Joan Hall, Bruce MacDonald and Gerry Fagan go through a photo album from the early days of the Alberni Golf Club Charity Golf Classic as they prepare for the 2018 tournament. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Joan Hall, Bruce MacDonald and Gerry Fagan go through a photo album from the early days of the Alberni Golf Club Charity Golf Classic as they prepare for the 2018 tournament. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Alberni Golf Classic has long, strong history with NHL officials

Founder Rob Shick proud of tourney’s longevity, will play in July 7 event

When retired National Hockey League referee Rob Shick was approached to put on a golf tournament in his hometown of Port Alberni, little was he to know his eponymous tourney would still be going strong 25 years later. He looks back with fondness on the 25th anniversary of the charity golf classic played at Alberni Golf Course—this year, happening on Saturday, July 7.

Shick was involved with the NHL Officials Association in the early 1990s, which organized a charitable golf tournament in a different location every year. Shick was asked to host one on the west coast, and the first annual Rob Shick Charity Golf Classic happened in the summer of 1994.

He gathered an organizing committee that included former Alberni Golf Course head pro Bruce MacDonald, Denny Grisdale, Bob Waldhaus, Ron Erickson and Olga Kanigan. “We sat (in the golf club) and really started to plan it, and I walked out and thought ‘wow, what was I thinking,’” Shick recalls.

READ: Alberni charity golf tournament turns 25

“This is one of the longest standing charity golf tournaments running in the province,” said MacDonald (only retired NHL star and new head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes Rod Brind’Amour’s tournament has been running longer, in Campbell River, and MacDonald helped start that one too).

“It had a great start; (Shick) was so popular that we had a double shotgun start.”

That first year, 15 NHL referees and linesmen came to support the tournament. Since then, many NHL and other sports stars have played in the tourney, like former Vancouver Canucks Darcy Rota, BJ MacDonald, Richard Brodeur, Kirk McLean, Orland Kurtenbach, and Ernie “Punch” McLean, former Boston Bruins’ Doug Bodger, former B.C. Lions Al Wilson and John Blain. “We even had the Irish Rovers (musicians) play one year,” Bruce MacDonald said.

Even actor Jackson Davies has played the tournament. This year, Shick is joined by former NHL player Dave Babych, who works behind the scenes with the Vancouver Canucks.

Media stars like former Canuck play-by-play announcer Jim Robson, Bernie Pascall, Jim Houston, the late Neil McRae and now Mira Laurence from Rogers Sportsnet and Jason Pires from CTV, who will both be back this year.

Nowadays, there are 155 players and registration has already filled up more than a week before the July 7 event. There is a waiting list of two dozen names so far.

The tournament is full of fun events, prizes on many of the holes, a ‘Wine or Whine’ event, silent and live auctions.

The tournament was changed from Shick’s name to the Alberni Charity Golf Classic many years ago, but Shick is still involved. He comes back every year from his home in Florida to play in the tourney and lend his support to the organizers— many of whom are still involved.

Over the years the tournament has helped more than 35 Alberni Valley-based charities, and always donates a portion of proceeds to B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Shick is happy to see that tradition continue, as visiting children and seniors in hospitals is something NHL officials have always done.

The benefit to having a children’s hospital available to families was brought home to him in 2013, when his six-year-old niece Danika was diagnosed with a cancerous glioblastoma, or brain tumour. Only 18 months after her diagnosis, she passed away, but not before receiving “phenomenal” care at a children’s hospital in San Diego, Calif., he said.

Shick said the tournament has raised close to $900,000 since its inception, and he’s proud that it is still going strong.

“Our goal is to keep it going as long as the community supports it.”

The tournament will feature as much fun as there is golf.

For more information on the event, call Joan Hall at 250-724-6163, Bruce MacDonald at 250-735-9669 or Lee Anne VanLent at 250-723-7111.




Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Alberni Valley’s Emergency Operations Centre is located around the corner and below the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District office. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District tests new mobile alert system

Residents can still sign up for free Voyent Alert! emergency messaging

Crews respond to a structure fire in the 6000 block of Renton Road in Cherry Creek on Saturday, Feb. 27. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Workshop destroyed in Cherry Creek fire

Crews stayed on scene overnight fighting ‘stubborn’ blaze

(NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Tax error in 2020 means lower rate for residents in 2021

Alberni’s taxation for regional library accidently written down twice

Part of a new housing development proposal for the former Alberni District Secondary School site. (SCREENSHOT)
Housing gap widens in Port Alberni

Vancouver Island city suffers from ‘missing middle’ to housing density

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Most Read