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For someone who only played one game of hockey as a goalie at his school, John Wiwcharyk's contributions to the game are even that much more enviable. At the age of only 10, John began his building career by holding the position of Assistant Club Trainer for the Port Arthur Flyers Junior Club for 4 years. At the age of 13 he was organizing the Queen Elizabeth Elementary School hockey team.

In 1939 he began his involvement with the South End Rangers, going on to coach, manage and fundraise for the club for 20 years building it into a strong hockey organization. His hard work resulted in 7 consecutive city Midget titles between 1949-56. During the 1950s, Frank Selke Sr. of the Montreal Canadiens, attended a South End Rangers game at their outdoor rink and was so impressed with the club that he donated a trophy and $500 to them.

In 1955, John joined the Executive of the Port Arthur Minor Hockey Association, holding the Presidency between 1958-61 and in 1959 he was honoured with a Canadian Amateur Hockey Association award for his service to minor hockey. A long time Executive member of the Thunder Bay Amateur Hockey Association, 'Chatter' held many positions serving as minor and junior hockey convener, President between 1973-76, as a representative to the CAHA and as an initiator and Vice-Chairman of the Arnold Southern Memorial Bursary Fund Committee.

In 1975, John's commitment to hockey earned him an appointment to the Ontario Hockey Council Committee. Set up by the Royal Commission to deal with the issue of Violence in Hockey, John served as Vice-Chairman of the Committee for two years.

John was awarded a Life Membership to the TBAHA in 1987, and the TBAHA Meritorious Award in 1988. John passed away in 1990 having dedicated close to 50 years of his life providing sporting opportunities for the youth of his community in a sport that he had only played once.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 26, 1998

John Wiwcharyk

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