Five members of the Whitby Dunlops, who won Canada’s 17th gold medal at the
1958 IIHF World Championship, assembled June 16 at the home of their late
captain, Bob Attersley, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their
John Chasczewski, Doug Williams, Frank Bonello, Jack McKenzie and Sandy Air
were present for the reunion, along with the widows of Gordie Myles, Alf
Treen and Ted O’Connor. Tom O’Connor, George Samolenko, Harry Sinden, John
Henderson and Charlie Burns were unable to attend.
The Dunnies, as they were known locally, held reunions on the 25th and 50th
anniversaries of their world championship win, but after the 2010 passing
of Attersley, the star centre who scored the game-winning goal against the
Soviet Union, his widow, Joan, and Air began hosting annual reunions in
Joan’s illness prevented a reunion in 2017, and she passed away a few
“It had always been her wish that a reunion be held for the 60th
anniversary,” said Sandy Air, who proposed a toast to Joan Attersley as the
inspiration for the reunions.
Marion Irwin, whose husband Bill attended the 1958 IIHF World Championship
as Dunlops’ “number-one fan,” was on hand to present author Ken Lehman –
whose 2012 book The Legendary Whitby Dunlops chronicled the road
to gold – with a silver tray from the 25th anniversary in 1983.
The Dunlops, who had swept the Spokane Flyers in four games to claim the
Allan Cup as Canada’s national senior champions in 1957, took an ocean
liner to Europe because team manager Wren Blair was terrified of flying.
After a 14-game exhibition tour – during which they lost just once – Whitby
dominated the competition in Oslo, going a perfect 7-0 while outscoring its
It clinched gold with a 4-2 win over the Soviets on the final day of the
tournament, claiming victory at the height of the Cold War; the team had
received hundreds of telegrams, including one from Prime Minister John
Diefenbaker, wishing them luck.
The Dunlops were the first inductees into the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame in
1998, one year after they were inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of