Gilbert Plains native Colby Robak is a professional hockey player who is currently playing for the San Antonio Rampage in the American Hockey League (AHL). He was selected by the Florida Panthers in the 2nd round (46th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Colby began his career at 3 years old, playing Minor Hockey at the local Gilbert Plains hockey rink. Colby continued through the Minor ranks until he was able to play with the Parkland Rangers. His success earned him a spot playing with the Brandon Wheat Kings, prior to his move to Florida.
Bill Murray Sr. was an outstanding baseball player. In 1948 Bill joined Gilbert Plains in the Northern League and the Manitoba/Saskatchewan League. He joined the Dauphin Redbirds of the Manitoba senior Baseball League in 1961 and helped the team win the league championship that year. Bill was elected to the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.
Bill was also considered to be the top amateur hockey player in Manitoba in the 1950’s. In 1948 he played for the Gilbert Plains Hockey team. In 1949 and for the following 9 years, Bill played for the Dauphin Kings. Bill was a goal scorer near the top of the league in scoring every year. On February 11, 1955 hockey fans in Dauphin and surrounding area honoured the Dauphin King Star with a “Bill Murray Night”, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Dauphin Kings’ success and of his 250th goal as a member of the Kings. Bill was elected to the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003. Bill passed away in September 2001.
Blaine Stoughton is a retired professional ice hockey forward who played eight seasons in the NHL for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Hartford Whalers and New York Rangers, which “bookended” three seasons in the WHA. Stoughton had an up-and-down stint in the WHA. Often teamed with Rick Dudley and Rich Leduc on the “LSD” line, Stoughton scored 52 goals for the Cincinnati Stingers in 1976–77.
The next year, however, the free-wheeling Stoughton chafed under the restrictive defensive style of new coach Jacques Demers, fell into a slump and was traded to the Indianapolis Racers by mid-season. When the Racers folded in 1978, he was signed by the New England Whalers, where he played on the third line with Mike Rogers, scoring 19 goals.Stoughton was drafted 7th overall by the Penguins in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft.
He played his major junior career with the Flin Flon Bombers. Stoughton scored at least 50 goals in a season in the NHL twice, and scored at least 40 goals four times. Blaine is the former head coach of the University of Cincinnati hockey team.
Blaine and Bobby Hull are the only 2 players to score 50 goals in both the NHL and the World Hockey Association. Blaine has the record for the most goals (56) with a first year expansion team (Hartford Whalers now the Carolina Hurricanes.)
Darren Dutchyshen co-hosts the evening edition of SportsCentre, Canada’s most watched sports news and information show. Dutchyshen is also the host of the popular weekly boxing show, In This Corner with Russ Anber, and provides updates and highlights during NHL on TSN telecasts.
In addition, Dutchyshen was the host of Olympic Prime Time on TSN during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Darren spent the early years of his broadcasting career living in Gilbert Plains with his grandfather while working at the local radio station, CKDM in Dauphin. Darren has fond memories of Gilbert Plains.
Car and Hot Rod
Car and hot rod enthusiasts are abound in Gilbert Plain. Hilton’s Service Custom, Rods & Restorations has received International recognition at the North American Autoshow in Detroit and several other car shows. The shop specializes in vintage vehicles with modern technology or original restorations. Hilton’s Service also is a supplier of any parts custom or original. Gilbert Plains is central in the route to the annual Cruisin’ Dauphin Hwy #5 drive which takes place September long weekend.
Local youth Jayna Butler recently received national acclaim for her second place win in the Royal Canadian Legion’s Literary Contest (2010). Inspired by her grandfather, Jayna eloquently wrote a letter expressing her gratitude for his wartime contributions.
Jayna will be visiting Ottawa, seeing her essay on display at Parliament Hill, participating in the November 2011 Remembrance Day Service at the War Memorial and touring Rideau Hall. Click here to download her essay as a PDF.
Gilbert the Golf Ball
The golf ball represents the exceptional golfing experience the community prides itself in. Gilbert the Golf Ball was created as a community mascot and Chamber of Commerce project. The design was from an economic development contest. Gilbert is sporting a hockey stick and plaid golfing attire. The plaid used in the pants and tam is a Ross Tartan. The community was named after Gilbert Ross, one of its first residents.
The cost of the monument was $8,560 and was built by Ralph Berg of Cabri, Saskatchewan in 1997. Ralph Berg has also created other large animals/statues such as the Snow Goose in Dunrea, MB, the Bunnock in Macklin, SK the Canvas-Backed Duck in Minnedosa, MB, and the Elk in Onanole, MB.
Gilbert the Golf Ball is 11 Feet (3.4 Metres) with a diameter of 6.25 Feet (1.9 Metres). He is made of Steel covered with fibreglass. The Gilbert Plains’ mascot, ‘Gilbert the Golf Ball’ can be found smiling along Hwy #5 near the Museum.
In 1968 a Gilbert Plains curling team led by skip Burke Parker, won the right to compete in the Manitoba consols being held in Brandon. The team composed of Parker, third Lloyd Yerama, second Roy Berry and lead Jack Yuill won the 1968 Manitoba Championship and represented the province at the Canadian Championship in Kelowna B.C. Although they were not successful at winning the national title, they won many games. Burke, Jack, and Roy are deceased, and Lloyd lives in Dauphin.
- Snowmobiling – Premium snowmobiling in the Gilbert Plains area is secured with gorgeous outdoor beauty. Gilbert Plains’ location provides for optimum access to trails.
- Hunting – Extensive wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities are available in the Gilbert Plains area, whether you hunt with a gun or camera. Moose, deer, elk and a variety of water fowl can be found throughout the area. Before embarking on any hunting adventure for moose, white-tail deer, bear, waterfowl or upland game birds, familiarize yourself with both federal and provincial laws governing licensing, guns, shot, season dates, export, guide accompaniment and other resident/ non-resident regulations.
- Cross Country Skiing – Natural beauty and a scenic landscape promise exceptional cross country skiing opportunities in the Gilbert Plains area.
- Gilbert Plains Golf & Country Club – Excellent golfing experiences await you at the Gilbert Plains Golf & Country Club. www.golfgilbertplains.ca
- Hiking , Fishing & Quadding - For outdoor enthusiasts, there are so many opportunities to for exceptional fishing, hiking and quadding in the area. Anglers will be interested to know that provincial records for brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, and carp were all caught in the Parkland. Parkland waters can also yield a good catch of smallmouth bass, splake, northern pike, perch and muskellunge, and some of the best walleye fishing in the world will be found here.
- Camping, Canoeing & Parks – Natural beauty is abundant in Gilbert plains for outdoor enthusiasts. The twists and curves of the Valley River offer canoeists one of the best waterways in southwestern Manitoba. The family-friendly campground and park in Gilbert Plains, adjacent to the golf course, provides many amenities including showers, electrical hook-ups, playground and wading pool. The close proximity of Gilbert Plains to Riding Mountain National Park provides exceptional outdoor opportunities for back country experiences. Duck Mountain Provincial Park (link) is also a short distance from Gilbert Plains. There are gorgeous fishing opportunities and quadding trails throughout the park.
For a full listing of events and attraction in Gilbert Plains and the entire Parkland Region visit www.parklandtourism.com