born in Toronto, Mike played goalie for the Toronto Marlboros from the age of 12 until they won the Memorial Cup Championship during the 1974 -1975 season. He made his Toronto Maple Leafs debut in the National Hockey League (NHL) 1976-1977 season.

“I am very pleased and honoured to learn of my induction into the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame,” says Mike Palmateer. “I have many terrific memories of my professional hockey career but I deeply value all the wonderful memories and experiences spanning over 30 years of living and working in Aurora. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to raise my family in such a remarkable place. Thank you for this honour from the town that will always be home to me, my wife Lee and our daughters Courtney and Tess.”

Dan Thompson (Athlete/Swimming)

Aurora resident Dan Thompson competed in butterfly events in the 1970s and early 1980s and won numerous medals, including gold, competing in the World Student, Pan Am and Commonwealth Games.

Mr. Thompson was selected to represent Canada in the 1980 Summer Olympics, but was prevented from participating because of the international boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games. He was the National Swim Team Captain from 1978 to 1981 and was named Captain of the 1980 Canadian Olympic Team. As a Masters swimmer, he joined the Aurora Master Ducks Swim Club and has set numerous Short Course and Long Course individual and relay Masters World and Canadian records. He has served as Board

Member of the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association and as athlete’s representative on the Board of the Canadian Olympic Association, and the volunteer President of Swimming Canada. He is a former CEO of Skate Canada. He was born in 1956 in East York.

“I’m honoured to be one of this year’s inductees into the Aurora Sport Hall of Fame, says Dan Thompson. “Aurora is a fabulous place to live.  I feel fortunate to live in a community that encourages active healthy living no matter what your age. I hope my story encourages all Aurorans to participate in sport and recreation to experience the joy of sport for life.”

Bob Wall – (Athlete/Hockey)

In 1967, when the NHL increased from six to 12 teams, Bob was made the first captain of the Los Angeles Kings. Born just south of Aurora in Oak Ridges in 1942, Mr. Wall also played for the Edmonton Oilers (1972–1973) and the San Diego Mariners (1975–1976) for the World Hockey Association (WHA) before retiring.  He played hockey in Aurora with the Aurora Bantams (All-Ontario Champions) and Aurora Midgets from 1957 to 1959. At the age of 16, he was drafted to play with the Hamilton Red Wings Junior A Team and was awarded Rookie of the Year. In 1962 his team, the Hamilton Red Wings Junior A won the Memorial Cup Championships. In 1962, he won Best Defenseman and in 1963 he was named All-Star Defenseman for the league. He returned to live in Aurora in 1977 where he coached local hockey teams from 1977 to 1981.

“My childhood dream was to play in the NHL,” says Bob Wall. “I was given the chance to play hockey in Aurora and that is where I was discovered, so to be in the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame is a fantastic honour.” 

About the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame

The Aurora Sports Hall of Fame was established in November 2013, by Sport Aurora and with the financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Aurora Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) celebrates its 5th year, in celebration of sport history and excellence; dedicated to the recognition of the important place that sport has assumed within the fabric of Aurora. Every person who values the contribution of sport to our Community and Country is a part of that commemoration. More information is at https://aurorashof.ca

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For media information, contact:

Melony Teague: info@melonyteague.com (905) 773 0407

Mark Hunter LaVigne, MAJ, APR, FCPRS: mark.lavigne@hunterlavigne.com (416) 884-2018

Nancy Black executive.director@aurorashof.ca (647) 632-6911