Legends of the Pitch
Written by: Chris Perrotte
I remember when I went to a Hall of Fame for the first time. I was amazed by the many names that were engraved forever in the plaques and trophies on public display. The names of those individuals will be remembered always for their contributions and passion for what they loved.
As I stood and studied the names, I wondered what it would be like to have my name etched in some Halls of History somewhere.
I’m sure the 30 people inducted at the first ever Oshawa Vikings Hall of Fame ceremony back in 2009 felt much the same. They celebrated at the Holiday Inn Oshawa in front of over 100 people to mark the 50th anniversary of Vikings' history.
“It's important to recognize and honour members' involvement. The work and dedication of our Hall of Fame members is what has established the club,” says John Watkins, Vikings Rugby President.
Among the 30 inductees honoured on that special occasion was Founder Chris Krause. Krause formed the club in 1959 as an avenue for young boys to participate in a physical activity in their own community. Today, the Oshawa Vikings organization continues to provide the opportunity to learn and play rugby in the Durham area for both boys and girls of all ages. They have rugby teams as young as Under-8 co-ed, to Senior Men's and Women's teams.
With the Vikings Hall of Fame housing currently 34 members, I wondered how important is it to have something to recognize these individuals?
It's very important,” Watkins explains. “But it also recognizes committee members, volunteers, and players that have made significant contributions to the club.”
Among the 34 inductees in this Hall of Fame, five members - Chris McKee, Scott Stephenson, Mike Stone, Dave Thompson, and John Watkins - hold the distinction of being Honorary Life Members. To be an Honorary Life Member, these five men have dedicated more than 25 years to the Vikings club collectively. This title is something special to John Watkins.
“To be recognized for life-time membership makes me feel proud of my involvement and accomplishment with the Vikings,” says Watkins, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
New members are selected to the Hall every five years, posing the question "how are people selected to receive such an honour?"
“The Hall of Fame Committee selects members. It's based on the significance of their contributions,” Watkins relays.
The next Hall of Fame ceremony will coincide with the 60th Anniversary of the Oshawa Vikings, taking place in 2019. The public is more than welcome to visit the Home of the Vikings and the Hall of Fame, located at 110 Raglan Road West in Oshawa, Ontario. There you can see all inductees names on their honour board.
It truly is special to stand in front of something historic and wonder about the lives of these individuals who dedicated themselves to the sport they love. Rugby!