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Publication: Globe and Mail, The add link
Issue: 19 January 2009, page R10
Title: BILL ADDISON: 100 (Obituary)
Web Link: link




January 19, 2009

Victoria -- William (Bill) Addison's name graces a division of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, an honour bestowed on an executive whose sporting career spanned more than six decades.

Mr. Addison spent 21 seasons as commissioner of the league, after which he was presented awards for his service by both the provincial government and the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association.

Before becoming commissioner, he spent a decade as general manager of the Winnipeg Braves. The Braves won the Memorial Cup in 1959, which remains the most recent national junior championship for a Manitoba-based team. The lineup featured such future National Hockey League players as goaltender Ernie Wakely and defencemen Ted Green and Gary Bergman.

"The thing that makes me most proud is that in the 10 years I had the Braves I can't think of one player who turned out badly," he once told sportswriter Hal Sigurdson. "There was never one bottle of beer in our dressing room, our team bus, or anywhere else."

Mr. Addison was named to the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame as a builder in 1993 and the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985.

Away from the sporting arena, he had a career as a personnel manager with the battery company Rayovac before retiring in 1973. He marked his 100th birthday last year by walking unaided to centre ice to drop the puck for a ceremonial face-off.

William Addison was born April 13, 1908, at Carberry, Man. He died on Jan. 6, 2009, at Grace Hospital in Winnipeg. He was 100. He leaves a sister, Velma; a son, Donald; six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Laura, who died in 1991, and by a son, William Addison Jr., who died in 1993.