I found this page at https://web.archive.org/web/20080311041803/http://www.trianglehockey.ca/history.html and it is copied verbatum:
I believe this league has continued without interuption since 1951 but I have found other sources that state the league has operated continuously since only 1965.
THE TRIANGLE HOCKEY LEAGUE 1951-1958
COMPILED FROM PAPERS SUBMITTED TO SASKATCHEWAN ARCHIVES BY CATHERINE E. LEE IN 1985
LETTER FROM STAN GREIG TO CATHERINE LEE
Written from Creelman, February 10, 1983
Dear Mrs. Lee,
I have been asked by the Triangle Hockey League to get in touch with you regarding the Vic Lee Trophy.
This league that Mr. Lee started, first called #33 Highway League, I believe, then later expanded to #16 Highway and renamed the Triangle League, is believed to be one of the first such leagues in the province and as such we feel deserves a lot more recognition.
With your permission we would like to retire the trophy and present it along with a history of both Vic and the league to the Saskatchewan Hall of Fame.
Just what procedure we have to go through to do this isn’t known for sure. But the S.A.H.A. representative comes from this area and he is going or will go to work for us in getting this accepted in the hall.
But before we can do very much we have to firstly get your permission to retire the trophy and also your permission and help if you can in writing up the history.
If you agree to this being done we wondered if you or Vic kept a scrapbook of when and how the league was formed etc.
I recall Vic and Mr. Dick Ast from Fillmore stopping at my place of business and discussing this league. We in Creelman had a team at that time that I played with and if I recall correctly the league extended from Sedley to Stoughton the first year and later extended to Redvers. I think approximately 1950-51. Then a little later it was expanded to take in Highway #16. It is difficult to remember back that far so maybe I am not completely correct.
Trusting to hear from you regarding same
LETTER FROM CATHERINE LEE TO STAN GREIG
Written from Vancouver, March 16, 1984
Dear Stan Greig,
I’m sorry it is over a year since you first wrote me about the Triangle League.
As I wrote before, I am giving my consent to the retirement of the Victor E. Lee Trophy. After more than 30 years on the go I understand the wear and tear.
It is a credit to so many interested and public-spirited citizens in the various communities who have given time and effort no doubt.
It also speaks well of the firm foundation on which it was built.
I wish continuing success of the Triangle League in the years ahead.
Catherine E. Lee (nee Getty)
(Mrs. Victor. E. Lee)
LETTER FROM CATHERINE LEE TO SASKATCHEWAN ARCHIVES
Written in Vancouver, May 9, 1985
Early in 1983 the executive of the Triangle Hockey League of Saskatchewan asked me to write the early history of the formation of the league by my late husband, Victor E. Lee, and also to write Victor’s story. This I agreed to do, using his scrapbook, newspaper clippings, letters, and pictures of events in the first eight years when he was their president.
The league was Victor’s idea, and with his enthusiasm he was able to interest the businessmen and many public spirited men in the many communities along the two railway lines running south and east of Regina in the fall of 1951. That fall he gave the Victor E. Lee trophy for annual competition. It was awarded first to Sedley, Sask. hockey team at the end of the 1951-1952 season.
Early in 1983 the executive of the Triangle Hockey League through their secretary, Mr. Stan Greig of Creelman, Sask. asked for my permission to retire the Victor E. Lee trophy as there were no more spaces for winner shields and it was showing its age. I gave my permission, and it was last awarded to the Glenavon Pipers hockey team at the end of the 1982-1983 season. The Victor Lee Trophy is now in the hands of the Saskatchewan A.H.A., I am told.
A new Todd Memorial Trophy was given for annual competition.
As I feel the league is part of the history of intermediate hockey in Saskatchewan, I am requesting the acceptance for safe-keeping of the enclosed loose-leaf folder. Thank you for your consideration and favorable reply.
Catherine E. Lee
THE TRIANGLE LEAGUE
COMPILED AND WRITTEN IN 1984 BY CATHERINE LEE
The Triangle Hockey League of Saskatchewan was formed in the fall of 1951.
In a small town in the south eastern part of Saskatchewan, a group of young fellows had been playing pool when one of them suggested that they get together a hockey team and challenge the fellows in the neighboring town to a game of hockey at the weekend.
Victor, who was in the barbershop, overheard the remark. Then and there, Hockey! There was the idea for the league. While traveling home that Friday evening and over the weekend, Victor gave much thought and consideration to the idea of a hockey league on his territory.
