Builder/Volunteer/Coach: Hockey & Lacrosse
In spite of the fact that he was an all-round athlete and respected hockey goaltender, runner and canoeist, Wally Barker's legacy will be as a true builder of sports and recreation in Long Sault, Cornwall Township and Eastern Ontario from the late 1950's to the early 1970's.
A life-long resident of South Stormont and the previous Cornwall Township, he was the backbone of the newly formed minor hockey and lacrosse programs of the post Seaway years. As one of the original members and first Vice-Chairman of the Cornwall Township Minor Hockey and Lacrosse associations, he played a key role in building the foundation for programs like hockey, lacrosse, softball, swimming, and events like the annual ice carnival. He was also influential in advocating for the Cornwall Township purchase of the Long Sault Arena as a Centennial project in 1967.
Wally was known for his resourcefulness and ability to access funding and support from municipalities to acquire sports equipment, organize sports clinics, and provide development for coaches and players. In addition to his work as a builder and organizer, he also coached minor hockey and lacrosse from the early to late 60's.
A selfless volunteer, he sharpened hundreds of pairs of skates for youngsters in need, and personally provided literally thousands of miles of volunteer transportation to countless young athletes to sporting activities in Eastern Ontario and across Ontario.
His passion was lacrosse, and he spent countless hours supporting and promoting the sport. Largely due to his efforts, in the 1960's there were minor lacrosse programs in almost every village across SD&G, a competitive area junior league, and an intermediate/senior league that played many games out of the Long Sault Arena.
On the organizational side, Wally was a member of local hockey and lacrosse associations, as well as the Ottawa District Hockey Association representing the Eastern Ontario region.
From 1962 he served as president of the Eastern Lacrosse Association which covered an area from Ottawa East to Quebec. The following year, he moved to up to the national level as vice-president of the Canadian Lacrosse Association. In these executive roles, he was instrumental in bringing the Mann Cup Series - the lacrosse equivalent of the Stanley Cup - to Cornwall in 1963.
Wally Barker accepting from David Hill.