Friday, February 1, 2013

Penticton V's Autographed 1954 Newspaper

I found this great old newspaper recently commemorating the Penticton V's Allan Cup victory in 1954. The really cool thing is it was autographed by a bunch of the players. By beating the Sudbury Wolves, the V's earned the right to represent Canada in the next World Championships. This is of course what they would do the following spring, winning the world title for Canada in 1955. The newspaper is a 6 page special edition of the Penticton Herald dated May 17, 1954. 

The V's were led by the dynamic Warwick brothers, Grant being the playing coach. Grant "Knobby" Warwick had won the Calder Trophy with the New York Rangers in 1942 and scored 46 points in 23 games en route to the Allan Cup. In 1992 I got the chance to hold the very Calder Trophy (mini version) that Grant Warwick won so many years ago. While coaching minor hockey in Oakville, Ontario I coached his 10 year-old grandson (also under-sized and the best player in the league) who while we were having a road hockey practice in front of his house, ran inside to proudly show his grandpa's trophy.
Grant's brother Bill had played 14 games with the Rangers in the early 40's and led the V's in regular season scoring with 95 points in 1953/54. He went on to lead the World Championships in scoring as well with 22 points in 8 games. Grant passed away in 1999, Bill in 2007.  
Dick Warwick is the smallest and youngest of the Warwick boys and at 84, the last surviving brother. He spent the majority of his career in the Okanagan Senior League.

Goaltender Ivan McLelland's highest level of hockey was 4 games with the Vancouver Canucks of the PCHL in 1951/51, 4 games in which he allowed 22 goals. He would however go 8-0 in the 1955 World Championships allowing a mere 6 goals. He is currently 81 years old.
Don Berry scored 25 points for the V's in '54 but played only 3 games of the '54 Allan Cup.
Jim Fairburn scored at a point-a-game pace in the PCHL/WHL before doing the same in Penticton, he is now 85 years old.
Defenceman Kevin Conway tallied 15 points during the 23 game Allan Cup run is alive and well at 82.

Doug Kilburn is another living member of this Vs squad at 82 (amazing and impressive that so many of them are still around). He spent most of his playing career in BC senior leagues, topping out with a season in the WHL and the IHL. he scored 12 points in the '55 Worlds.
Currently 80 year old Ernie Rucks was one of the few Vs who did not play in the 55 Worlds.
Perhaps next time I'm in Penticton, I'll drop by the old Memorial Arena to see if there is anyone to show this paper to. To me it seems to be a fairly rare artifact that maybe belongs in the old rink.

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