Jim Leaderhouse – Meritorious Service
For more than a quarter century there wasn’t a hockey tournament or a rod, custom and antique car show held in Prince Albert that didn’t have Jim Leaderhouse’s fingerprints all over it.
Born in Prince Albert in 1938, Jim was raised in various locales around the province before returning to Prince Albert for his adult life. Once settled in Prince Albert, Jim wanted to become involved in the community and become involved he did.
In 1967, Jim began his long association with the sport of hockey when he became a coach in the East Hill district of the city. In 1971, a Squirt hockey tournament was to be staged in conjunction with the annual Winter Festival and Jim was recruited to be the chairman. For six years Jim ensured this was a staple of the event, but in 1976 developmental hockey arrived on the scene and again Jim was tabbed to get a major tournament off the ground. The annual Lion’s Pee Wee and Bantam hockey tournament, which attracted teams from across Western Canada, was first held in 1977 with Jim as the chairman. Jim retained this post for the next 12 years until other commitments took him away from that level of hockey.
While Jim was busy helping organize these tournaments, he still stayed involved with individual teams. His East Hill clubs were city champions twice from 1967 to 1975 and for the next 13 years he was a manager for a developmental team, always at the Bantam level. His coaching partner for those 13 years was Tom Lavallee and together they enjoyed a great deal of success winning the silver medal at the 1982 Saskatchewan Winter Games and twice being runners-up in provincials – in 1982 and again in 1984. They were also Centre-Four Hockey League Bantam Division champions on three occasions. For the final two years of his distinguished career, Jim moved up to the Junior B ranks where he once again managed teams coached by Tom Lavallee.
Hockey was his preoccupation for the winter months. In the summer and early fall of every year from 1964 until the mid 1980s Jim was involved in staging rod, custom and antique car shows, first with the Coachmen Car Club and then the Oddfellows. Jim chaired these events and through them thousands of dollars was raised for Multiple Sclerosis research. It was through this pastime that Jim enjoyed fulfilling one of his dreams and that was restoring an antique car which he did with a 1940 Ford Coupe. In 1973, this car was featured in the Los Angeles magazine called the “L.A. Street Rodder.”
Jim has often helped with sporting events in the community as his fundraising skills were second to none. Local businesses always gave freely to Jim because they knew that they would get more than fair treatment for their support. With his involvement as an organizer long behind him, Jim continues to offer his services in a variety of other ways whenever a major event is held in the city.
The Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame is proud to recognize meritorious service to sport and it welcomes Jim into this category.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.