The Boys Of Summer….The 1969 Canada Games


Editor’s Notes: The following is a cross-section between the contributed newspaper article and email sent by our newest contributor to the site, Dale Mackenzie…… footage is courtesy of Andy Voh






by Dale Mackenzie……..

A little history:

The first ever Canada Games was held in Halifax Nova Scotia August 1969. Provincial teams competed against each other for National Supremacy.
Ontario lacrosse was represented by Rexdale Warriors,,,,

(See attached article)

Rexdale Warriors photo from 1969

REXDALE JR. B’S TO REPRESENT ONTARIO (6/26/1969) from the Rexdale Advertiser…….

Rexdale Jr. B’s will be Ontario lacrosse hopes in the Canada Summer Games to be staged in Halifax, commencing August 19th. The Rexdale squad, coacheds by Bob english and managed by Al Ashton, earned the right to make the trip by defeating Oshawa 14-12, in the final game of a four-day round robin tournament, held at North Toronto Arena.

Seventeen teams commenced the round robin on June 14th and 15th, and the survivors returned to the scene last weekend. Rexdale gained the qurterfinals, with a 20-8 victory over Niagra Falls two weeks ago.

They played three games last weekend, edging Cornwall 17-14, defeating Ottawa 12-5 in the semi-finals, and then picking up the big victory against Oshawa. The victory was all the sweeter, because of the fact that Oshawa were heavy favorites to win the tournament and were also well in front in regular league play, having won seven and tied one in their first nine game. Rexdale was seven points behind Oshawa in the league standings.

Rexdale captured the game the hard way, coming from behind a three-goal deficit in the final nine minutes to score five unanswered goals and that was enough to give them the championship and the big prize of a trip to the east coast.
After the game, Aston stated:, “Now that we have earned the privilege of going to Halifax, ur work has just begun. We have to arrange holidays for the players, start a fund raising campaign to help defray expenses that are not normally covered in Summer Games grants and generally, we have many minor details to try and take care of.” He concluded; “We only hope that the good people of Rexdale will be able to assist us, when we call on them.”

Coach Bob English refused to single out any player for special mention, with the exception of netminder Rick Bradley. He said; “It would be unfair to say our championship was the work of any one player. This was a solid team effort, but we did get some superb goaltending from Rick Bradley and he should be a coming star in the future.”

The Rexdale goal scoring went something like this: Double goals going to Dale MacKenzie, peter Murphy, Fred Comeau, and Jim Little. The remainer was spread between Wayne Young, John Griffin, Mark Carr, Jim Quigg, Bob Bolitho and Dennis Cox.
Ken Cunningham paced the Oshawa team with four goals. Dan Matthews and Walter Karas clicked for two each. Rexdale led 8-4 at the end of the first period, but let down badly in the second, as Oshawa outscored the 6-1, to take over a 10-9 lead and then added two more goals in the early stages of the final period, before Rexdale finally found the range, which ultimately resulted in five goals.

In the qualifying tournament final game against Jim Bishops’ heavily favored Junior B Green Gaels, many of his players were brought down from Jr A ranks to ensure a victory.
As the article states, Rexdale was down 2 goals going into the 3rd period.  I was hacked by Terry Rowland in the end of the second period and my nose was literally hanging by a thread of skin and had to leave for medical attention. Fortunately a hospital was nearby and even more luckily a plastic surgeon was available. He replaced my nose and I returned to the game to find us down by 2 goals in the middle of the 3rd period. Adrenalin and rest had given me energy and with a Hockey mask on my face I was able to score a goal and get the team back on track. Assisting on another two goals we tied and then pulled ahead to win the opportunity to represent Ontario.
In the Canada Games that August we won the Silver medal in a close game against BC.
Three of the players on that Rexdale team went on to play Professionally in the NLL. Jim Quigg, Bill Nunn and myself.

Stats courtesy of the Bible Of Lacrosse

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1 Comment

  1. We ( Nova Scotia ) had just started playing lacrosse that summer — First game was Rextale ( 29-3 ) . Little did I know then that Dale Mackenzie and Bill Nunn would be teammates 6 years later in Montreal

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