Victor as a young man was very interested in sport of all kinds and knew the benefits to young people and the communities where there were facilities for team sports.
Victor, having written life insurance as a representative of the Monarch Life Association Company of Winnipeg, Manitoba, for 20 years or more, felt he knew the people in the towns as well as the farmers in the rural communities and that there were numbers of public-spirited men who would be more than willing to support his idea of a hockey league for their communities.
The next week Victor spent contacting some of the businessmen on the C.P.R. and C.N.R. railway lines out of Regina. These two railway lines branched from Regina forming the two arms of a triangle.
Some of the first visited were Dick Ast of Fillmore, J. E. Longpre of Sedley, and Dr. L. L. Prefontaine of Montmartre and others, and all saw the merit and need of a hockey league for their communities. As expected all gave their whole-hearted support to the idea of a hockey league.
A Constitution was drawn up, officers were chosen, and the name of the league was to be The Triangle Hockey League as descriptive of the locale of the players. The proposed Constitution in the scrapbook may not be the one adopted by the league. The league management team was headed by a president, two chairmen, one from each of the two arms of the triangle, and a representative from each playing team in the league. Victor was the first president, but I do not know the names of the chairman or team representatives. Victor was president until December, 1958.
Victor donated a trophy for annual competition in the Triangle Hockey League. The inscription reads
Victor Lee Trophy
Monarch Life Assurance. Co.
It is a beautiful trophy of marble, several kinds of fine wood, and gilt metal. It stands about 18 inches in height and has three hockey player figures surmounting three pylons. The wood base above the marble slab forming the lowest part of the trophy has small silver shields for engraving winners’ names each year.
The first Trustee Committee for the trophy was as follows: Chairman--J. E. Longpre of Sedley, Executives--Andy Hall of Fillmore, Henry Ortman of Odessa, and A. H. Ritchie of Regina.
By 1954 the Triangle League had joined the Saskatchewan Amateur Hockey Association. In 1957 Paul Hamelin had been appointed League Statistician.
Winning Teams of the Triangle League in the early years:
1. 1951-1952 Sedley Sons won over Windthorst Pirates
2. 1952-1953 Stoughton Oil Kings won over Kennedy Black Hawks
3. 1953-1954 Stoughton Oil Kings won over Montmartre Canadiens
4. 1954-1955 Fairlight Red Wings won over Sedley Sons
5. 1955-1956 Montmartre Canadiens won over the Kisbey team
6. 1956-1957 Redvers Rockets won over Montmartre Canadiens
7. 1957-1958 Glenavon Pipers won over Fillmore Foxes
8. 1958-1959 Sioux Indians
9. 1959-1960 Montmartre Canadiens
10. 1960-1961 Montmartre Canadiens
In about 1954 Lloyd Saunders of Radio Station CKCK, Regina, Saskatchewan, interviewed Victor about the Triangle Hockey League. Johnny Esaw, formerly the sports announcer with CKCK stated, “Victor has the biggest little league in Saskatchewan.”
Here follows the alphabetic list of teams in the Triangle League in the early years:
|Arcola||Kennedy Black Hawks||Odessa|
|Fairlight Red Wings||Manor||Stoughton Oil Kings|
|Glenavon Pipers||Montmartre Canadiens||Windthorst Pirates|
Referees for the local games were men from the area interested in hockey. In a letter dated December 1, 1954, Victor wrote to Dick Ast about arranging a school for referees, which no doubt would be welcomed. For the final games of the season Victor would bring out referees from Regina from time to time.
The home town of the winners of the Victor Lee Trophy always had a banquet to honour the team members for their valiant efforts and sportsmanship displayed. There would be a guest speaker as well as other speakers from the community.
The late Father Athol Murray, who at one time was on the executive of the S.A.H.A., was guest speaker several times. He wrote to Victor on December 15, 1954 to tell him of a book called “Hockey in Saskatchewan” written by Ken Mayhew. The last chapter was devoted to the Triangle Hockey League and paid tribute to the Triangle League. Victor never read the book unfortunately. I hope to locate a copy soon.
From Regina the left arm of the Triangle was the C.N.R. railway line, also known as the Kipling line or No. 16 as the highway more or less ran parallel to the railway. The right arm of the Triangle was the C.P.R. railway line, sometimes referred to as the Arcola line or No. 33 as that highway ran nearly parallel to the line.
