RED DEER - George Hughes, a Life Member of Hockey Alberta, died on Tuesday, June 5 at the age of 93.
George had a long history of involvement in and service to the sport hockey - as a player, coach, manager, referee, executive and builder starting in 1938. George’s playing career included being a member of the University of Alberta hockey team, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1950.
Professionally, George’s involvement in hockey continued in the 1970s when, as a City of Edmonton Commissioner, he was instrumental in building eight new arenas in 1973 and in the development of Northlands Coliseum in 1974. He later joined Edmonton Northlands as general manager, overseeing the Coliseum, Agricom and Trade Centre.
In 1981, George arranged a $140,000 donation by Edmonton Northlands to Hockey Alberta as part of the Canada Cup Series, enabling Hockey Alberta to start a scholarship program and acquire a permanent office. The donation also served as core funding for a Hockey Foundation.
Amongst more than 40 recognition awards, George was inducted into the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame in 1978, awarded a Hockey Alberta Life Membership in 1983, and inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989. In 2002, he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Distinguished Contributions to Canada. In 2008 the City of Edmonton honoured George by naming the George S. Hughes South Side Arena after him.
A celebration of the life of George Hughes will be held on Friday, June 15, 1 p.m., at Connelly-McKinley Funeral Home – Edmonton South, 4820 Meridian Street, Edmonton). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Sport Central, of which George was a founding member.