Submitted by Fred Hauck
As per usual I got prompted to write due to something recent that has come up. In this case it is the death of Frank King. To most the name may not mean anything. To some older, longtime Redcliff residents the name may be a little more familiar and even more so the last name.
Both the May 11 Calgary Sun and Herald had Frank King on the cover and also in the sports section.
The articles mentioned Frank King having been born in Redcliff (1936). Frank was baptized in the St. Ambrose Anglican Church on Aug. 22 1936, according to church records.
Frank’s claim to fame was the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. He along with Bill Pratt, general manager of the Calgary Stampede from 1970-1979, Mayor Ralph Klein and Bob Niven fought to bring the Olympics to Calgary. Frank was always sports minded and passed away suddenly while training for a marathon at age 81.
This would have been quite an accomplishment. Frank Walter King received the Order of Canada in 1988, he was named by MacLean’s magazine as one of the Top 12 Canadians-1988 and was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. He also helped to bring the 2010 Winter Olympics to Vancouver.
Another member of the King family, Walter King, maybe a little more familiar to some as he was principal of the two-story brick school, located where Parkside School now resides. Walter was a World War II veteran and was selected in 1936 as one of 30 Canadians to go to see the Vimy Ridge memorial while in Europe. He was to be a personal guest of Adolf Hitler in Berlin, Germany and was to be shown to site of the 1936 Olympics. It was said that Mr. King was an enthusiast in this line and upon arrival home would show some new ideas that he learned there.
I couldn’t find any record of whether or not he went. I do find it ironic that these two Olympic stories from one family took place a generation apart and 52 years apart.
Having lived most of my life in Redcliff and studied local history, I have always found it amazing to me that most Redcliff residents have no clue as to major accomplishments of some of its former citizens. This has never been really recorded anywhere for the most part. One particular case in point is former resident Hope Johnson. I do remember seeing her around town, but I had no idea of what her life consisted of until one day I listened to Classic Country 1060 radio from Calgary . They use to have segments throughout the day called “Great Albertans.” She was one of the featured Great Albertans, until this she was just another Redcliff resident to me.
I found out she wrote books, did a lot of research on dinosaurs and was somewhat of an expert on the topic and was also an artist with many drawings and paintings to her credit.
I do have a book on wild flowers that was in her collection of book. It shows drawings in black and white of the flower. Hope went and hand coloured every picture, this is a one of a kind item.
A few other Redcliff residents of note are Lorne Wells, Dale “Hoot” Rose and Cody Snyder. These three could be the topic of another article perhaps.