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Aurora Sports Hall of Fame welcomes 4 newcomers in Class of 2021

Inductees Lois Thompson, Colin Graham helped develop youth sports groups
June 23, 2021
John Cudmore

The Class of 2021 is lined up at the door and awaiting entry to the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame.

Four individuals were approved for induction by Aurora town council June 22 after the candidates were nominated by the ASHOF selection committee.

The inductees include two athletes and two individuals considered builders and contributors.

Former National Hockey League player Steve Vickers and tennis star Brendan Macken, who was named Canada’s top-ranked men’s singles player on four occasions, will enter in the athletes category.

On the builder-contributor side, Lois Thompson, well-known for her work in female softball circles, and Colin Graham, who was instrumental in the development of lacrosse and girls hockey in Aurora, are also poised for induction.

The Aurora Sports Hall of Fame induction gala is scheduled to be held Nov. 18.

It is impossible to talk about softball for girls in Aurora without Thompson getting an at bat.

Thompson has been a driving force for the Aurora Diggers girls’ softball program since the late 1970s and continues to be the organization’s secretary and treasurer.

Graham could just as easily be inducted for his coaching prowess.

The longtime Aurora resident was instrumental in the development of the Aurora Minor Lacrosse Association (1983-91) and the Aurora Girls Hockey Association which spawned women’s senior hockey in Aurora.

He coached female hockey for more than 20 years and served the organization in several capacities.

Graham was bestowed lifetime membership by the Aurora Minor Hockey Association in 1987 after serving as a coach for 13 seasons and on the board of directors for eight years.

The late Macken was a dominant force in Canadian men’s tennis in the 1940s and 1950s.

The Montreal-born Macken was Canada’s top-ranked player four times between 1946 and 1952. During a 10-year span from 1946 to 1955, he was ranked among the top three players in Canada nine times.

Elected to the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame in 1991, he also played in 10 ties as a member of Canada’s Davis Cup team from 1946 to 1952 and again in 1954.

Vickers was the 10th overall pick in the NHL amateur draft in 1971 by the New York Rangers. He went on to a 10-year playing career from 1972 to 1982 with the organization.

The Toronto-born Vickers produced six seasons of at least 20 goals, including a career best 41 in 1976, on his way to 246 career goals among 586 points. He played 698 career games.