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January 30th, 1915
Kenora Canada

Melbourne, Australia

MAHA Clayton Flyers, Toronto Posties, Canadian Bears, VIHA Bombers, VIHA Rhodes Topliners, VIHA Southern Suburbs, VIHA Monarchs

Goodall Cups

World Championships
Team Manager 1960, 1962, 1964

Life Memberships

One of the first imports to the Australian game via Bendrodt's Canadian Bears. Long association with water polo.

DOC CARSON WAS BORN, January 30th, 1915 in Kenora, Ontario, Canada. [45, 47] He was a goaltender whose Australian playing career spanned from 1938 to 1947, and possibly included Kenora Thistles. He arrived in Sydney, Australia in 1938 at age 23 when Jimmy Bendrodt (1891–1973), who had earlier managed the Sydney Glaciarium, brought an ice hockey team from Kenora, Ontario for the opening of his Ice Skating Palais. Bendrodt had converted the former Palais Royale theatre for the ice rink, and he shamelessly valued the publicity potential of the rugged incidents that often arose with Canadian hockey imports. The team is referred to in local literature as 'Canadian Bears', or Kenora Bears. In 1936-7, Carson played with the Clayton Flyers of the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association, then the Toronto Posties in 1937-8, before returning to the Flyers. He had played Allan Cup elimination games in the Manitoba-Thunder Bay district. [40, 575]

Bendrodt promoted the visitors as an amateur team but the NSW Association prohibited them from playing in Australia's amateur leagues because they considered them professionals. The Canadian Bears did not play an Australian team until the end of the 1938 season and, even then, they were all suspended by an irrate Association. However, their suspensions were in weeks not matches, and so they expired long before the next winter, when the St Moritz ice rink in Melbourne also opened, and the focus of Australian hockey shifted there. The Bears opponents were considered the Australian National team at the time, and the Victorian representatives were Ellis Kelly, Johnny White, "Spot" Lloyd and Colin Mitchell. [1]

A professional team named Sydney Bears was also formed at the Sydney Ice Palais in 1938. It was comprised of four of the visiting Canadians from Kenora; [1] two other Canadians who played for a Sydney team (George Barlok and Ken Tory); and four local players. One source says Barlok was one of the visitors. [1] The Sydney Bears won 10 of their 11 games and tied the other. Each game was sold out. However, the Bears were disqualified because they had not informed the NSW Association of their Canadian acquisitions. Their four Kenora-born players were Russell W Carson (goalie), Stewart Fielder, Frank "Pinky" Clifton and Donald Robertson. History has it that Fielder, Clifton and Robertson were all members of the 1935–6 Kenora Thistles team (note 2 below). [46]

Robertson was named "Spike Robinson" in The Sun newspaper account of the game (see Tom Coulter entry). He was Donald "Spike" Robertson on Kenora Thistles rosters. He played for the Thistles each season from 1935-6 until 1937–8, but went missing from their rosters from 1938–9 until 1949 (note 3 below). So too did Clifton and Fielder on and off, but Fielder never returned. [46] All four had visited Australia in the off-season, where they may have remained for quite some time. Carson remained for the rest of his long life, and since he was a player on the visiting Kenora team in 1938, it is at least possible that he also played for the Kenora Thistles. However, he is not listed in their available historic records.

Carson played for Sydney Bears 1938-9 in Sydney, then joined the Bombers IHC in Melbourne in 1939. Their home ice was the newly opened St Moritz, St Kilda and Melbourne Glaciarium Rangers IHC soon became their main rivals, although the Bombers were virtually unbeaten for their first two seasons. [1] The sport was interrupted by the war between 1940–5, and Carson enlisted in the Australian Army at age 27 on August 25th, 1942 at Caulfield, Victoria. He served as a Captain in the 3rd Advance Ordnance Depot, Wallangarra, Queensland, until his discharge on May 17th 1946. [47]

After the war interruption, he played for and coached Southern Suburbs in 1946 and remained there when the club became Monarch in 1947–8. He represented Victoria in the Goodall Cup in 1939, 1940, 1946 and the historic 1947 team that won back the Cup for the first time in a quarter century. He was 32, and it was to be his last game for Victoria. The team was coached by Ellis Kelly and managed by Sid Hiort. The other players were Australia's first top-line European, Egon "Frosty" Winter ( –1963); [1, 49] Al Sengotta (1921–2006) in his first season; [1, 48] IHV Life Member Ray Sullivan; Colin Mitchell in his last season, Russell A Jones (1926– ); Warwick Harrison; Johnny Whyte; and Jack "Chook" Tuckerman. [1]

