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Popular Sports: “Skinny” Dewar's successful fastball was followed by unexpected success

Popular Sports: “Skinny” Dewar's successful fastball was followed by unexpected success

It was already popular, but it was hardly as organized as ice hockey was in the first half of the last century. From our subject's perspective, the point is that although Canada did participate in (and win) the World Championships (the Olympics are included here), it won 11 times between 1920 and 1939, but despite the national brand, only one of Amateur teams to ice.

Like in 1934, when the Saskatoon Quakers were Canada's national team. As runner-up for the Allan Cup for Best Amateurs, most of the players on the winning Moncton Hawks team turned professional immediately after winning.

Saskatoon, the current Canadian national team, sailed to Europe at the beginning of January well before the World Cup in Italy, playing in Sweden, Berlin and Prague before arriving in Budapest at the end of the month. According to Nemzeti Sport's assessment, their production is based on all-round play, they handle and pass the ball at lightning speed, and they shoot from all positions. “You can learn from them!” – This is the summary.

In the two matches at the end of January, the Hungarian national team was its opponent, the first on Saturday the 27th, at prime time, so to speak, at seven in the evening. The distinctive feature of the composition of the Hungarian team is that the most qualified player was the Canadian: John “Skinny” Dewar.

The University of Toronto student came to us by traveling in Europe and was invited by the Budapest Skating Association (BKE) in the fall of 1933 to help the hockey team. “He is a real giant. He weighs 195 pounds (about 90 kilograms) and is 190 cm tall. At BKE, he will likely play as a right-back, although he can be included in any position in the team.”– said Nemzeti Sport, adding that he will not only have duties at the club, but also with him “It should pave the way for the success of the Hungarian national team in Milan (in the European Championship).There was some naivety, and of course the expectation that a miracle would happen in their belief that within a few months “The Canadian giants will extract many talented new players from the talented Hungarian material.”

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Thus came the day of the first match. It started off well, as spectators trying to get to the artificial ice rink already knew it “The European Figure Skating Championships in Prague brought victory to Hungary. The world champion couple Ruter Bebe and László Zulas showed their usual form, and with the perfection of their performance and the classic illustration of their program, they definitely won the European Championship.”

Then came the hockey sensation: Hungary – Canada 0: 0.

View of Mogues with the hockey match – of course folded in honor of the Canadians (Photo: Theater Life)

Nemzeti Sport was able to achieve the result immediately. He stressed that the draw was a great success, but the Canadian team traveled from Friday night to Saturday, and not in a sleeping car, as the players did not sleep, so to speak. At the same time, the triumph of it “Tired” Canada can no longer beat the Hungarians! . This is also a pleasure “Stripped of their handicap, stripped of their often selfish approach to being a first diva, each member of the Hungarian team became one, fighting for honor with one will, working together, helping each other.” This comment was indicative – in general.

The game was ours, we could have won, and the best player on the field was the goalkeeper, István Čák (Herčak) (1915-1976). At that time he was already mentioned among the best goalkeepers in Europe, and it is no coincidence that he stopped playing at the age of 43, even then only because of his defection. He died in England.

National Sport reported in their rematch show the next day that Saskatoon played in front of an average of 6,200 spectators per game during its European tour (we had a total of 4,200 spectators in two games), that pros in Canada earn $10-12,000 a year, and that hockey players – both… Amateurs or not – in the summer they mostly played rugby or baseball.

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They can handle the pace, because on Sunday: Hungary-Canada 0:7.

The guests rested and slept,“They played great”They played a ball worthy of their reputation, true, according to our players, Hungarian referee Matthias Farkas should have seen the offside and passed the ball with his feet.

The fact is that many players were experimentally tested, including the son. Count Istvan Bethlen, son of former Prime Minister (1921-1931), Istvan Bethlen. He was later included in the squad traveling to the World Cup, but to no avail, the magic of the names was still there, however, Chuck shone once again – if he didn't defend, who knows how long the week would take.

Before the team left for Milan, the sport decided to take a historic step. At that time, BKE officially represented Hungary in ice hockey in Europe, as an association, but they accepted the BBTE's proposal, and supported becoming members of the Figure Skating Association (MOKSz). This was the first step towards independence (1942).

Dewar stayed with the national team, he helped a lot, but was of no use as a fortune teller. They're not a very good team, they may or may not win the World Cup (they did), and we have a chance as the best Europeans to get the European Championship title (it went to Germany), he said of Saskatoon. On the other hand, it was a genuine wish that the boys would not become cruel, would not become unruly, and would not lose their minds in close combat.

At the World Cup, we moved to the top of the group on goal percentage (Great Britain 2:0, Czechoslovakia 0:1), and in the second round we started with a dramatic 0:0 score against the hosts Italy. They said that the match could not end in a draw, they even ordered three fruitless overtime, but then they saw that the players could not even move, the tie remained (six). We then lost to Switzerland (0:1), and a semi-final playoff could have been held, but we withdrew – sources do not reveal the reason.

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In the end, we finished sixth out of 12 teams. This is both good and bad – it's a matter of perspective. Anyway, goalkeeper Chuck went to heaven again, conceding only 2 goals in 4 matches, and could only concede 2 goals to the others – in total. He became the best goalkeeper in Europe – after what we saw without a doubt: “Even the chauvinistic Italian public praised what this boy produced. He showed more and more great saves.”– He evaluated BKE captain Laszlo Latour in Nemzeti Sport, then continued: “If we don't have to play late at night against the Italians and the team doesn't have to face the exhausted, nervously and physically exhausted Swiss, we can beat the Swiss too.”

Most of the praise goes to Dewar, and rightfully so: “The lion's share of the credit for the team's excellent performance goes to Dewar, who was praised by Canadians, Americans and Europeans alike, saying that Dewar is not only first-class in the game, but also one of the best 'coaches' man' and the best ice hockey teacher All over Canada too.”

But Dewar's hospitality ended at the end of February. As part of BKE's celebratory dinner, he said goodbye to:“They handed him a silver water bottle, after which the golden badge of BKE was also handed over to the transferred 'Skinny'. Istvan Bethlen Jr. greeted Dewar in English and gave him a silver box decorated with engraved signatures of hockey players as a souvenir.

The celebrant could not believe that he would one day return to us.“At home, they have started studying at the university again, the study trips are over, and I will have to pass the exam as soon as possible. I want to become a lawyer.”

And so life went on – until then.


Hungary-Canada 0:0

January 27, 1934, Budapest

Artificial ice rink, 1700 view, Led by: Latour (Hungarian), Rogers (Canadian)

Hungary: Chuck – Farkas, J. Dewar – Jenny, Miklos, Patty. exchange: Barcza, Harai, Erdi, Gergeli II

trainer:John Dewar

Canada: Wood-Wilson, Piper-Silver, Watkins, Lake. exchange: Scarfe, Dewey, T. Dewar, dizziness

trainer: Johnnie walker

Hungary-Canada 0:7 (0:3, 0:2, 0:2)

January 28, 1934, Budapest

Artificial ice rink, 2500 view, led by: Farkas M. (Hungarian), Rogers (Canadian)

Hungary:Chuck – Barcza, J. Dewar – Jenny, Miklos, Patti, exchange:Bethlen J., Margo, Harai, Erdi, Minder, Gergely II

trainer:John Dewar

Canada:Wood-Wilson, Piper-Wells, Watkins, Lake. exchange:Dewey, Bird, Scarf

Objectives:Dewey (2), Watkins, Wilson, Baird, Scarfe, Welsh

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