Members of the winning teams of the Triangle Hockey League for the early years were obtained from newspaper write-ups. Only the names of those who scored goals were reported in the write-ups of the first three years.
1. Sedley Sons were the winners for the 1951-1952 season. Porky Helfrick scored two goals, and the following scored one each: Brennan, J. Sieferling, Jack Helfrick, Ferner, Deck, and John Helfrick.
2. Stoughton Oil Kings won the trophy in the 1952-1953 season. Goal scorers were Ron Ivany 4, Reg Smallwood 2, J. Houston 2, Jackie Loran 1, Roy Smallwood 1, Gib Smallwood 1, O. Pickering 1, Art Mahnke 1.
3. Stoughton Oil Kings won the Victor Lee Trophy for the second time in the 1953-1954 season. Art Mahnke scored 2 goals, Jackie Loran 2, Wes Richardson 1, D. Bennett 1, Reg Smallwood 1.
4. Fairlight Red Wings were the winners of the trophy in the 1954-1955 season. Team members according to the photograph in the scrapbook were Bud Palmer, Tom Stewart, Stan Down, Angie Cameron, Ted McLean, George Taylor, Jack Taylor, Cliff Dixon, Edwin Fowler, Lynn Gavon, Ronnie Fraser, R. Fowler, J. Potoski, Fred Down, Bert Kulmoski.
5. The Montmartre Canadiens won the trophy for the 1955-1956 season. According to the newspaper picture, the team members were Maurice Bilodeau, Renie Sauve, Raymond Robert, Marcel Lachambre, Lionel Prefontaine, Henry Tricoteau, Pete Zerr, Herve Lachambre, Edwin Beaudin, Paul Bilodeau, Bill Bohonos, Claude Beaudin, Roger Perras, Herve Beaudin, Alain Beaudin, and Edwin Coupel.
6. The Redvers Rockets were the winners of the Victor Lee Trophy in the 1956-1957 season. According to the newspaper picture these were the team members: Brother Elbert, Stan Poirier, Paul Martine, Henry Poirier, J. Lorette, R. Weiger, R. Madson, Omar Smith, Red Kelly, P. Buisse, Keith Raisbeck, and F. Downs. The coach was Jim Raisbeck, the assistant coach, D. Smith.
7. The Glenavon Pipers won the trophy for the 1957-1958 season. According to the newspaper picture, members of the winning team were Laurence Sluser, Ken Holmes, Joe Erza, Alf Selinger, Gerry Coppicus, Don Ulmer, Bernie Borowski, Joe Hengen, George Couthward, Jerome Hengen, Jack Harbottle, Ken Johnson, Roy Synk, Fin Wahl, Paul Hamelin, Dan McEachern, Tom Williams, Les Rowley, and Dale Hiphner.
We have only one picture of a rival team at the final game for the Victor Lee Trophy. In the 1957-1958 season the Glenavon Pipers were the winners while the Fillmore Foxes were the rivals. Members of the Foxes, according to the picture, were Art Haas, Harold Cross, Vic McKay, Tom Borbstrom, Jerry Nurse, Kent Halbert, Teg Grieves, Willie Koslor, Butch Lubiens, Darwin Pollock, Bill Handcock, John Fahlman, Al Grieves, Daryl Pollock, and Roy Lloyde.
By the end of 1958 Victor Lee felt that it was time for someone else to take over as president as we planned to spend time in warmer climes and someone was needed who would be on the spot for the full hockey season.
Victor never lost interest in the Triangle League although we were far from the scene after he retired in the fall of 1967. Victor saved the pictures, letters and clippings, etc., which I put into the Triangle League scrapbook.
I wrote and typed the two stories, one about the Triangle Hockey League as requested and the other about Victor Lee, my late husband. I do intend to put the two stories with some of the pictures into the Saskatchewan Provincial Archives.
PARTICIPATING TEAMS IN 1951
Along the northern railway Line: Montmartre, Glenavon, Windthorst, Kipling, Kennedy, Wawota, Fairlight
Along the southern railway line: Sedley, Fillmore, Creelman, Stoughton, Kisbey, Arcola, Carlyle, Redvers
NEW HOCKEY TROPHY
Newspaper (unknown) article, 1952
The new hockey trophy for the Triangle League was on display for a brief period last week in towns along this line when Mr. Victor Lee of the Monarch Life Assurance Company brought it along, in a special case, to show it to officials of the League. It is a beautiful trophy of marble, several kinds of fine woods, and gilt metal. It stands about eighteen inches in height and has three hockey player figures surmounting three pylons. The wood base above the marble slab forming the lowest part of the trophy has small silver shields for engraving winners’ names each year. The inscription on the trophy reads
The Victor Lee Trophy
Monarch Life Assurance Co.
