top of page

While growing up in Port Arthur, Ontario, Winnifred (Harpell) Bocking was actively involved in many sports, however, it was in figure skating and tennis where she truly excelled.

Winnifred first began figure skating in 1938 at the Thunder Bay Figure Skating Club, where she skated for a total of 10 years. In 1945, Winnie was the winner of the Earle Beebe Trophy as the city's senior free-skating champion. In both 1945 and 1946 Winnifred appeared as a guest free- skating soloist at the Dryden Carnival and the Copper Cliff Skating Carnival.

Turning to the sport of tennis in 1944, Winnie soon proved that she was just as talented on the court as she was on the ice. In her very first year as a competitive tennis player, Winnifred won the City of Port Arthur Senior Ladies Doubles Tennis Championship title with her partner Catherine Bliss. From 1944-46, Winnifred had won a total of 4 New Ontario tennis titles, 3 City of Port Arthur titles and 3 titles at the Duluth Arrowhead Tennis tournament.

In the summer of 1946, Winnifred competed in the Ontario Junior Ladies Singles Tennis Tournament where she emerged with the championship title. Following that victory, Winnie went on to represent the region at the Canadian Junior Tennis Championships in Ottawa, Ontario. She challenged for and successfully earned the Canadian Junior Ladies Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles titles.

At the age of 16 years, Winnifred had accumulated a number of 'firsts' in her short-lived tennis career. She became the first female to win a national title after only 2 1/2 years of tennis, the first to win all three crowns in one tournament, the first Canadian to win the Junior and Senior titles at the Duluth Invitational and the first Canadian ever to play in the United States National Junior Championships.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 26, 1987

Winnifred "Winnie" Harpell

Port Arthur
bottom of page