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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

My Run-In with Wilf


By Fred Wallace

Earlier this month Scotiabank & the Sunday Mourning Hockey League Players Association brought Wilf Paiement to Owen Sound as part of the annual Easter Weekend Oldtimers Hockey Tournament.

Wilf Paiement !

I think you know what happened on December 29th, 1979. Paiement & Pat Hickey to the Leafs for Joel Quenneville & Lanny McDonald.

It's not Wilf's fault, but that's how he remembered.

Not by me, though.

Nooooo. I remember Wilf Paiement for something that happened earlier this decade in our region.

There was charity golf tournament for a very worthwhile cause and the Head Organizer called Bayshore Broadcasting and asked the Sports Announcer if he'd like to play and if he'd mind being the M.C. for the program that evening.

The Sports Announcer was honored to be asked based on the circumstance and agreed within a second.

Because the Sports Announcer worked for a tiny company, he came earlier that day, worked like crazy to get ahead, jumped in his car and then bolted more than an hour away so he could be on hand for the tee off.

As he approached the tee box, the Head Organizer informed the Sports Announcer that they didn't have room for him because they overbooked and gave away the golf spot to Wilf Paiement.

Reeling from the devastating news, the Sports Announcer was then asked by the Head Organizer if he would stick around for the banquet and M.C. the function scheduled for some 6 hours later.

Normally quick mouthed, the Announcer considered the cause, swallowed his wounded pride, said yes and then spent the next 6 hours roaming aimlessly through the town.

However, before he departed, the Sports Announcer ran into some golfers representing the competition who were curious where I was going.

Informed of the overbooking, they looked at the Announcer with surprise, almost delighting in telling him that the 4 of them had been urged to come that very morning.......

At 6 pm that night, the Sports Announcer, pride injured and somewhat fatiqued, came to the banquet hall and waited...........

About 10 minutes before the function started, the Assistant Head Organizer approached and asked, ' are you Fred ? '

The Assistant Head Organizer then informed the wounded and tired Sports Announcer that the Head Organizer had suffered a stress related breakdown and had been carted by ambulance off to the hospital.

Furthermore, no one had an agenda and would the Sports Announcer mind whipping one up and conducting the function that was to begin in a couple of minutes.

It was a total fiasco that raised thousands of dollars and today, years later, you can understand why my head always snaps when I hear the name......Wilf Paiement.

I'm Fred Wallace


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