More than 40 'notable people' from Nelson have their own Wikipedia entries.

Wikipedia’s chronicle of notable Nelsonites

Scroll to the bottom of Nelson’s Wikipedia entry and you’ll find a list of more than 30 notable people who once called this city home.

Scroll to the bottom of Nelson’s Wikipedia entry, or go to the page “People from Nelson, British Columbia” and you’ll find more than 40 notable people who once called this city home.

They can be divided into categories such as:

• Pro hockey players: Greg Adams, Danny Gare, Ted Hargreaves, Geoff Kinrade, Mike Laughton, and Pat Price;

• Other athletes, including freeride mountain biker Robbie Bourdon, professional skateboarder Keegan Sauder, and brother-and-sister snowboarder and ski mountaineer Tom and Billie Velisek;

• Politicians: founding mayor John Houston, MLA Michelle Mungall, former senator Pat Carney, former MLA Blair Suffredine, and former mines minister (and hotel namesake) John F. Hume;

• Musicians like soprano Nancy Argenta and composer/producer Adam Shaikh;

• Authors and poets, including Lionel Kearns, Patrick Lane, and Fred Wah;

• Military members such as Lt. Robert Hampton Gray and deported US war resister Robin Long;

• Industry titans like Selwyn Blaylock.

Then there are a whole bunch of remarkable people whose Nelson connections aren’t as well remembered or known. To wit:

Verne Anderson, born in Nelson, 1937. Alpine ski competitor and coach and a member of Canada’s first national ski team. Competed at the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics and 1962 world championships. a Member of the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame.

• Edward Applewhaite, born in Nelson, 1898. Elected the Liberal Member of Parliament for Skeena in 1949 and 1953. Also defeated in 1945 and 1957. Born in Nelson in 1898.

• Ian Bennett, born in Nelson. Since 2006, president and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. Also Canada’s deputy finance minister from 2004-06 and its representative to the International Monetary Fund from 2001-04, among many other senior government positions.

Art Boyce, goaltender with the Montreal Wanderers from 1911-15 of the NHA, forerunner to the NHL. After serving overseas during World War I, he settled in Nelson in 1917 and played one season for the local team.

• Margaret Catley-Carlson, born in Regina, but grew up in Nelson. A civil servant with an extensive resume, especially around water management. She was assistant secretary general of the United Nations and deputy director of UNICEF. She’s an officer of the Order of Canada.

Alana DeLong, born in Nelson. Since 2001 the Progressive Conservative MLA for Calgary-Bow. In 2006, she intended to run for her party’s leadership but decided against it. Prior to entering politics she was General Electric’s first female marketing manager in Canada.

Benno Friesen, born in Nelson, 1929. Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for Surrey-White Rock-North Delta from 1974-93.

James E. Gill, born in Nelson, 1901. Co-discoverer of high-grade iron deposits in Quebec and Labrador. McGill University professor emeritus, published over 50 technical papers, recipient of several medals from geological organizations and 2003 inductee into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.

Ona Grauer, born in Mexico City but raised in Nelson. Actress best known for roles on Stargate Universe.

• John Greyson, born in Nelson, 1960. Filmmaker whose work often deals with gay themes. Currently a professor at York University, where he teaches film. His Wikipedia entry is the longest on this list, in part due to his withdrawal of a film from the Toronto International Film Festival to protest the festival’s tribute to Tel Aviv.

Levi William Humphry, died in Nelson, 1947. CPR engineer and Member of Parliament for Kootenay West, 1921-25.

Tim Hus, born in Nelson. Calgary-based country/folk singer with five albums to his credit — although his Wikipedia entry lists 21 other occupations he’s held, including “pine cone picker.” His songs “tell tales of the Historic West and those who formed it.”

Martin Michael Johnson, Catholic Bishop of Nelson from 1936-54. Later appointed Archbishop of Vancouver.

• Lauralee Kopeck, born in Nelson, 1969. Former field hockey defender on Canada’s national team. Participated in 14 international tournaments, including the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Lorne Loomer, born in Nelson, 1937. A member of three championship rowing teams. Won gold at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 and 1958 Commonwealth games and silver at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

• Edna Malone (aka Peggy Malone), born in Nelson, 1899. Began dance training with Gladys Attree in Nelson. In 1920, she was part of a San Francisco vaudeville show where a reviewer called her “probably the highest developed type of an interpretive dancer appearing before the public today.”

John Newlove, writing instructor at David Thompson University in Nelson in the early 1980s. Although he lived most of his life in BC and Ontario, considered a dominant voice of Prairie poetry.

Norman Symonds, born in Nelson, 1920. Composer, clarinetist, and saxophonist, who worked with several Toronto dance bands, and also directed is own jazz octet.

Padma Viswanathan, born in Nelson, 1968. Playwright and author of short stories and a novel.

• Jack Wright, born in Nelson, 1901. Captured the Canadian national tennis tournament singles title three times and the doubles title four times. Also competed in the US national championship for singles five times, and once at Wimbledon. A member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

In addition to the above-mentioned Robert Hampton Gray, two Trail natives are also included in the Nelson list:

Thomas d’Aquino, grew up in Nelson. Former president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, and included on historian Jack Granatstein’s list of one of the 100 most influential Canadians of the 20th century.

• Former Trail mayor and MLA Sandy Santori played goal for the Nelson bantam hockey team that won the 1969 provincials.

To the above could be added hockey legends Lester and Frank Patrick, who played for Nelson, and Nelson native Joan Miller, who in 1936 became the world’s first TV celebrity as host of BBC’s Picture Page — but she doesn’t have her own entry yet.



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