The BC Hockey Hall of Fame is creating a new exhibit showcasing the history of senior league teams in the province. The Hall is hoping to find memorabilia from the Vernon Canadians, winners of the 1956 Allan Cup.(Contributed)

The BC Hockey Hall of Fame is creating a new exhibit showcasing the history of senior league teams in the province. The Hall is hoping to find memorabilia from the Vernon Canadians, winners of the 1956 Allan Cup.(Contributed)

BC Hall of Fame seeks memorabilia from legendary Vernon senior hockey team

The Hall is hoping to add items from the 1956 Vernon Canadians to a new exhibit at the SOEC

Vernonites, be sure to dig through your grandfathers’ old hockey gear.

The B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame is looking to fill a new exhibit with memorabilia from a historically great 1950s Vernon senior hockey team.

The hall, located in the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, had to cancel its annual induction event in July.

Instead, it’s making use of the downtime to build a showcase of the senior league teams that were once a staple in communities throughout the province.

“Once we realized we weren’t going to be able to run our induction event we decided to switch gears and really work on expanding our Hall of Fame,” said Blain Ford, executive director of the Hall.

“The senior leagues around B.C. were some of the best entertainment in town back in those days, so we’re excited to be focusing on that.”

Ford says the Hall of Fame has collected a large variety of items from around the province, but they haven’t had luck finding items from the Vernon Canadians, a senior team that blazed through a countrywide competition to claim the 1956 Allan Cup.

Nicknamed the Blues after their dark blue jerseys, the Canadians competed in the four-team Okanagan Senior Hockey League (OSHL) from 1951 to 1961, alongside the Penticton Vees, Kelowna Packers and the Kamloops Elks.

READ MORE: Vernon man’s trophy find uncovers mysterious local history

The Canadians were a force in the 1956 season, when they finished with a 37-17-2 record. Led by team manager George Costonguay and coach George Agar, they won the OSHL Championship against the Packers in a best-of-five series.

The team went on to win the B.C. Senior Men’s Hockey Playoffs against the Spokane Flyers, before beating the Winnipeg Maroons to become the top team in Western Canada.

The Canadians capped off their run by becoming the national senior amateur men’s ice hockey champions of Canada, winning the Allan Cup on April 29, 1956, by beating the Chatham Maroons four games to one in a best-of-seven series.

Members of the 1956 team included Mervin Bidoski, Oval Lavall, Tom Stecyk, Sherman Blair, Frank King, Oddie Lowe, Willie Schmidt, Harold (Hal) Gordan, John Harms, Walter Trentini, John Hart, and Dave Gatherum.

The team was inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002.

If there are any Vernon locals out there who may have a jersey or other artifacts from the Vernon Canadians, Ford hopes they won’t mind donating or lending them for the exhibit.

The new Hall of Fame exhibit will have a few additional themes. Sections will be dedicated to the history of the Vancouver Canucks, the 1955 World Champion Penticton Vees and the history of women’s hockey in B.C. “It’s a new venture for us as we’ve typically focused primarily on our annual inductees,” Ford said of the project. “We’re excited about the new exhibit and are looking forward to showing it off to the public once complete.”

Those who have items they’d like to donate or lend to the exhibit can contact Blain Ford at 778-559-3263 or

READ MORE: No class of 2021 for Hockey Hall of Fame, will have ceremony for 2020 class instead

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon City Hall. (Morning Star - file photo)
Vernon council endorses 2.13% tax increase as part of 2021 budget

Next year’s capital budget includes $18.1 million in upcoming projects

Twelve new curbside pickup parking spots are now in effect along 30th Avenue in downtown Vernon. (Downtown Vernon Association photo)
Downtown Vernon curbside pick up parking now in drive

12 locations along 30th Avenue intended to help retail and dining sectors amid COVID-19

Vernon Search and Rescue members assisted a groomer operator on the trails at SilverStar Mountain Resort Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (VSAR photo)
Vernon Search and Rescue helps stranded groomer at Silver Star

Three members responded to the operator whose groomer experienced a mechanical issue Nov. 29

Morning Start: Santa Claus has an official pilot’s license

Your morning start for Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Brent Ross poses with his dog Jack who died over the weekend after asphyxiating on a ball. Ross hopes his experience serves as a cautionary tale to other dog owners. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm man warns others after dog dies from choking on a ball

Brent Ross grieving the sudden loss of Jack, a healthy, seven-year-old chocolate lab

Mayor Colin Basran at the announcement of the 2021 Tim Horton’s Brier to be hosted in Kelowna on Nov. 21. (Contributed)
Tim Hortons Brier not coming to Kelowna

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Curling Canada to move to hub model, similar to the NHL playoffs

Robert Gibson, born November 24, 2020 is in BC Children’s Hospital. Photo contributed
Princeton baby fights for his life, with parents at his side

A Go Fund Me campaign has been started to help family with expenses

Grapevine Optical was the victim of an early morning break and enter Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2020. (Crime Stoppers Okanagan / Facebook)
Collection of designer sunglasses stolen from South Okanagan eye-wear shop

Crime Stoppers is seeking the identity of two male suspects

Most Read