Duncan Sinclair – Builder
People involved behind the scenes in sports seldom get acknowledged for their efforts and in the case of Duncan Sinclair it is better late than never.
Duncan was born on July 9, 1888, in Scotland and after arriving in Canada when he was 19 years old, he embarked on a long and illustrious career that would continue until he passed away at the age of 85 in 1973.
At a time when sports trainers were rare, Duncan brought forth a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help numerous athletes return to the high level of performance at which they were accustomed to prior to being injured. Duncan also became an influential coach in boxing as well as an instructor in golf.
As a trainer, Duncan worked with several hockey teams including the M & C Aviation Warhawks from 1942-45; the Prince Albert Regents from 1947-48 and the Prince Albert Mintos from 1949-55. Duncan also was a trainer for local soccer teams from 1954-58. Among the list of notable players that sought his assistance were Johnny Bower and Gordie Howe. Duncan would always be available to work with hockey clubs including those visiting Prince Albert. One such instance was in 1947 when the Notre Dame Hounds were battling the Regents for the provincial Senior B title. Two players from the Hounds paid a visit to Duncan the night before the deciding game and his work helped the Hounds cruise to an easy 12-1 victory. Not the result he was expecting, but it showed his dedication and talents were in high demand.
In the 1950’s, the Prince Albert City Police Boxing Club was looking for a coach and despite being in his 60’s, Duncan gladly filled the role. As a result, four boxers captured provincial titles. They were: Hal McGunigal, Bo Carlson, Al Campbell and Frank Schwan. Duncan’s experience in boxing was undisputable as he had captured the army lightweight and middleweight crowns in 1915 before heading overseas to serve his country in the First World War.
Golf was always a favorite of Duncan’s as he had become a club professional in Edmonton upon his arrival in Canada in 1907. After going more than 20 years without holding a club, he reached the quarter-finals with a borrowed set of clubs at a 1939 tournament held in Prince Albert. Five years later he was both the Open and Amateur Champion of the Prince Albert Labor Day Northern Golf Tournament. His skills in golf were later utilized as an instructor at Waskesiu and at a driving range in Prince Albert during the late 1950’s.
It is with great pride that the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame adds the name of Duncan Sinclair to the list of builders inducted in the local shrine.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.