The Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame (WBSHOF) has announced its first inductee into the Class of 2015.
Charles (Chuck) Knight arrived in Fort McMurray in 1957 and worked for a number of companies before moving his family to town permanently in 1966.
That same year, Knight launched a campaign for a year-round recreational facility, that vision would become MacDonald Island Park, one of the premier recreational complexes in Canada.
Knight was an avid athlete himself, playing baseball, curling, golf, diving and hockey earning the nickname “Red Light Knight” as a goaltender.
In 1971 he was elected to his first of two terms as Mayor of Fort McMurray following his speech outlining his vision for the MacDonald Island Recreation Complex.
In 1977, 20 years after arriving in Fort McMurray, the McDonald Island Recreation Complex officially opened.
It featured the Miskanaw Golf Course, three baseball fields, a football and soccer field, four tennis courts, cross country ski trails, a cricket pitch, archery, ice rinks and 12-sheet curling rink.
In 1993, the park was renamed the C.A. Knight Recreation Centre. 13 years later, the facility closed for major upgrades and repairs.
2009 marked the re-opening of the revised MacDonald Island Park.
Two years after that, the street leading to Mac Island was renamed C.A. Knight Way and Knight was honoured for his legacy with a memorial waterfall in the lobby of the Suncor Community Leisure Centre.
Knight retired in 1989 and moved to British Columbia where he passed away in February of 2011 at the age of 77.
“I’m thrilled my dad is being inducted into the Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame,” says Knight’s daughter Kim Holwell. “I’m so proud that his vision and legacy still positively influences the community and is being recognized.”
Knight will be inducted posthumously into the WBSHOF along with three other inductees on Jun. 18, at the 2015 Induction Dinner held at the Syncrude Sport & Wellness Centre.