CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Friday was a special night for Debbie MacMurdo.
Not only did she feel honoured and privileged to be inducted into the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame, she also felt it was a recognition for a sport she loves.
She is the first person inducted into the hall from figure skating.
“It’s really a recognition of the work that’s been done in the sport by many people who have come before me, the people that are there now and the ones that will come after me,” she said before the ceremony at the Rodd Royalty.
MacMurdo was joined in the 2017 class by curler Kim Dolan, the late Ken (Trixie) Dunn, a builder in both baseball and hockey, and the 1964-65 St. Dunstan’s Saints hockey team.
MacMurdo, a Kelvin Grove native, competed before becoming a coach, judge, official and later a board director and committee chairwoman at the provincial, national and international levels.
The call to the hall was a surprise for her.
“It’s not something in your lifetime you ever think will happen,” she said. “When you volunteer or get involved in sport, it isn’t about the recognition but what you can contribute.”
Each of the inductees was introduced to a standing ovation at the start of Friday’s ceremony. Dunn’s wife, Sharon, and brother Cletus walked through the crowd to the front of the room. A number of the people in attendance were wearing blue Team Dunn shirts to honour the Morell native who put countless hours into coaching and administering baseball and hockey.
“He’d just love it, all of this, the celebration that is going on,” Sharon said when asked what Trixie would think of Friday’s event. “It was just something he loved to do. . . He loved youth and tried to help them out.”
The Saints won the Maritime intercollegiate hockey championship in 1965 for the first time since 1947.
“It was a great team playing at a great time,” coach Jack Kane said Friday. “(The induction is) a great thing for all of us that played and we appreciate the fact that we’ve been honoured.”
Dolan won 10 provincial championships and is considered one of Prince Edward Island’s greatest curlers.
“I’m very grateful for the many teammates that got me here,” she said, while adding quickly it wouldn’t have been possible without her supportive family.
“They allowed me to come and play and go out every evening and practise and go away on weekends.”
Friday also provided a chance to go down memory lane and relive cherished moments while also reflecting and thinking about being alongside the sport and Island sports top athletes, teams and builders.
“It just brought back a lot memories, a lot of good times with special teammates,” Dolan said.
“To be in the same category of people I’ve looked up to, and still look up to, . . . it’s quite an honour.”
Each of the inductees spoke of knowing the other inductees and being pleased to be able to share the night with them.
“Superb. They’re great people,” Kane said.
“We have great athletes here on the Island,” Dolan added. “It’s a large hall and it’s getting larger. We have some real stars.”
MacMurdo said she has known Dolan for years.
“An amazing athlete, an amazing administrator as well, a volunteer who gives tireless hours to the community,” she said.
The hall will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018.