Bill Lewis - Builder
Bill Lewis inductee into Builder category of the Skate Canada BC Hall of Fame. Bill was a gentleman who spent much of his time in our sport as an athlete and judge. However, he was also a man who helped to start skating clubs and played an integral role in the beginning and development of skating in BC as a formal registered society
There were Chairmen before Bill but in 1976 they decided to apply for BC government funding so we had to register as a society to do so. Bill was a major contributor to this action and then became the first Chairman of the Section under this status.
Bill started skating around 1941 at the age of 12 and moved right into the carnivals as most children did in those times. He started his skating at New Westminster’s Queens Park Arena which was the home of the Totem Skating Club. His first coach was Bob Corder.
Bill showed some talent early on so it was suggested that he continue to skate into the summer…….only problem??…… there were only 3 summer skating schools in all of Canada…..none in BC. The most famous of the time was in Schumacher, Ontario where he went in 1943 and oddly enough met one of our other 2015 inductees, coach Alex Fulton.
Like many male skaters of that era Bill also skated in pairs and he started early on and became quite successful especially with partner Jean Matthews, but most of Bill’s time on the ice and success in our sport came in men’s competition, where he became the Canadian Junior Men’s Champion in 1948. As noted by Bill…this was the most memorable moment of his time as an athlete.
Bill went on to Senior Men Nationals in 1949 to 1952 and won two silver medals and 2 bronze medals during that time. He competed in the World Championships in 1951 and placed a very respectable 9th.
Two years later in 1953 he began his judging career….a 32 year span…. which went all the way up to 1986 and included the 1964 Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria.
Bill will always be remembered for his big white Hudson’s Bay coat with the famous stripes. He was a kind judge who communicated the results….good or bad …..with great sensitivity.
Bill was also the first Chairman of the Inlet Skating Club…..a community which he has lived in for many, many years. In addition he has been very active in numerous other aspects of life such as local politics. He ran for alderman and in 1993 he became President of the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce.
When asked about what his most memorable moments in skating were and what he loved about his journey in our sport …..he paused…took a breath and simply said ……friends.
As you can see Bill has done much in his life and committed many years of service to the sport of Figure Skating here in BC. Through all his activities and efforts in skating he was a builder of the foundation.
Ladies and gentlemen it is my great pleasure to introduce to you the second person inducted into the builder category …… please welcome into the Skate Canada BC Hall of Fame Bill Lewis