Down Memory Lane - Arnie Ferguson
Down Memory Lane Articles - by Stan Shillington
A prolific scorer, an excellent playmaker, a rugged checker and, moreover, a truly great sportsman --Arnie Ferguson was undoubtedly one of the greatest box lacrosse players in Canada.
Arnold C. Ferguson was born on July 28, 1922 in a tiny B.C. community called Anyox. Just 17 years later, young Fergie donned a New Westminster Adanacs uniform for his first taste of senior lacrosse, scoring six goals in five games. The following year, he was inactive due to employment in the Yukon Territory. Fergie was back in the game in 1941 as a 19-year-old mainstay on the B.C. Senior "B" Champions JBAA Victoria Club. Again, the Adanacs called him up, this time for three games and five points.
But the Second World War prevented Fergie from joining the Adanacs on a permanent basis. Instead, he lined up with the United Services and Pat Bay RCAF teams operating out of Victoria. Some of his teammates were future Hall-of-Famers , , , , and ..
Pat Bay challenged the Salmonbellies in 1943 for the provincial title but lost two games to one; however, the Bellies were not oblivious to Fergie's talents, asking him to join in the quest for the Mann Cup. With Fergie picking up seven goals and an assist in four games, the 'Bellies whipped Mimico-Brampton three games to one.
Due to the war, Fergie managed to get into only 22 Senior "A" games between 1939 and 1945 and just another 11 with the Adanacs in 1946. He spent the next three seasons (1947-49) with the Adanacs, earning a reputation as an outstanding team leader.
But his heart and home remained on Vancouver Island. Then, in 1950, Arnie, along with former United Services Teammates , , and , because instrumental in establishing the Victoria Shamrocks. The change of scene also saw Fergie enjoy his most productive season with 78 points in 30 games, enough to earn him the Maitland Trophy given for value to his team, sportsmanship and assistance to the growth of lacrosse.
Throughout his 309-game senior career, Fergie gathered a total of 277 goals and 281 assists for 558 points; but Fergie fans were often at odds with scorekeepers. You see, assists were not awarded in those days on goals scored off rebounds; however, Arnie would feign a shot, deliberately missing the goal so that the ball would rebound directly to a waiting or . It was a planned play but scorekeepers called it a wild shot, ergo no assist.
Altogether, Fergie participated in 27 Mann Cup games during six series - 1943, 1947, 1948, 1953, 1954 and 1955 - scoring 19 goals and 15 assists. He sipped the champagne of victory in 1943, 1947 and 1955, retiring after the final triumph.
Arnold Ferguson became a member of the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1969.