The Orillia Sports Hall of Fame has some new names to celebrate.
World-class simmer David Town will be inducted into the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame; an elite swimmer who dominated the sport locally and provincially, Town won seven gold medals at the CIAU championships for the University of Toronto (1979-84), struck gold at the Canada Games (1981) and nearly made Canada’s Olympic team in 1984.
“His misfortune was to compete in the era of (world record holders) Alex Baumann, Victor Davis and Graham Smith,” said Rob Town, who nominated his brother for the hall.
Town will be joined by Wayne Dowswell and Bill Watters. Dowswell came to Orillia from his hometown of Sarnia to teach at Park Street Collegiate in 1969, and having developed the region’s top wrestling club, has become “a living legend among generations fo local wrestlers and weight-lifters,” according to a statement from the City of Orillia. “During the 1970s and 1980s, Park Street’s team won everything provincially and nationally. They were not to be beat,” said Shiela Robinson, who nominated Dowswell.
Bill Watters is remembered as being a star athlete at ODCVI and the Univeristy of Toronto, before being tapped by the NHL to become a player agent and broadcaster. Watters also ran the Orr Walton Sports Camp, instrumental in having it located in Orillia. From 1991 to 2003, Watters was Assistant General Manager to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and helped establish and part-own the Toronto Rock National Lacrosse League team.
This is the sixth group of inductees since the first batch came in 2015. The three new honourees will be inducted during a special gala coming up on April 18th.
Banner photo courtesy City of Orillia. From left: Alison Dowswell, David Town, Lynn Dowswell and Brad Watters