The 2020 BC Sports Hall of Fame inductees, back row, from left, are: Cleve Dheensaw, Robin Bawa, Chris Hebb, Alex Stieda, Brent Johnson. Front: Kathy Newman, Sonja Gaudet, Gerri Tarchuk, Carol Mitchell, Valerie Johnson, Kirk McLean. (Photo submitted)

Vancouver Island south Asian sports pioneer honoured

Duncan-raised hockey named to the BC Sport Hall of Fame

A hockey player from Duncan who got his start at Fuller Lake Arena in Chemainus is among the 2020 induction class for the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Bawa is being honoured in the pioneer category as the first Indo Canadian to play in the National Hockey League. He suited up for four NHL teams over the years: the Washington Capitals, Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Robin Bawa gained prominence as a youth in the Fuller Lake Minor Hockey Association’s rep system. His frequent coach during those development years was Jack Rochon of Chemainus.

Bawa is proud of his heritage and the role hockey played early in his life.

“My family has a long history in Duncan, with my grandfather settling down in Paldi in 1906 and then my dad and I both being born and raised in Duncan,” he indicated.

“My fondest memories come from my early years playing association hockey for the Fuller Lake Flyers in Chemainus. Having great friends as teammates, such as Doug Bodger and Richard Hajdu, was quite inspiring. My goal back then was just to get an opportunity to play for the Fuller Lake Jr. B Flyers, as the NHL was not even on the radar at the time.

“Being from a small town on Vancouver Island and now being inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame is a huge honour not only for myself, but my family as well. I hope this inspires our young to dream big and let their passion dictate their path of success.”

Bawa was inducted into the North Cowichan/Duncan Sports Wall of Fame in 2012.

The 2020 BC Sports Hall of Fame induction class, announced Oct. 29 in Vancouver, also includes: five athletes, three builder-coaches, one team, one media member and the W.A.C. Bennett Award winner.

Athletes named to the hall are: Sonja Gaudet (wheelchair curling); Alex Stieda (cycling); Jeff Francis (baseball); Brent Johnson (football); and Kirk McLean (hockey).

Builders-coaches include: Harry White (golf); Bill Mitchell (wrestling); and Valerie Johnson (trampoline gymnastics).

The team being inducted is the 1979-80 University of Victoria Vikings in men’s basketball

Team members include: Ted Anderson, Bill Chapman (manager), Reni Dolcetti, Jim Duddridge (assistant coach), Kelly Dukeshire, Bruce Hamilton, Chris Hebb, Craig Higgins, Ian Hyde-Lay, Gerald Kazanowski, Gregg Kazanowski, Tom Narbeshuber, Eli Pasquale, Ken Shields (head coach), Billy Turney-Loos, Norm Vickery (assistant coach) and Mickey Welder.

In a bittersweet twist to the announcement, Pasquale died of cancer Monday at the age of 59.

Rounding out the Class of 2020 is Cleve Dheensaw in the media category and W.A.C. Bennett Award winner Kathy Newman.

“Our Class of 2020 is a terrific cross-section of the personalities and teams that make the history, heritage and culture of sport in British Columbia so notable and inspiring for the next generation of young people in B.C.,” noted Tom Mayenknecht, chair of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

The honoured members will be officially inducted and celebrated at the Induction Gala, Thursday, June 4, 2020 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

 

Robin Bawa’s plaque from his 2012 induction into the North Cowichan/Duncan Sports Wall of Fame. (Photo submitted)

One of the National Hockey League teams Robin Bawa suited up for was the Washington Capitals. (Photo submitted)

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks were one of four NHL stops for Robin Bawa. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

Emily Harris (centre) started the in-person Monarch Moms meet-up groups in July, when it was much easier to physical distance in outdoor spaces. Harris started the group as a source of connection for women navigating the ups and downs of having a baby during a pandemic. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Victoria new mom group navigates challenges of motherhood in a pandemic

Monarch Moms meet once a week for physically-distanced connection

Courtenay artist Bill Bolten recently presented Dr. Bonnie Henry with this carving of a yellow warbler. Photo supplied.
Courtenay carver creates gift for Dr. Bonnie Henry

Bill Bolten presented the carving to B.C.’s public health officer in person

Painters Jim Tulip, Doug Mackenzie and Gary Henslowe were painting the exterior of the Duncan Butcher Shop and Apple Press printing shop, located between the Trans Canada Highway and Whistler Street, on Oct. 8 as part of neighbourhood painting project. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Duncan’s Whistler Street sees a fresh lick of paint in opioid battle

Group wants to help clean up community, one street at a time

Maureen Cue, owner of Disguise the Limit costume shop, models – maybe the most obvious – pandemic costume. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Vancouver Island costume expert showcases pandemic-safe Halloween looks

Maureen Cue models the best masked Halloween costumes

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Visitors stroll through Goldstream Provincial Park on a calm, crisp Sunday. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Visitors flock to Goldstream Provincial Park for 2020 salmon run

‘I wanted to come here before I move back to Australia,’ says visitor

File Photo
Planned power outage in Port Alice Oct. 27

BC Hydro crews to work from midnight to 4 a.m. replacing substation equipment

Greg Duerksen and his family. (gofundme photo)
Firefighter prepares for stem cell transplant

Friends rally to help raise funds for Duerksen family

Legendary Vancouver-based blues and jazz guitarist and vocalist Jim Byrnes will perform live at the Tidemark Theatre in a concert that will also be streamed. Contributed photo
Legendary blues musician and actor Jim Byrnes hits the Island

Playing Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre for a hybrid live/online show

Conservation officers hope the public can provide information about who shot and left a bull and cow Roosevelt elk near Spruston Road, south of Nanaimo. (Facebook photo)
Pair of Roosevelt elk shot and left in woods south of Nanaimo

Conservation officers hope public can help find who killed the animals near Spruston Road

Most Read