With the Winter Olympics in full swing I was moved to take a look at the material related to sports in the museum collection. There is a lot of sports material in the collection. Everything from the Monel Cup first awarded in 1914 to club crests, photographs, trophies, skis, skates and baseball uniforms.
The collection includes material from Art Ross and "Toe" Blake, "Yacker" Flynn, "Cap" Cappelletti, "Babe" Marcheldon, and Thelma Jo Walmesley. The list goes on and on.
There are local, provincial, national and international champions represented in the collection. This is an indication our early settlers played as hard as they worked.
I was drawn to a recent donation from Mrs. Bill Salminen. She has graciously agreed to donate a large number of her husband's medals, awards and trophies to the museum.
Bill Salminen was born in Äänekoski, Finland, around 1908. His father, mother and two other children came to Canada in 1910. Bill was left with grandparents in Finland. Once the family was established in Canada, Bill was sent for and arrived in the summer of 1913. The family purchased property in Lorne Township in the Beaver Lake area.
It was here that young Bill grew up and developed the athletic skills that brought in an impressive amount of hardware over the years.
Bill competed in track and field meets, being part of the winning team to claim the Karl Lehto Men's Furnishings Trophy in 1927.
But it was in cross-country skiing where Bill showed his true colours. Fred Ronka, another resident of the area, recalled Bill and Lauri Kolari skiing from Sudbury back to Beaver Lake, a distance of 50 kilometres in a 1928 competition. This was in a time when there were no groomed and marked trails.
There are almost 80 trophies, awards and medals in the donation from Bill's widow. They span a time from 1927 when Bill was 19 to 1963 when he was 55.
As Canadians we have a lot to be proud of when our athletes participate in whatever sport they chose. As Sudburians, we also have a long and proud tradition.
James Fortin is curator of City of Greater Sudbury Heritage. Contact him firstname.lastname@example.org