Don Moore honored as multi-sport builder

As Red Deer’s superintendent of recreation, Don Moore was a leading advocate in the establishment of two major facilities, yet his fondest memories involve his work with the city’s youth.

Don Moore

Don Moore

As Red Deer’s superintendent of recreation, Don Moore was a leading advocate in the establishment of two major facilities, yet his fondest memories involve his work with the city’s youth.

“Overall, the thing I feel proudest of is the length of time I put into coaching,” Moore, a 2010 inductee into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in the multisport builder category, said Friday. “I coached football, hockey, swimming and skiing and I consider that my most enjoyable (accomplishment). It was an opportunity to have some influence on people.”

Moore, 81, came to Red Deer from Calgary in 1954 as an assistant to then recreation superintendent Jarvis Miller. He was part of a four-man staff that oversaw the city’s recreational facilities and programs.

Moore retired in 1987, but not before leaving a rather favourable mark on the community. For starters, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Dawe Centre, successfully bringing the city and the Catholic and public school divisions together on the project.

“It’s a shame that it’s not done more widely in other communities,” he said of the co-operation between the three parties. “Calgary and Edmonton have some examples, but Red Deer was a first and it was a real privilege to work with Harold Dawe and Joe Docherty and put that together. It wasn’t an easy task. The money wasn’t there and we had to struggle to get it done.”

Moore was also a leader in the concept, design and construction of the Waskasoo Park and was directly involved in the process to secure a permanent site and home for the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

He was also involved extensively with the Alberta Sports Council, serving eight years as vice-chairman and chairman of the technical development committee.

“That was a really enjoyable experience, working with some really talented people,” he said. “We put together something that in my mind was very important at the time. We pulled all of the sports organizations together under one head and had funding for them for various aspects of their work. It was just a real thrill.”

Red Deer city Councillor Larry Pimm had words of praise for Moore during the induction press conference at the Sports Hall of Fame.

“The facilities are part of Don’s legacy. The other part is people,” said Pimm. “While Don was working a lot of people were watching. They were adopting his ideas and his ideals and today they’re working and people are watching them.”

Moore still lives in Red Deer with the exception of the two months per year he resides in Palm Springs, Calif. He joins a large number of acquaintances in the Sports Hall of Fame.

“I look around the room here and I see people like Bob McGhee, Cor Ouwerkerk, Kevin Sirois and Don MacBeth, among others,” said Moore, who nominated both Sirois and MacBeth for induction. “There are just a lot of people here who I know or have rubbed shoulders with.

“It’s wonderful to be honoured in this way — in your hometown and in a building that was a project I had something to do with. It’s been a hell of a journey . . . just a great journey.”

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com