A committee to legislate on play for the cup has been set and members at present are Mr. Longpre, Sedley, chairman; Andy Hall, Fillmore; Henry Ortman, Odesa; Dr. Deshaye, Montmartre; and Henry Eger, Kipling, with power to add.
The Triangle League comprises teams on this line and 16 Highway and down the C.P.R. line south-east of Regina--Sedley, Fillmore, Arcola, etc. While play this year was necessarily limited because of the time factor, Mr. Lee expressed the hope that other teams, perhaps to the Manitoba boundary on both “lines”, would enter for the trophy in the future.
Mr. Victor Lee of the Monarch Life has been on this territory for years, and he says that in arranging for the trophy he is responding to the requests of friends on his territory who for years have been wishing that something could be done to encourage more and better hockey. Mr. Lee is himself quite a fan, and his enthusiasm has been instrumental in getting “the finest trophy we could get.” It is indeed fine.
Sedley won the trophy this year, defeating Windthorst in a two-game total-point final 19-9. Each team won one game.
STOUGHTON WINS TROPHY BY DEFEATING KENNEDY
Newspaper (unknown) article, March, 1953
At Stoughton on Wednesday of last week, the Stoughton Oil Kings took the final of a two-game series, to win the Victor E. Lee Trophy, emblematic of supremacy in the Triangle League. Their win over the fine, hustling Kennedy Black Hawks, a younger crew, was 13-5. The Stoughton team took a four-goal lead in the first game played at Kennedy and then went on to win the series by the final count of 19 to 7 before a rink packed full of cheering, enthusiastic fans. Ron Ivany was the Stoughtom spark plug with four goals. J. Houston and Reg Smallwood added a pair each while singles went to Art Mahnke, Roy Smallwood, Gib Smallwood, Jack Loran, and O. Pickering.
Clarence Giroux scored two for Kennedy. Pete Barclay, Hugh Craig, and Norman Clark registered one apiece.
After the game Mr. Richardson, manager of the Stoughton team, introduced, over the P.A. system, Mr. J. E. Longpre, Sedley, chairman of the league, who spoke briefly on the series and who, in turn, introduced Mr. Victor Lee, donor of the Trophy. Mr. Lee represents the Monarch Life Insurance Company and is well-know all through the wide area in which the Lee Trophy is up for yearly competition.
The teams lined up in a large “V” before Mr. Lee, who, after outlining the formation of the Triangle League, presented Reg Smallwood, the Oil Kings’ captain, with the trophy symbolizing championship of the league. Mr. Lee closed his remarks with the hope that in the years to come the trophy would be played for in the fine tradition of our great Canadian sport.
The League on the whole has enjoyed a very successful season. There were many thrilling and cleanly-fought games between the eleven towns of Sedley, Francis, Fillmore, Kennedy, Stoughton, Montmartre, Odessa, Wawota, Windthorst, Glenavon, and Kipling, and the attendance at most games was good.
Mr. Lee has expressed the opinion that there are not enough games in the League schedule, but this is something which can be decided from year-to-year by the chairman and directors.
STOUGHTON WINS PLAY-OFF
Newspaper (unknown) article, March 26, 1953
Patronage at the rink last Wednesday evening was very fitting for the Triangle League Play-off between Kennedy Black Hawks and Stoughton Oil Kings. Two games with collective scores to count was to decide the winner. Wednesday’s game unquestionably left no doubt as to the victor. Final score Wednesday, 13-5, added to the previous win gave the Oil Kings 19-7.
A referee from Wapella and a judge of play (Milne) of Kisbey tooted the whistles, seemingly to the satisfaction of spectators and players.
Goal scorers were (4) Ron Ivany; (2 each) Reg Smallwood and J. Houston; (1 each) Jackie Loran, Roy and Gib Smallwood, O. Pickering, Art Mahnke.
Wes Richardson was down from Regina to assist the boys.
