June 11, 2011 saw former Oil KIngs captain, Roger Bourbonnais, officially inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame, in Red Deer Alberta, under the Achievement category.
It's his second induction into the AHHOF in two years. In June of 2009, his entire 1962-63 Oil Kings Memorial Cup winning team team gained entry for their record setting achievements of that season. This time, Roger went in for his individual accomplishments on the local, provincial, national and international hockey stage.
All the while, juggling a university education with hockey, the Riviere Qui Barre native, started on his hockey path with the Oil KIngs in 1960. His 3 year junior career culminated in 1963 as Oil Kings captain, leading them to junior hockey's biggest prize, the national championship. In a memorable best of seven Memorial Cup Final series, played in the old Edmonton Gardens, the Kings defeated Hap Emms' powerful Niagara Falls Flyers 4 games to 2 to bring Edmonton it's first Memorial Cup.
Roger spurned numerous offers to turn pro, electing in 1963, to continue his pursuit towards a Law degree, while playing for the newly formed Canadian National team, headed by legendary Father David Bauer. He was a big part of the 1964 Olympic team in Insbruck, Austria, where the speedy forward tallied 5 assists in 7 games.
He also took part in 4 World Championships, winning bronze in 1964, 1966, and 1967. He then received special permission to take a break from his articling in order to again join Canada's hockey squad in time for the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble, where they earned bronze. The dominutive forward once more contributed heavily, with 4 goals & 6 assists in 7 games. That marked the end of Roger's competitive hockey days.
For his dedication to his country, and the international game, Roger was inducted into the International Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999.
For the occasion in Red Deer, Roger & wife Jeannette were joined by their 2 daughters, Nicole & Danielle, and son Roger Jr. As well, Roger's former Canadian National team-mate & roomie, Marshall Johnston, drove from Bemidji Minnesota to honor and surprise him.
In his acceptance speech Roger thanked many who have touched his life and had given him a helping hand over the years. In addition to his family & numerous team-mates, others fondly remembered were former Oil KIngs Leo LeClerc and Clarence Moher, the Edmonton Exhibition Association (now Edmonton Northlands), Father Canisius Sieferling, and Father David Bauer.
Congratulations, Bourby. It was a wonderful occasion for a pretty special guy.