Russ Carson contributed 8 years to the sport in Victoria as a player. [1] He continued as General Manager of World Championship teams managing the 1st , 2nd and 3rd Australian World Championship Ice Hockey Teams, 1959-63. The 2nd World Championship team recorded Australia's historic first ever International win and he was effectively coach and manager of the 2nd Olympic Qualification Ice Hockey Team, 1963-64. He was Secretary and Treasurer of the National Association and delegate to the State Olympic Council until 1969. He contributed a total of 30 years to Australian ice hockey, but he also held a long association with water polo. He served as vice-president of both the Victorian Amateur Water Polo Association and Melbourne Collegians Water Polo Club, which was based at the St Kilda Sea Baths until it closed. His Olympic ice hockey colleagues Peter Parrott and John Nicholas were also members of Melbourne Collegians.

Doc Carson was Secretary and Treasurer of Ice Hockey Australia 1960–9, when Ken Kennedy was president. He was VIHA (IHV) Delegate to the Victorian Olympic Council, 1968–9; Vice-president Melbourne Collegians Water Polo Club (MCWPC), 1957–76; MCWPC Victorian Delegate to Australian Olympic Federation, 1960–69; Vice-president Victorian Amateur Water Polo Association, 1958–61; and Manager of Victorian Amateur Water Polo Association 1959 State Team. [44] Life Member of Ice Hockey Victoria. Doc died at age 81 on October 14th, 1996 at Melbourne. A service was held at Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Clayton, Victoria. [45]

01. Historical Notes

[1] Kenora, Northern Ontario is on the western border near Manitoba. IHAs "History of the Goodall Cup" [1], states "...Meanwhile the Canadian Bears had arrived in Sydney. They were actually four boys from Kenora, Ontario, all top class hockey players, especially Russell (Doc) Carson." From the early years (late-1800s), Kenora played in the Manitoba amateur Western leagues, then later Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA) in the Eastern leagues. There is no known record of a Canadian Bears team in mainstream Ontario ice hockey record however another source says the Kenora players were from the Clayton Flyers (Northern Ontario). [40] The Kenora Clayton's Flyers played in Kenora Commercial League and made the 1937-38 Manitoba Senior Playoffs (Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association). They lost 3-1 to Red Lake Thunderers who advanced to the Western Canada Allan Cup Playoffs and lost in the semi-final.

[2] 1935-36 Kenora Thistles Team: John Beda, Pinky Clifton, Martin Allin, Louis McKay, Silverson, Stew Smith, Pearson, Spike Robertson, Stinback, Galloway, Don Roach, Fielder, “Sandy” Sanderson (coach), Jim Devine (trainer). Frank 'Pinky' Clifton played hockey between 1934-48. Stewart Fielder, played Forward 1936-40. [40] Kenora Thistles won the Stanley Cup in 1907 when Kenora had a population of just 4,000. It is the smallest town to have won a major North American sports title and the team featured such Hall of Famers as Billy McGimsie, Tommy Phillips, Roxy Beaudro, and Art Ross, for whom the NHLs Art Ross Trophy is named. The 1940 Kenora Thistles were inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in the team category; the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame; the Midwestern Canadian Professional Men's Winter Sports Hall of Fame, and Kenora's local Hall of Fame.

[3] Donald "Spike" Robertson was born at Kenora, Ontario. He was 5' 11" and weighed 172 kg. He had left Australia before the 1946-7 season when he played Wing for Hibbing Saints in the Northern Hockey League (NorHL, New York State), returning to Kenora Thistles in 1949. [14]

[4] Australian ice hockey teams also visited Canada. For example, Thomas Hindley of the Royal Air Force recalled "....Hence I arrived in Manitoba, Canada mid 1943 to train as a Navigator at Portage La Prairie.... We reported to Halifax depot to await transport to UK on the 'new' Mauretania, arriving at Liverpool just before Christmas 1943.... My memories of Canada remain clear ...No standing up in bars - young Canadian ladies in uniform (particularly at Lake of the Woods). Ice hockey game vs Australia on skates! (neither team could afford a goalee who could stand up on skates!)." [55] Kenora is located on Lake of the Woods. The Kenora Thistles hockey team played exhibition games in Japan in 1954.

02. Citation Details

Ross Carpenter, 'Carson, Russell William (Doc) (1915 - 1996)', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia,, accessed online .

03. Select Bibliography

04. Citations
Citations | 1 - 280 | 281-on |
G A L L E R YArrows at right scroll the images
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Team Australia, 1962

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Russ Carson, 1939

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Return Interstate Series, 1946

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Carson at the wrong end, September 1938

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