Ivan McLelland, who played goalie for the 1955 World Champion Penticton Vees, celebrated is 90th birthday with a round of golf at Skaha Meadows Golf Course in Penticton March 15, 2021. His friends didn’t let him win, he joked. (Contributed)

Ivan McLelland, who played goalie for the 1955 World Champion Penticton Vees, celebrated is 90th birthday with a round of golf at Skaha Meadows Golf Course in Penticton March 15, 2021. His friends didn’t let him win, he joked. (Contributed)

Penticton hockey legend celebrates 90th birthday on the links

Ivan McLelland says there has been so much more to his long life in Penticton than just hockey

Local legend Ivan McLelland may be a better goalie than golfer, but that didn’t stop him from getting out to the golf course to enjoy some time with his friends to celebrate his 90th birthday Monday (March 15).

McLelland is best known for back-stopping the Penticton Vees senior men’s team to a World Hockey Championship in 1955, bringing Canada its 16th world championship title. He’s since remained a very active and esteemed member of the community in Penticton.

As he celebrated his 90th birthday Monday at Skaha Meadows Golf Course with a group of friends, McLelland took the opportunity to look back on his time in Penticton.

“Quite frankly, after all these years I’m pretty darn grateful for the role I’ve played here in Penticton,” McLelland said.

McLellan is grateful for his time between the posts, but he said there has been so much more to his life in Penticton than just hockey. McLelland married his wife Faye who is from Penticton. She passed away from dementia in 2009, prompting McLelland to get involved with fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Society of B.C.

After finishing his hockey career, McLelland started working with youth hockey before becoming involved with local charities. “It’s never work for me,” McLelland said. “[Charity work] has always been something I’ve enjoyed doing.”

These days McLelland isn’t able to do much charity work due to COVID-19 but still keeps himself busy with golf, long walks, snowshoeing and spending time with friends.

McLelland has lived almost his entire life in Penticton since moving here in 1951 from South Porcupine, Ont. to play for the Vees.

“I married a Penticton lady [where we had a] wonderful time here in Penticton,” McLelland said.

Penticton has changed a lot during his time here, so much so that it would be hard to identify all the changes, he said. But he believes the city has changed for the best.

“I think it’s positive, I don’t look at it as any negativity at all. I think the growth is natural and the city is, in my view, as pretty of a place as you’d ever want to be.”

Monday at Skaha Meadows was a special day for McLelland as he took the day to look back on a life well-lived. Despite it being his birthday, he said his friends still weren’t nice enough to let him win the nine-hole round of golf.

“They never let me win, they pick on me!” McLelland said through a laugh. “They’re all younger than me, of course, they’re heartless when it comes to the game of golf. They have no sympathy for an older man at all.”

READ MORE: Penticton’s McLelland recognized for his selfless acts

READ MORE: Penticton Vees go one-and-one for World Champion Weekend

hockey

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

Just Posted

Forward Elan Bar Lev Wise of the West Kelowna Warriors (right, shown playing for the Vernon Vipers in 2019) has been suspended nine games by the B.C. Hockey League for being the instigator and aggressor in an after-the-game fight with Vernon’s Kjell Kjemhus Monday, April 12, at Kal Tire Place. Kjemhus was given a two-game suspension for his role in the fight after the game was over. (Morning Star - file photo)
West Kelowna Warriors forward handed lengthy suspension

Elan Bar Lev Wise fought Vernon Vipers forward Kjell Kjemhus after BCHL game was over Monday, April 12; Kjemhus suspended two games

Vernon residents were able to bring propane fire pits down to Polson Park, between Jan. 25 - April 5 to enjoy with their family bubble, similar to those provided for residents at Predator Ridge. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Fire pits a flop in Vernon’s Polson Park

City spends estimated $2K on temporary program, few, if any take advantage; option closed now

Sheila Derbyshire dressed up as a scary clown to surprise her daughter, Talyn, at Len Wood Middle School in Armstrong April 12, 2021, for her 13th birthday. (Sheila Derbyshire - Contributed)
Armstrong mom sends in the clowns

‘Halloween freak’ celebrates daughter’s 13th birthday in style

Taxes are going up slightly for homeowners in 2021 to give businesses a break. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Tax shifts burden from Vernon businesses to homeowners

New rate for residential 2.67 per cent or $42 for average home

City of Armstrong community services manager and chief bylaw officer Warren Smith stands with the new food waste bin and garbage cart to be delivered to eligible residents later this month. (Brooke Hovey photo)
Armstrong changes waste collection system

Residents to be given new bins as part of the new system which goes into effect May 1

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A shop up on Grand Oro Road near Twin Lakes burned down on Monday. (Facebook)
Fire rips through shop in small South Okanagan town

The building was destroyed despite community efforts to fight the fire

The Save Sickle Point Committee, a grassroots community group, has teamed up Penticton’s Tempest Theatre and Film Society to release short film on Sickle Point. (Contributed)
WATCH: Conservation group releases short doc on saving South Okanagan’s ‘precious’ Sickle Point

Sickle Point, the last intact wetland near Skaha Lake, is facing the prospect of development

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Skaha Lake Middle School. (File photo)
COVID exposure at Penticton middle school

Skaha Middle School is the latest in growing lists of exposure in the Okanagan

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

A five-storey, 60-unit building has been proposed for 8709 Jubilee Rd. E., Summerland. The proposal will be the subject of a public hearing on March 22. (Image by GTA Architecture)
Zoning, OCP amendments adopted for Summerland housing development

Additional variances will be needed for controversial five-storey, 60-unit housing development

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Most Read