Patrons seemed very pleased with Kennedy’s effort--just a team of mostly young lads. It is generally thought that should they hold together for a year or so they will make a top--notch small town team.
Following the game both teams lines up for presentation of the Triangle League trophy, a donation by Mr. Victor Lee of Regina.
Mr. Lee was present in person for the game and made the presentation.
LETTER TO VICTOR LEE FROM FATHER ATHOL MURRAY
December 15, 1954
Dear Vic Lee,
A story that literally sparkles with white-hot fire and human interest has just been released--Ken Mayhew’s HISTORY OF SASKATCHEWAN HOCKEY. As a tribute to fifty years of prairie effort in sport it is magnificent.
MAGNIFICENT too is the latest chapter in Saskatchewan sport--the emergence of the Triangle Hockey League. It covers one third of a great province; and its potential grows gloriously from day to day. The advent of FAIRLIGHT is an exciting new franchise. And the affiliation of the entire circuit with the S.A.H.A. gives the necessary framework for league substance, recognition and dignity. No longer just a sprawling outlaw human vegetation it has now the dimension of legality and true creative growth.
The men energizing this movement in the mid-century decade are architects of a glorious adventure for Saskatchewan youth.
Father Athol Murray
NEWCOMERS TO TRIANGLE LEAGUE, FAIRLIGHT, WINS
Newspaper (unknown) article, March 24, 1955
Fairlight won the Victor E. Lee Trophy by defeating Sedley in a two-game total score final played last week. The first game, at Fairlight, was a 4-all tie, and the second game, at Sedley, was a 5-3 win for the Easterners.
Victor E. Lee, in a telephone interview Tuesday, congratulated the Fairlight team, newcomers to the Triangle League, and said they will be a welcome addition to the League.
The Triangle League has been described by Tom Melville as the biggest Intermediate C League in the province. Fifteen teams played more than eighty games this past season. Interest was high and attendance was good at all League games, according to Mr. Lee. The sponsor of the Trophy commended the players for their clean brand of hockey and gave special praise to Cam Bill of Windthorst, representative of the “Left Wing” of the League area and to Dick Ast of Fillmore, representative of the “Right Wing.” The interest of these two busy men and the time they gave contributed greatly to the success of the season.
BANQUET AT MONTMARTRE HONORS LOCAL SPORTSMEN
Newspaper (unknown) article, April 25, 1956
A very special banquet was held on April 19 in Sacred Heart parish hall, Montmartre, honoring the village sportsmen, which included the Montmartre Canadian hockey team, who won the Victor Lee trophy for the 1955-56 season, and the Pee Wee team, sponsored by the Montmartre Legion branch, who played very well all through the winter season and lost out by only one point on the season’s play. The winners of the V.O.K.M.C.G, curling trophy were also present.
Special outside guests attending the evening were Mr. and Mrs. Victor Lee of Regina, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Wahl of Glenavon, and Mr. and Mrs. C. Bill of Windthorst.
The banquet, with approximately 200 people from town and surrounding villages, opened with words of welcome by the m.c., Mr. Jos. Joubert, followed by the blessing of the food by Rev. Fr. J. A. Foisy.
After the delicious supper was enjoyed by all, speakers were called on to say a few words. These included Mr. Victor Lee, president of the Triangle League; Rev. J. A. Foisy, parish priest; Mr. Harry Wahl, M.L.A.; Mr. Cam Bill, president of the Left Arm of the Triangle League; Dr. L. Prefontaine, Montmartre hockey team’s top man and, may we add, “stunt man”; Mr. Paul Righetti, president of the Montmartre Legion branch.
Following the speeches, presentations of jackets to the senior hockey team were made by L. Prefontaine. Presentation of hats, donated by the Montmartre Co-op Association, was made by Mr. G. Morin.
Mr. Marcel Ecarnot (skip) presented his rink and Mr. Elmer Labreche (coach) presented the up-and-coming Pee Wees.
Winner of the Pee Wee raffle, which was made by Mr. P. Righetti and Norman Beaudin, was Mrs. G. Morin.
Many thanks go to the Ladies’ Altar Society and Ladies’ Auxiliary Rink committee for the attractive, delightful supper, which was enjoyed by each and everyone, also thanks to the businessmen of the village for such a successful banquet, organized in such a co-operative manner.
A dance followed the banquet in Paul’s hall in the evening.
