TSN honours fallen soldiers

TSN is returning to Armstrong to film a piece on five athletes lost in the Second World War for a Remembrance Day program..

TSN is returning to Armstrong.

The sports television channel, which was in Armstrong in August to shoot its SportsCentre show after the city won the Kraft Celebration Tour, will return this week to film a Remembrance Day feature that will air on the SportsCentre broadcast Nov. 11.

Ryan Nitchie, chairperson of the local Kraft Celebration Tour, was asked by TSN to provide them with local interest sports stories.

“They chose to feature the Raggedy Roller roller derby team and did an exceptional job showcasing their team and sport,” said Nitchie.

But one of the stories that piqued the interest of the TSN producers was a group of Armstrong Shamrocks lacrosse players from the late 1930s.

Five of the players who played for this championship team in 1940 enlisted to serve in the Second World War, and all five died during the war. That included brothers Frank and Bill Fisher, Bill and Jackie Murray and Dave Henderson (older brother of long time Shamrocks coach Ernie Henderson).

“These five athletes were exceptional leaders and excelled at nearly every sport they played winning hockey championships and basketball championships as well as lacrosse championships,” added Nitchie.

“Showcasing their story of community pride, commitment to their team and national service and sacrifice is a story that needs to be told, and remembered, and I couldn’t be more excited that TSN chose to tell their story.”

Interwoven into the story is a possible connection between one or all of these five lacrosse players and a mystery involving the Shaw Cup lacrosse trophy, a solid silver trophy that is the second oldest lacrosse trophy in Canada. It  remains the subject of competition between teams in the Okanagan X Lacrosse League.

Details of this mystery will be revealed when the story airs on Nov. 11.

As a part of the feature story, TSN would like to film some real time lacrosse game action and are planning to stage an exhibition lacrosse game between the Armstrong Shamrocks and Vernon Tigers on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Hassen Arena.

They are encouraging fans to come out and cheer on their teams.

“This exhibition game will be really fun for the fans because the Shamrocks and Tigers teams will be supplemented by lacrosse heroes of the 1970s, including former Shamrocks players like Jim Maundrell, Adrien Lemaire, Lance and Ken McGregor and Doug Morrison, as well as former Tigers captain Bill Kirkland and others,” said Nitchie.

“It isn’t often that we get to play alongside some of our childhood icons and this fun game is the perfect opportunity to do just that.”

The three-period game will be played using Masters rules which is a non-contact version of the game.

Admission to the game is free of charge and the Armstrong Legion Branch 35 members will be in attendance selling poppies by donation.

The TSN film crew will be conducting interviews with local area historians, veterans, family members and shooting location footage all day Wednesday and Thursday, then returning to Toronto to edit the piece for airing.

“We have been very fortunate to have the help of local historians like Len and Jesse-Ann Gamble, Bob Nitchie, Innes Cooper and Dick File, who have really helped with the research and putting pieces of the puzzle together,” said Nitchie.