Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 29, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, June 29, 1972--------------- 'The loudest first baseman in Lethbridge' The loudest first baseman in Lethbridge and Calgary, was the way one acquaintance de- scribed E. K. (Lefty) Wilson, Innkeeper of the city's new Holiday Inn. Mr. Wilson, of course, em- phatically denies that he was ever a yakker or heckler dur- ing his fastball and Softball ca- reers a few years back. He even denies that he ever gave the umpires bad times. A few other acquaintances suggest Mr. Wilson either has a short memory or is trying to slant the truth "slightly." In any event, Mr. Wilson Is known as a former avid base- ball and hockey player. Born in Calgary 56 years ago, he was most active in hockey and baseball in the middle and late 1930s. He played centre in junior, intermediate and senior hockey in Alberta and Nova Scotia. His team won the Alberta junior championship in 1936. He played for the Calgary Bronks for two years, retiring in 1938. "Calgary hasn't won much he said in an interview. He also played for Canadian Western Natural Gas and the Calgary navy team. 1966 Innkeeper of the Year A California university offer- ed Mr. Wilson a hockey-base- ball scholarship but because of expenses he opted for a busi- ness college education in Cal- gary on a hockey scholarship in 1935 and 1936. Mr. Wilson gave up serious hockey in 1938. "I was a lousy he said. Mr. Wilson is probably bsst known for his baseball activi- ties, especially in Oalgary and Lethbridge. He played and managed seriously until 1938 but carried on with the game for several years later. He played first base in the Big 4 semi-pro league for Pur- ity 99 winning the lengue championship in 1947. He also played with the Calgary navy team and Cornwallis navy base team in Nova Scotia. Chic Mclntosh of Lethbridge summed up Mr. Wilson's base- ball activities with: "He was one hell of a first baseman. He was a good athlete and an ex- eeptumn! ballplayer. He was a real a fancy dan on the b-ll''eld. When he was in a game, everybody knew it. was one of the best ever to come out of Calgary." His praire was slightly temp- ered, ho" with the com- ment: "I didn't have much trouble pitching to him though. He was a soft touch for me." Mr. Wilron recalled some of the chaps lie had played with who wont on to bigger and bet- ter Inirgs: Dave Sweeney Schriner with whom he played baseball rnd who later made it to the NHL Hall of Fame; Glen DUFF SOUND EQUIPMENTS 1108 6th Ave. S. Phone 327-1815 Were pleased to install the sound equipment in the new Holiday Inn. CUSTOM P.A. AND INTERCOMMUNICATION SYSTEMS FOR HOME AND INDUSTRY. We are very pleased to supply Holiday Inn all the fresh tasty sea food for their menu. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR OPENING Lethbridge Locker Seafoods Ltd. 1023 3rd Ave. S., Lethbridge Phone 327-7171 Best Wishes HOLIDAY INN The Bonded Roofing and Range Guard Fire Protection System In The Kitchen All Installed By CHARLTON HILL LTD. SHEET METAL WORK 1262 2nd Ave. S., Lelhbridge Phone 328-3388 Gorbous who joined the Brook- lyn Dodgers; Burt Obnstead of the Montreal Canadiens; and Pat Egan of the Boston Bruins. The six-foot, 165-pound Inn- keeper, who believes a laugh is good for what ails you, was born in Calgary in 1916. Anyone wanting to get a rise out of him simply has to ask what the initial E stands lor in his name. He would probably tell you to "Go to hell." Actu- ally, according to the Holiday Inn annual report, it's Earland. It might be dangerous to call him that though. He attended Victoria public Innkeeper E. R. (Lefty) Wilson school and East Calgary High in Calgary. In 1939 he married. He and his wife Alice have one daughter, Mrs. Paddy Keir, 25, in Calgary. Mr. Wilson was secretary- treasurer of the Navy League of Canada, Alberta division, from 1939 until 1943, when he joined the navy as an ordinary seaman. He spent six months on a destroyer and six months on a corvette leaving the navy in 1945 as a sub-licutcnant. He .worked for Canadian Western Natural Gas from 1939 to 1948, taking leave for three years of navy duty. Following that he was a salesman and sales manager in the construction materials in- dustry. In 1955 Mr. Wilson moved to Lethbridge as manager of the Trans Canada Freezers plant wluch was being completed. He was also sales manager for ttw five western plants of Trans Canada Freezers. In 1957, tired of the life of traveller, he decided to go'into something which wo-M be a little more settled. He had some personal friends in the hotel business and wns offered a financial interest lo become Involved. Little did he know I hen that be would be jumping from the frying pan into the fire as far as a "settled" life is con- cerned. He was manager of the York Hotel in Colinry from 1D57 to 1963 when he became Innkeeper of the Calgary Holi- day Inn. In IflGfi Mr. Wi'son was named Innkeeper of the Year for the international chain of hotels. In 1939 ho opened TMC; Inn on Lake Bonavista in Calvary and rejoined Holiday Inn in the summer of 1970 as Innkeeper in Edmonton. April 1 of this year lie return- ed to Lethbridge during the fin- al construction of the Holiday Inn here. The wavy grey-hairccl gentle- man, who doesn't drink but smokes like a fiend .isk his has a quick wit which keeps acquaintances on their toes. He has an infectious laugh which he uses often. He enjoys being back in Lethbridge. Mr. Wilson has a sympathetic ear whieli is avail- able to anyone, providing a person can get him nut of a conference or track him down as he scurries about the hotel looking for this and thai to the management and staff on the grand opening of INN were very pleased in being able to supply the HARDWARE WESTERN CANADA HARDWARE LTD.