By JAMES TUBB on September 15, 2021.
It’s been a long time coming for some, but Bill Page will be inducted into the Medicine Hat Sport Wall of Fame tonight.
For longtime friend and fellow coach Kerry Fahlman, the induction should have happened a while ago, so Bill could have been around to see himself being honoured.
“Honestly it would have been nice if it had been done when he was still alive, so that he could have been honoured more,” he said. “He deserved to be on that wall many years ago as far as I am concerned. But the fact that they are doing it now is good too.”
Page passed away in 2016, but his legacy as a boxing coach has remained through the local club. In December, the City of Medicine Hat announced Page would be posthumously inducted to the Sports Wall of Fame alongside the Medicine Hat Hockey Hounds. A date had not been set at the time due to COVID-19 uncertainties.
The city announced last week that the ceremony would take place Wednesday night at the Family Leisure Centre.
Page, alongside Fahlman and Ev Nieman, helped start up the Medicine Hat Boxing Club in 1975. He was a coach there from day one until he passed away. Fahlman says the things they still teach at the club today, and the way they teach them, are imparted from Page over the decades.
“We have certain methods of teaching and we’re still teaching the same and we always will,” said Fahlman. “It was old school, basic boxing and it worked -and it still does. We’ve been successful all these years. A lot of that is credit to Bill.”
Fahlman says he was the bad guy to Page’s good guy routine as he always saw the best in any fighter that joined the boxing club.
“A lot of kids went through the doors… and in Bill’s mind everyone that comes through that door could be a champion,” he said. “Whether he was athletic naturally or whatever, it didn’t matter to Bill.”
For Rosemary Page, her husband did a lot of work for boxing in the area and him being inducted onto the Wall of Fame is a sign his work still means something.
“It was a crazy ride when he was doing it and sometimes you just get involved in it and it is what it is,” she said.
She is still a part of Boxing Alberta only because “somebody’s gotta do the work.” Page says her husband shied away from the spotlight, but the honour means a lot to the rest of the family.
“My son and my daughter and some of the grandsons especially, it really means a lot,” she said.
The Hockey Hounds will be joining Page on the Wall of Fame tonight. The Hounds, most known for their annual major bantam hockey tournament, have made a large impact on minor hockey in Medicine Hat with sponsorships and scholarships, to regular volunteer work in arenas across the city and more.
The induction ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. at the Family Leisure Centre, with masks required for those who attend.