How did an accomplished young figure skater from Saskatoon come to meet and marry a scrappy Vancouver ice hockey player? Little did John Bate know that a dare from his work colleagues to join the Ice Capades in 1958 would have a profound impact on his life. Marilyn had been with the Ice Capades for a year and they toured North America and Russia together for five years before retiring to get married.
After their marriage, Marilyn worked as a Dental Assistant while John was Building Supervisor at the Pacific National Exhibition in the new Agrodome. They moved to Victoria in 1965 and John’s career really took off. His work accomplishments include: Assistant Manager of the Victoria Memorial Arena and later Royal Athletic Park, McPherson Playhouse and Royal Theatre and Manager at Crystal Pool. In 1970, John became Deputy Director of Recreation for the City of Victoria and in 1997, he retired as the Director of Parks and Recreation.
Marilyn’s and John’s accomplishments and community work are impressive. Separately and together, they have been involved in international, national and local sport competitions in figure skating, speed skating, fast pitch, basketball, lacrosse, ice hockey, curling, golf, darts, tennis, and soccer. They have been recognized many times by the Recreation Facilities Association of BC (R.F.A.B.C.). A few of their outstanding achievements include:
• 1967 – R.F.A.B.C. Manager of the Year Award
• 1968 – Award of Merit, R.F.A.B.C. for Meritorious Service
• 1982 - Facilities & Awards Chairman Air Canada Cup, National Hockey Championships.
• 1984 – Media Relations Vice-Chairman, Labatts’ Brier Men’s Canadian Curling Championships
• 1985 - Honorary President, R.F.A.B.C. Honour Roll
• 1988 - Certificate of Merit, Service to the Community, Government of Canada
• 1988 – Chairman, Celebration ’88 Olympic Torch Ceremony, Greater Victoria
• 1991& 93 – Chairman, Membership Committee, IAAM International Association Arena & Auditorium Managers
• 1991 – Charter Member and past President of the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame (GVSHOF)
• 1993 – Life Membership Award, Recreation Facilities Association of BC
• 1994 - Co-Chair, Memorial Arena & Royal Athletic Park, 1994 Commonwealth Games
• 1994 to 2016 – Chairman, GVSHOF “Dobber Classic” Golf Tournament
• 1995 – Greater Victoria Sports Council Award in Recognition of Outstanding Contribution to the Sporting Community.
• 1995/96 – Board of Directors, Tourism Victoria
• 1999/2000 – Director of Sport, Victoria BC Summer Games
• 2016 - Honorary Life Member of the GVSHOF
• Treasurer, Hillside Park National Little League Baseball
• Secretary and Chairman, Vancouver Island Little League Baseball Association
• Public Relations Officer, Skate Canada and the Canadian Figure Skating Championships
• School District 61 parent representative and District Chair of the Adhoc Committee
• 1994 – R.F.A.B.C. Harry Atkinson Award
• Registrar, 22 years for the GVSHOF “Dobber Classic” Golf tournament
• 2016 - Honorary Life Member of the GVSHOF
For some people, Marilyn and John may best be known for their decorated home and yard at Christmas time. The Bates led the way in Victoria’s Annual Christmas spirit for over 30 years on “Candy Cane Lane.” Marilyn and John have a son, David and daughter, Lisa and 6 lovely grandchildren.
SPONSORED BY THE RECREATION FACILITIES ASSOCIATION OF BC
Born in Nanaimo in 1960 to Polish immigrants, Gerald Kazanowski began playing basketball when he was in Grade 6 at Harwood elementary. He focused more on basketball in middle school at John Barsby, then went on to Nanaimo District Senior Secondary (NDSS). Gerald had talent and he was named the Most Valuable Player in the 1978 BC High School Provincial Basketball Tournament - although he admits his brothers were better than him in high school. NDSS won the BCs and were ranked Number One in Canada, losing only once all year to an Australian all-star team.
Gerald was recruited to play university basketball for the UVic Vikes, where he was a member of four consecutive CIAU championship teams, 1980 through 1983; his first year at UVic they placed second. He was named a three-time CIAU All-Canadian and was a two-time recipient of the Premier's Athletic Award. He graduated with a degree in economics and was drafted in the seventh round of the 1983 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz (his name was listed as Joe Kazanowski).
A 6-foot, 9-inch center/forward, Gerald first played for Canada’s national team at the 1979 Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) World Junior Championships. He played in three World University Games, 1981, '83, and '85. He started on the Canadian team that won Gold at the 1983 World University Games in Edmonton, defeating the United States - led by Karl Malone and Charles Barkley - in the semi-finals and Yugoslavia in the final. He participated in three FIBA World Championships, 1982, 1986, and 1990. He also played against the original “Dream Team” at the 1992 FIBA Tournament of the Americas. Gerald played in two Olympic Games. In Los Angeles in 1984, Canada finished just outside the medals in fourth place, and was sixth in 1988 in Seoul.
Gerald went on to play professionally from 1984 through 1992 with stops for clubs in Spain (Joventut in Badelona and Baloncesto LeÃn), Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Argentina and Mexico. He says that he was fortunate with great coaches all along the way, from Sherry to Wright to Arnold to Levering to Shields to Donahue and many overseas.
He was inducted into the Naismith Museum and Hall of Fame in 2005 and Basketball BC Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2008, he was inducted into the Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame and his UVic Vikes jersey, #24, was retired in 2011.
Gerald retired from professional basketball in 1992 and by 1993 he was immersed in the financial advisory business. He has his office in Sidney and lives in North Saanich with his wife of 20 years, Claudia, and their two daughters, Sarah and Grace. He enjoys spending his free time volunteering at schools, giving talks on how sports and goal setting can positively affect kids’ lives. “I love Vancouver Island and this area, and I feel blessed to live here. Many good things go on here and there’s a real sense of community,” he says.
SPONSORED BY UVIC VIKES