MONTMARTRE CLUB HONORED
Montmartre newspaper article, May 2, 1956
Montmartre senior hockey team, which won the Triangle League title and the Lee trophy, were among the village sportsmen honored at a banquet here. Also honored were the pee wee hockey team and skip Mark Ecarnot and his champion curling rink.
Among the some 200 people in attendance were the donor of the trophy, Victor Lee, Harry Wahl, MLA, and league official Cam Bill of Windthorst.
Dr. L. Prefontaine of the Montmartre team; Paul Reghetti, president of the Legion branch; Rev. J.A. Foisy; Mr. Wahl; Lee and Bill gave speeches.
From an article in the Courier, 1957
Two of hockey’s staunchest supporters are found in the ranks of the Monarch Life field force in the persons of Vic Lee of Regina and Frank Boreham, manager at B.C. Mainland. It does their hearts good to further the hopes and ambitions of what may well be some of the great stars of the future in the N.H.L. and other hockey circles.
Vic is the donor of the Victor Lee Trophy, which is emblematic of supremacy in the Triangle Hockey League and was happy to present it this year to the Redvers Hockey Club. This avid interest in hockey has earned Vic a place of honor in Saskatchewan Sport circles and helped him to build quite a reputation throughout the province. As nice a piece of public relations for today and tomorrow as you would ever come across.
REDVERS CHAMPS OF TRIANGLE LEAGUE
Newspaper (unknown) article, 1957
In a very fast and hotly contested two-game series, Redvers edged out the Montmartre Canadiens to become possessors of the Victor Lee Trophy, emblematic of the championship of the Triangle League.
The two final games were played over the week-end. At Redvers on Saturday night, the home club edged out the Montmartre team by a 7 to 5 score, and at Montmartre on Monday night, Redvers again were victors after a fast, clean game, the score being 6 to 5.
Mr. Victor E. Lee of Regina, president of the Triangle League and donor of the trophy, attended the final game and presented the Victor Lee trophy to the winning team at the conclusion of the game.
Montmartre newspaper article, April 5, 1957
Redvers captured the Triangle Hockey League championship here Monday night although they dropped a 6-5 decision to Montmartre in a thrilling game before 1,150 fans.
Redvers won the total-goal series 12-11 on the strength of a 7-5 win in the opener at Redvers last week. The Redvers club was awarded the Victor Lee trophy, won last year by Montmartre, which is emblematic of the league championship.
Goal-getters for Montmartre were Richard Kuntz, Marcel Lachambre, Roger Perras, Harvey Lachambre, Claude Beaudin and Harvey Beaudin.
Brother Elbert paced Redvers with three goals while singles were counted by Denis Smith and John Lorette.
Referees Owen Gillstrom and Pete Prosofski of Regina meted out six penalties, four of them to Montmartre.
Redvers now meets Fort Qu’Appelle in the southern intermediate C final. First game is slated for Fort Qu’Appelle Wednesday with the second game of the total-goal series at Redvers Friday.
Regina Leader Post, October 24, 1967
This week, retirement will take another prominent sportsman from our ranks when Victor Lee pulls up stakes and heads for Vancouver. Retirement has been a long time coming for Victor.
The white-thatched insurance man has been around for a long time. Unless I’m way off base, Victor must be either in the 83rd or 84th year. The insurance business has been good to Victor, but no more so than he has been to sport, particularly intermediate hockey.
It was Victor who started the old Triangle Hockey League and it grew to become the largest intermediate hockey league in the province. For years, he spent as much as three or four days each week in the Fillmore, Windthorst, Kipling, Montmartre and Glenavon areas drumming up interest for the Triangle League.
Some of the original centres are no longer associated with the Triangle League but it is still one of the most active leagues of its kind in the province.
LETTER FROM FATHER ATHOL MURRAY TO VICTOR LEE
October 15, 1970
Dear Victor Lee,
Have been on the wing across Canada a great deal this fall with little chance to write. I was thrilled to have your shout.
No one in Saskatchewan did more than Victor Lee to stimulate the formation of league hockey. The impact of your creative activity initiated the fine teams of the Triangle League and built teams that have produced players now in the N.H.L. and at the same time gave inspiration for superb community spirit through all southern Saskatchewan.
Oddly enough I shall be flying to Vancouver tomorrow and should love to contact you--but my hosts have me closely booked till I take off for Regina on Sunday.
We would have much to discuss. The hockey picture this year in Saskatchewan is very promising. There are some superb teams.
