Five honoured by Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame
Published Thursday, May 6, 2010 1:12PM EDT
A former CJOH sportscaster is one of five new inductees into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.
Bill Patterson, who died suddenly of a massive heart attack in 1999, received the honour Wednesday night, along with former NHL player Garry Galley, former CFL player Jim Foley, curler and former swimmer Anne Merklinger and former hockey player Shirley Moulds. Patterson and Moulds were both honoured posthumously.
"It was an honour, very humbling," said Galley.
Meanwhile, Merklinger was surprised to learn she was a candidate for the award.
"I said: ‘You must have the wrong person, I can't believe that's happening,'" she told CTV Ottawa.
"But you know, sports has just been so good to me as a person and it's been a wonderful career."
Although Patterson passed away 10 years ago, his legacy continues to live on in Ottawa's sports community.
His focus on amateur sport helped shape coverage at CJOH/CTV, setting the bar high for those who've followed in his footsteps.
"The Coles notes on Bill, he was one of the kindest people I've ever come across, one of the funniest guys. He was passionate about telling stories. But the funny thing about Billy -- being on television was almost the price to pay for telling stories. He never really seemed to like being on TV for all the years he spent doing this," said CTV Ottawa sports director Terry Marcotte.
"He was incredibly passionate about putting stories together and we looked up to him."
Patterson's wife accepted the award on behalf of her late husband who died when he was only 51 years old.
"If it starts to rain and thunder right now that would be because he is very unhappy. Bill did not like celebrity, he did not like being known by anyone . . . but I know that he would be honoured," Pat Patterson told CTV Ottawa.
While many of this year's inductees were humbled by the honour, the chair of Ottawa's Sports Hall of Fame says it's important to make sure kids in the community know they have local sports heroes to look up to.
"I think its motivation for our kids. I see athletics as being a very important fabric for our community," said Tom Deacon.
The inductees are honoured on the second concourse level at Scotiabank Place.
The event also helped raise money to send less fortunate children to the Christie Lake camp where they can further their interest in sport.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Stefan Keyes