It has been said that to know a man’s character, look at his friends. That being the case, it can be safely suggested that Ernie Dougherty – Mr. Original Canuck - is a man of great character.
When Ernie celebrated his 90th birthday in the Alumni suite at Rogers Arena on Sunday, Nov. 23, the list of friends on hand was a veritable list of Who’s Who from the hockey industry.
Where to start? In no particular order, Canucks Alumni members included Kirk McLean, Garth Butcher, Garry Monahan, Eddie Hatoum, Chris Oddleifson, Jiri Bubla, John Grisdale, David Bruce, Dennis Ververgaert, BJ MacDonald, Doug Deacon, Darcy Rota, Garry Valk, Rick Amann and John Craighead.
Then there were special visitors Victor de Bonis, Jim Benning, Stan Smyl, Lorne Henning, Punch McLean, Mike Penny and Mike Hall, none of whom require an introduction.
The hockey fraternity aside, Ernie was particularly proud of the fact that all three of his children – Janis, Mike and Steve – were on hand to share in the cutting of a white cake large enough to accommodate 90 candles.
Dougherty was a 19-year-old rookie with the original Canucks in 1945-46, winners of the Pacific Coast Hockey League championship. He and his pioneer teammates were inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. Ernie finished his playing career in England in 1956 and has been a Director with the B.C. Hockey Benevolent Association since 1960.View the Photos