Warm regards, Vic.
HI! TRIANGLE HOCKEY LEAGUE FELLOWS
Newspaper article written in Vancouver, undated
I may be approximately 1,400 miles from my many friends in the Triangle League but I often think of the many good times we had together. I understand from Mr. Fowler, captain of the Fairlight hockey team, that your league had a very good season last year and that they won the trophy for 1967-68. In fact, he sent me a photo of their team, which I appreciated very much. I have just written your president, Mr. Cam Bill of Glenavon, that I am writing these few lines to the League in general. Your president is a busy man so he states “Hop to it--more help the better.” Now fellows, this is the second time Fairlight has won the trophy. First in 1951 and again in 1967-68. I only wish Montmartre was back in the League. We had many a good game in their splendid rink in former years. Yes, with an attendance of 400 or over at many a game. Out here in B.C. I come across many residents who live here now asking me about the Triangle League. Yes, and often ask me, “Where is Montmartre?” These hockey-minded fellows know Beaudoin of Montmartre and Smith of Glenavon, boys that have made good through the Triangle Hockey League. Yes, you should have heard Father Murray speak about our Triangle League at a board of trade banquet last fall. You would have been proud to say you played in that league a few years ago. I’ll wager Beaudoin of Montmartre is making good money this winter playing for a team across the border.
It is the spirit of a town like Fairlight who won the trophy last year that causes the residents of a community to feel they live in the best town in the whole country and everything about it is the best. When enough people get to feeling that way about their community it is pretty sure to become just that sort of a community. It is the spirit that causes the citizens of a small town or community to stand up for its institutions, boost for its hockey team, its ball team, its schools, its churches, its enterprises, its best garages, its lawn mowed, its houses painted. Yes, it’s the kind of a town you’d like to drive into.
Old broken-down car lots--discard them (unsightly).
I’ve just learned through a friend that Fillmore is building a new rink. Hurrah! What a boom that will be for the fine and prosperous town. Such a building can be used for so many projects besides ice skating, roller skating, cattle shows, horse shows, a portion for tennis, volleyball, etc. Now Fillmore will sure have a hockey team and Sedley, we want you in the league. Your president, Mr. Bill, states he will soon be calling his usual fall meeting to arrange for the coming schedule.
Just a closing line: Shaunavon, Sask., where I lived during my first ten years in Saskatchewan. These enterprising citizens put on a walkathon and hoofed 28 miles from Eastend to Shaunavon. Proceeds to go to the artificial ice fund. They raised the staggering sum of over $12,000, and some pledges not in yet. The oldest walker was my former friend while I lived in Shaunavon, Sam Horne, 72 years young. His contribution alone was $649.80. Top money raiser, Ken Johnson, age 18, earned $824.60. Yes, and this walk took place under deplorable conditions, gale force winds enveloping them with dust. Yes, it is one thing to aim and another thing to hit, and no man will show a constant hitting record unless he plans his work and works his plan. Those who jog along aimlessly never get anywhere. I am an insurance man and I know whereof I speak. Just strike the “t” out of can’t. Fillmore has just done that. Other towns in the Triangle League can do it also.
VICTOR E. LEE
VICTOR LEE SETS RECORD--50 YEARS WITH ONE COMPANY
Newspaper article, undated
Once in a while, a genuine “human interest story” comes across the news desk. You may agree with me that the following is one. It is the story of an ordinary businessman, Victor E. Lee of Regina.
In a way, Vic Lee’s story starts in a most unusual way. Born in Manitoba of Irish parents, his earliest memories are of travelling by flat bottom boat down the Red River to Winnipeg and treking by ox team west to Newdale where the family first settled. Later, they moved to Souris.
On graduating from Souris High School, Vic Lee sought his fortune in Brandon, where he rose to manager of a large dry goods store and participated in a wide range of athletic activities, including hockey, lacrosse and track and field. In the 1909 Dominion Track and Field championships, which were held at Brandon, Vic competed against top athletes, several of whom later became Olympic medallists. He more than held his own, winning several medals.
Leaving Brandon, Vic Lee became a partner in a general store business at Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. Shortly later, he sold out and homesteaded.
Up to this point, perhaps Vic Lee’s story is no more than the chronicle of just another old-timer but when he finished his homestead duties, Victor Lee yielded to a friend’s persuasion and joined the Monarch Life Assurance Company.
