A list of Al's accomplishments is nothing short of astonishing. Most recently he served as Chair of the Canadian Archery Championships, which were held here in August. Al was President of Archery Canada from 1991 to 2003. Reelected in 2009, he continues as President today. He has been International Archery Representative for Canada to World Archery since 1987. He is a member of the World Archery Committee that lobbies to include archery as a permanent sport in the Commonwealth Games. Since 1998 he has been on the Canadian Olympic Committee Board of Directors representing the sport of archery. Al was the Head Coach of the Canadian Archery Program from 1982 to 1986, and he was the 1984 Olympic Team Coach. In 1997 he was Chairman of the 39th World Championship Organizing Committee, which was the first time these championships were held in Canada.
Al was a Founding Member of the Archery Canada Foundation in 2009 whose mission is to promote the sport in Canada and provide funding for non-government projects. Over the past few decades, he has been Co-Chairman for five Canadian Archery Championships and Technical Delegate for eight Canadian Championships.
Al has been presented with many awards over the years in recognition of his contributions. Some of these are:
- Archery Canada Coach of the Year 1984
- Gold Volunteer award for services to the XIV Commonwealth Games.
- Canada 125 Medal for contribution to archery 1992
- International Archery Federation award in 1997 for outstanding contribution to International Archery
- Inaugural Archery Canada Past President's Award in 2004
- Member of the Canadian Armed Forces Sports Hall of Fame
- Life member of Archery Canada, the BC Archery Association and the Victoria Bowmen Archery Club
There is another side to the tireless efforts that Al has brought to bear in building the sport of archery. In 1998 he began researching, scanning, inputting, typing and printing the results of Canadian Championships from 1948 to the present. Although still a work in progress, the exhaustive files are now archived in the Federation of Canadian Archers national office, and in 2002 he published the first volume of the History of Canadian Archery Championships. For his work on this project and many others Al is known as Canadian Archery's historian.
Finally, Al has developed an amazing archery museum collection of bows, arrows and books. His archery book collection is arguably the largest in the world and when asked how many bows he has, he won't say because you might tell his wife. He will admit it's over 100!
SPONSORED BY THE VICTORIA BOWMEN ARCHERY CLUB
Fred Usher was "Mr. Archery" in Victoria where his dedication enhanced archery and helped it grow on Vancouver Island and in Canada. Canadian team manager and a world-class judge, Fred managed Canadian teams at the world championships, organized fund-raising to assist Canadian teams for the Olympics, organized national championships and Olympic trials in Victoria and was president of the Victoria Bowmen and the Pacific Northwest Archery Association. He was also the on-field public address commentator at both the 1976 Montreal and 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. Fred was very deserving of national and international recognition. He received honourary life memberships in the Federation of Canadian Archers and the B.C. Archers Association. He was also honoured with the Queens Silver Jubilee Service Medal, Bronze and Silver Plaquettes presented by the Federation of International Target Archers and the 1983 Canadian Sports Administrator of the Year Award There was nothing Usher didn't know about archery and he selflessly dedicated much of his life to the betterment of the sport he loved. As a lasting legacy, Usher's huge library of books on archery was donated to the International Olympic Committee's library in Switzerland.