Thursday, June 18, 2015


Crawford: Family of Champions



On May 14th, the remarkable documentary about the Crawford family was shown at the Empire Theatre in Belleville. The movie presentation is part of a deal put together by the writer and producer, Aaron Bell. He has written the book, Crawford-Family of Champions, and prepared the DVD as well. For $ 50, you get copies of the movie and the book, and two tickets to the documentary at the Empire. Remaining tickets for the book launch and movie screening will be available at the door of the Empire Theatre on May 14th.


Floyd Crawford, the patriarch of the family, was born and raised in Toronto. He participated in a variety of athletic activities growing up in the city, but chose to pursue hockey as his prime interest. It led him to the province of Quebec, destined to become a member of the Montreal Canadiens. A devastating injury temporarily sidelined him, and during his recuperation in hospital, he met a young nurse, Pauline.


Thus began the remarkable story of the Crawford family. Well into his hockey career, Floyd was coaxed to Belleville by Drury Denyes, the manager of the Belleville McFarlands. Crawford anchored the defence on the team, leading it to the Allan Cup, emblematic of the Senior “A” title as Canadian champions in 1958. In 1959, Crawford and the rest of the McFarlands headed to Europe to capture the World Championship in Prague, Czechoslovakia.


For more than half a century, the Crawford family maintained its roots in the city of Belleville. Most of that time was spent on Charles Street, a wonderful place for a family of nine children to develop. They attended school in Belleville, they participated in all sorts of activities in the city. Naturally, many of those activities involved sport, primarily hockey. Three of the boys went on to play in the National Hockey League. Marc had his name etched on the Stanley Cup after he guided the Avalanche to victory as their coach.


Lou coached the Belleville Bulls to their only Ontario Hockey League Championship, and took them to the Memorial Cup in 1999. Were it not for a series of injuries to key players on the team, there is no doubt that the Bulls would have become Canadian champions. Lou is still involved in hockey, as are several other members of the family.



Eric played for the Wellington Dukes during his junior days. He now looks after player personnel for the Vancouver Canucks. It is always a pleasure for me to chew the hockey fat with him in an arena: Toronto, Fort Lauderdale, Belleville. Always on the prowl for that extra piece of the puzzle.



Pauline was an outstanding athlete as well. She hit a lot of tennis balls at the Quinte Tennis Club with my sister Josephine, once the spring had arrived, and the courts were prepared, The Club was also used in the winter as a skating rink, and the local lads chased the young damsels for hours on the crisp, natural ice. I imagine the Crawford boys were no exceptions to that.



Todd has been campaigning for several years to establish floorball in Canada, a game similar to ball hockey. His efforts have been rewarded. The World Championships will be held in Belleville in 2106.



There are episodes involving Peter, Susan, Danielle, Michael, and Bobby in the movie. Although it was presented to a packed house during the documentary festival in Belleville, an additional 20 minutes have been added to this presentation.



Advance tickets are available at:, or by calling him at: 613-920-4774. I have a few as well: 613-399-2278. After the presentation, you are invited to meet the family at a reception at the Belleville Club. There will be many stories shared that evening, some of them true.



James Hurst

May 5, 2015     

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