The year was 1917. Vic admits he didn’t know much about life insurance but, he started out, walking 16 miles to make his first call. Explaining he didn’t know much about it but that Head Office assured him it was a good contract, Vic made his first sale. “That started me off,” he says. “I realized there and then that I had to see people, so I bought a covered Timothy Eaton cutter, rented a team of ponies and from then on, was on my own.”
For many years Vic Lee led the Monarch Life Assurance Company in sales. In 1925, he transferred to Regina as district manager and in 1928, was elected vice-president of the Life Underwriters Association of Canada for the Province of Saskatchewan and president of the Life Underwriters Association of Regina.
In 1964, the Monarch Life Assurance Company honored Victor Lee on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Guests from Moose Jaw, Regina, Swift Current, Yorkton, Shaunavon, Moosomin and Winnipeg attended the dinner in the Hotel Saskatchewan. Displaying his emotions without embarrassment, as only a strong man can, Victor Lee repeated one of his favourite credos, “Save! Smile! Hustle! Whistle!” He then reaffirmed his decision to “continue a while longer before retiring.”
On Friday, March 3rd, the Monarch Life Assurance Company held another Vic Lee banquet in Regina, this time to honour him as the Company’s first fifty year man. For fifty years, Victor Lee had been actively selling life insurance--and for the same company!
Reminiscing about his half century of service, Vic Lee said he figured it was time to retire. After all, at 82, he had other projects to devote his attention to. One of them is sure to be hockey! As nationally known sportscaster, Johnny Esaw, once stated, “Victor has the Biggest Little League in Saskatchewan.” In 1951, Victor formed the Triangle Hockey League with six teams competing, the second year 14 teams were in, the following, 15 teams. It’s still going strong with teams competing annually for the beautiful trophy Vic Lee donated.
How young is 82? Few people can provide the answer the way Victor Lee does but anyone who has occasion to chat with him cannot help but come away inspired by his example and philosophy for a full life.
Regina Leader Post, March, 1972
Victor Edward Lee, a native of Newdale, Manitoba, and a long time resident of Regina, was truly a remarkable gentleman. Victor, who was 87, died Monday in Vancouver. He had been a resident of that city since 1967, when he retired after a 51 year association with the Monarch Life Assurance Company.
An ardent sportsman throughout his life, Victor was active in hockey, lacrosse and track and field. In 1909 he won several medals in the Canadian track and field championships when the event was held in Brandon. A few years later, Victor moved from Brandon to Shaunavon, where he entered the insurance business in 1917. He moved to Regina in 1923 to become district manager, a post he held for two years before resigning to return to selling.
In 1951, Victor organized the Triangle Hockey League and it is his trophy for which the teams still play each year. The league was made up of some 10 teams from towns along Highway No. 16 and No. 33 from which its name was derived.
Known as the “biggest little league in Saskatchewan,” the Triangle League flourished under Victor’s guidance. It later included some 14 teams in the 1950s.
While I cannot recall the original teams in the league, such towns as Montmartre, Glenavon, Windthorst, Kipling, Fairlight, Wawota, Odessa, Maryfield, Fillmore, Stoughton, Sedley, Arcola-Kisbey, Redvers, Wolseley, Indian Head and the Indians from Fort Qu’Appelle at one time or another had teams in the league.
It was during the early years of the league that I knew and considered Victor as a fine personal friend. I will never forget the many times that he drove me to Montmartre, Glenavon or some other town to referee a league playoff game.
Nor will I ever forget Victor’s embarrassment in the spring of 1952 when we arrived in Montmartre for the first game of the playoffs and I was asked to use the coal bin in the cellar as a dressing room.
The prime purpose of hockey men at the provincial level is to encourage the game from the smallest hamlets to the large cities. Unfortunately this purpose in many areas has been lost. However, such was not the case with the hockey people associated with the Triangle Hockey League--thanks to the efforts of Victor Lee. He did much for amateur hockey in the province and will be long remembered by those of us who are better citizens for having known him.
Note added by Catherine Lee:
Victor had been a partner with his uncle, John Dolmage, in the Dolmage & Lee General Store in Souris, Manitoba, until the death of his uncle in the early spring of 1914. Later that spring Victor went to Shaunavon, Sask., where he obtained a homestead south of town.
Victor and I were married on the 27th of October, 1925, in Moose Jaw, Sask., and established our home in Regina, Sask., late in the fall of 1925.