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Burnaby Sports Hall Of Fame
2018 •
• Builder •

Categories:  Athlete, Coach, Builder, and Team

 

Al Ores

Auto Racing

Al Ores was born in Slovenia in 1933 before immigrating to Canada in 1953 settling in Burnaby and working at Bert’s Automotive in Vancouver. In 1968, on a bet with two of his workmates, Ores took racing lessons at Westwood Race Track in Coquitlam and one lap around the track in a 1965 Mustang and he was hooked. He won his first race in a heavy rainfall in Seattle on his 36th birthday. He’s been buying, building and racing cars, and mentoring many a mechanic and racer at tracks from Portland to Edmonton ever since. Ores would be out at the track almost every Tuesday and Thursday night manning the corners. Along the way, Ores got to rub shoulders with Canadian racing legend Gilles Villeneuve, and Finnish flash Keke Rosberg, and actors with a hankering for fast cars like Paul Newman and Richard Dean Anderson (aka MacGyver). Ores was inducted into the B.C. Motorsports Hall of Fame as a pioneer in 2002. He still goes out to race tracks to help out, to dish out advice and to occasionally go out for a lap or two, sometimes even racing around the track with the likes of his grandson.

 

George Pittendrigh

Lacrosse

For decades George Pittendrigh’s 13th Avenue home was a beehive of activity every spring as a steady stream of boys and parents came to his home to register for the lacrosse season. The stream didn’t stop with the start of the season. It just kept flowing right through the summer. On his days off, or, in his spare time, boys would come to him to have their sticks restrung and equipment mended. He kept extras so when boys showed up Pittendrigh didn’t have to turn anyone away if they couldn’t afford it. Pittendrigh cleared a vacant lot next door to his home overgrown with blackberry bushes and fruit trees so neighbourhood boys could play. So many showed up he decided to organize the South Burnaby Minor Lacrosse Association. In 1974, he was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a builder of minor lacrosse. That earned him the title “The Father of Minor Lacrosse in South Burnaby.” At least, that’s what one newspaper article called him. Pittendrigh’s 40 years of service also earned him a life membership in the B.C. Lacrosse Association. Pittendrigh, who was born in 1894, died on May 5, 1983.

 

Dr. Glen Smith

Rowing

It was 1979 and two women rowers were training on Burnaby Lake. Their goal was to compete in events like the U.S. championships that were to be held in Oakridge, Tenn., but the duo didn’t have the funds to go. Then one day their coach surprised them with tickets to Tennessee where they won a gold and a silver. The coach refused to say who paid for the trip. Their benefactor remained a secret for more than 30 years until one of Glen Smith’s friends told them Smith had been watching them train and decided to anonymously pay for the duo’s trip. Smith was a member of the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds eights squad that upset England at the 1954 British Commonwealth Games to win a gold medal for Canada. In the early 1960s, Smith was a founding member of the Burnaby Lake Rowing Club. After moving to Burnaby in 1985, he became a club board member and didn’t leave until 2011. As a national umpire he officiated at hundreds of regattas for more than 35 years. Smith also served as a team physician for the Canadian under-23 rowing squad at the 1981 world championships in Vienna.