BORN MARCH 21ST 1956 at Canadian Forces Base Shilo in Manitoba, Canada, his father Tom was a career soldier, last survivor of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in the Second World War, renowned throughout the Forces as one of the most accomplished all-rounders in the game. Player, coach, referee and referee-in-chief at the highest level in the services, his father was his mentor, the man who showed him how it was done from the age of eight at CFB Petawawa in Ontario.
The next year his family was posted far from hockey in the baking desert country of Yuma in Arizona, but not for long. He was Winnipeg Suburban Champion with the Bantam-A of the Silver Heights Community Club in 1967, then Bantam Champs in the garrison town of Hemer in Germany in 1968. Back in Canada at Oromocto, New Brunswick, he was a provincial finalist in Bantam A, Midget A and Senior High, and drafted through the OHL midgets by Oshawa Generals.
In 1973-4, he was among the Ottawa Valley Junior-B Champions with the Ottawa 67's, then finalists with the Junior-A Nepean Raiders (1974-5) and Brandon University Bobcats (1975-6); League Champions with Keystone Glass in the Brandon commercial league (1978-79), Division Winners with the Rossburn Hornets (MNCL 1979-80), and the Spectrum Sportsmen (MSWL 1980-81 ).
Arriving in Adelaide in his mid-twenties, he first played with the Tigers (1982, '83), and was playing-coach of the Adelaide Flyers in 1983, “ABC Slapshot Series” Champions. He twice made league finals with the Falcons (1984 to '86), twice League Champion with the Redwings (1987, '88); three times with the Tigers (1990 to ’93); and twice more with the Blackhawks (1990-’93). He returned to the Redwings for three seasons (2003 to ’05); the B-Grade Tigers (Champs 2010, ’11); and several seasons with the Adelaide Vintage Reds in the Oldtimer's league.
He won Goodall Cups in 1987,’90 and ’91 and twice represented Australia in 1988. He has coached the Brown Trophy, the Australian National Junior Team (assistant, 1984), and the A-grade Redwings. An accredited Level 4 referee in his prime, he refereed Brown (1983), Tange (1984,’85), SA league (1984, '86, 1996-2016), Goodall Cup (1986), D-Pool World Championship (1987), AIHL (abt 2006 -16), and the Canada vs USA International Series (2013,’14,’15,’16).
"As hard-assed and honest as they come," said Andrew Petrie, Head Coach of the Newcastle North Stars in the AIHL. "A fierce competitor and an excellent referee and if you time your breathing just right you can get an occasional word in while talking to the guy!" He credits his perseverance and development to a mother who had always been there. A Registered Nurse for 38 years, and always the new girl on the block in the countless hospitals she worked, Berenice used to "walk to rinks to cheer him on," and is still thought of every day.
This text is taken from the Legends of Australia Ice website. For more about Australia's Ice Hockey Legends, click here.