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Victory on the Field - Lest We Forget

While we remember all those brave men and women who went to war to fight for our freedom this Remembrance Day, we at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum would like to highlight a few of our Honoured Members who gave back to Canada in a different way during the war; through the development and success of their sport.

Many aspects of everyday life during the war required women to fill roles that were traditionally filled by men. Sports were no different. Some women were given the opportunity to play professional level sports - such as the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League - while the wars raged overseas. The military even created its own sports teams to fill the gap left by a lack of pro teams, such as the Army & Navy Pats and the Army and Navy Starlets.  


Mervyn 'Red' Dutton

Mervyn “Red” Dutton was a dynamic Albertan who was well respected in the sporting community. As an athlete, Mervyn played in the Stanley Cup for the Calgary Tigers in 1923 and went on to play with the NHL Montreal Maroons from 1926 - 1930 and the NHL New York Americans from 1930 – 1936. After retiring as a player, he coached and managed the NHL New York Americans from 1937 until 1941 when the team was disbanded due to World War II.

Mervyn Dutton was President of the NHL from 1943 to 1946. After retiring from the NHL, Mervyn’s interest broadened to other sports. He was President of the Calgary Bears Semi-Professional Baseball Team from 1946-1949; President of the Calgary Stampeder Football Club in the early 1950’s and President of the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede from 1960-1961. Through his construction company, Mervyn was responsible for completing the building of the McMahon Stadium in 90 days.

Mervyn Dutton’s accomplishments have been recognized by having been inducted into the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958, received the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1993 and received the Order of Canada in 1980. Mervyn “Red” Dutton was a man of integrity, ability and influence.

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Henry Viney

Henry Viney is known as the Dean of Canadian Sportscasters. In a career spanning more than four decades, the 'little man with the big cigar' has become nothing less than legendary. Henry Viney breathes sports, talks sports, and selflessly gives himself to his work and to his community.

Born September 3, 1910, Henry Viney first took a microphone in hand in 1932 with CJOC Lethbridge. In 1945, he started working at CFCN Calgary after serving five years with the instructional staff of the Canadian Army during WWII. Over the airwaves, Henry Viney enlightens and enrages listeners with profound, honest, and more often than not, jarring and controversial commentaries from Calgary and around the world. He has "described the fistic exploits of boxers such as Rocky Marciano, Jersey Joe Walcott, and Floyd Patterson." His sporting versatility and expertise has led him to Kentucky Derbies, Indy 500's, Olympic Games, Pan Am Games, Grey Cups, Stanley Cups and World Series. He has covered World Hockey, basketball, wrestling and soccer tournaments. Through all of this, he has never ignored Calgary's expanding amateur scene. He has seen more than 10,000 games of Fastball, Little League, junior and midget hockey.

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Alex Decoteau

Alex Decoteau was born on the Red Pheasant Reserve, near North Battleford, Saskatchewan, in 1887, where he developed his athletic skills in boxing, cricket, soccer and baseball. Alex Decoteau moved with his family in 1909, to Edmonton, which is where his running career began. From 1909-1916, he entered nearly every major long-distance running race in Alberta, winning most of them.

Alex Decoteau's running success drew much media attention during 1910 and 1911, where he won the ten-mile race at Fort Saskatchewan by a margin of eight minutes and, at a provincial meet in Lethbridge, he won the five-mile, two-mile, one-mile, and half-mile races all in one day. His running exploits earned him the title “Champion Runner of Alberta.”

Alex Decoteau qualified for the 10,000 metre and 5,000 metre races in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics where he placed eighth in the 5,000 metre final. Alex was the only Albertan on the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Team.

Alex Decoteau continued his running career after joining the Canadian Army in 1916, competing in and winning most service races held over seas. Tragically, Alex Decoteau, only 30 years old, was killed near Passchendale Ridge on October 30, 1917.

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Yoshio Katsuta

Yoshio Katsuta (1904-1997) was born in Okayama, Japan, and by the age of about 24 had earned a 4th degree black belt in judo, training at the Kodokan in Tokyo where he also studied chiropractic. When he was 30, he moved to Vancouver and taught judo in BC. In 1942 he was forcibly removed from his home and evacuated to Raymond, Alberta. He opened the first judo club in Alberta, the Raymond Judo Club, in 1943 and taught for 23 years. His wife, Misa, learned judo and was a strong supporter. She assisted him by teaching the women's judo group for a few years. The Club still operates along with 21 other clubs in Alberta, which total over 1,000 registered members.

Mr. Katsuta was the "Pioneer of Judo" in Alberta. He travelled across Alberta giving judo demonstrations and encouraging the opening of clubs in many cities and towns. In 1952 he established the provincial Judo Association - The Alberta Kodokan Black Belt Association - the sport's governing body (Judo Alberta) and was its first president.

Yoshio was awarded the 5th & 6th dans from Judo Canada in 1961 and 1994 respectively. He continued to attend judo events until his passing in 1997. Many of Mr. Katsuta's students continue to promote the sport.

His main goal in teaching was to integrate the mind, spirit and body so that the individual would evolve into a good human being who would become a valuable asset to family and society. It was more about self-mastery that would be reflected in all aspects of one's thoughts and behavior in daily life. He considered this as equally important as developing technical skills and excelling in sport.

Yoshio Katsuta's volunteer hours for judo were many, and he has received a number of awards and honours for his outstanding contributions to the sport. They include a lifetime membership in Judo Canada in 1983, the Hokkaido Challenge Cup in 1987, induction into the Raymond Sports Hall of Fame in 1987 and into the Judo Canada Hall of Fame in 1996. He was awarded the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada in 1992, and the Alberta Centennial Salute for Sport and Recreation in 2005. In 1988, the Raymond Judo Club established the annual Katsuta Kup tournament in his memory.

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