New inductees for hall

The Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame will induct four new members in November

  • Sep. 7, 2014 10:00 a.m.

The Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame will induct four new members in November.

Three-time Olympic swimmer Rick Say, of Salmon Arm, and Vernon hockey legend Odie Lowe will join the shrine in the athletes category at a luncheon Nov. 7 at the Schubert Centre in Vernon.

Basketball guru Mel Briggeman will enter the builders section posthumously, while the two-time B.C. Junior Hockey League champion Vernon Essos will grace the hall of fame in the teams listing.

“The committee is honoured to select such a worthy group of people,” said Hall of Fame director Roger Knox.

“We are deeply saddened that Mel will not be with us, but we know he would have been overjoyed with his induction.”

Say  was born May 18, 1979 in Salmon Arm, where he swam as a child for the Salmon Arm Sockeye Swim Club with his two brothers and two sisters. At the age of 18, he began attending the University of Victoria and started to swim seriously.

Lowe, 86, turned pro with the New York Rovers of the Quebec Senior Hockey League in 1948-49. The next season he had a four-game callup with the New York Rangers, scoring a goal and an assist.

Lowe helped the Rovers win the Eastern Hockey League title in 1949-50.

In 1952 Lowe shifted to senior hockey and played the 1952-53 season with the Nelson Maple Leafs of the WIHL.

After playing two seasons for the Winnipeg Maroons, Lowe returned to the WIHL and played for the Vernon Canadians until he retired in 1962. Lowe won the Allan Cup with Vernon in 1955-56 and was coach of the Essos for both their BCJHL titles in 1970 and 1972.

The Essos were led by Ernie Gare Jr., John Price and Wayne Dye. They stopped the Victoria Cougars in a six-game series in 1970 and dispatched the Penticton Broncos in seven games, in ‘72.

Briggeman died Tuesday of congestive heart failure at Vernon Jubilee Hospital. He was 79.

He was the executive director of the Funtastic mixed slo-pitch tournament, elected to the Funtastic Hall of Fame in 2008.

Briggeman worked closely with disabled athletes and was also a volunteer with Vernon Special Olympics, working alongside close friend John Topping, founder of Funtastic.

Briggeman also served on the board of the North Okanagan Athlete and Team of the Year awards committee.

He was honoured by that committee in 2012, when he was given a Leadership in Sports award. Briggeman was also recognized with the Brent Gilchrist Community Service Award in 1998, and was given the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for community service in 2003.

Briggeman worked all levels of basketball for decades, served on the board of B.C. basketball officials and handed out assignments to local referees.

Tickets for the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame luncheon will go on sale soon.