For the Bulletin
Wally Souter, who passed away in January, was a terrific centre ice man for the Kimberley Dynamiters of the Western International Hockey League during the 1960s and 70s. Wally came to the Dynamiters from the Flin Flon Bombers, who, at the time were a powerhouse in Canadian Junior Hockey.
Souter played 10 seasons here for the Nitros, and to my knowledge, never missed a game. In my opinion the three best skaters in the W.I. H. L. at that time were Murray Owens of Nelson Maple Leafs, Adolph Tambellini of the Trail Smoke Eaters, and Wally “ Scooter “ Souter of the Kimberley Dynamiters.
Wally became a Millwright for CM and S (Cominco) while settling into family life with his wife Rose and their daughter Kim and son Scott.
Summers were spent playing golf at the Kimberley Golf Club. Most top notch hockey players have wonderful eye hand coordination and Souter was no exception, sporting a golf handicap of 1.
When the Drumheller Miners came to town to play the Dynamiters in the Allan Cup Playoffs ( Senior Hockey Supremacy in Canada ) Wally Souter was probably the best Dynamiter forward against the physically intimating Drumheller team who boasted a former N. H. L. Most Valuable Player in goalie Al Rollins (Chicago Black Hawks). The Drum Miners hosted Kimberley the following weekend, when they played in the Calgary Corral Rink, (a game that drew so many fans from Kimberley, that the City of Kimberley resembled a ghost town that weekend). Anyone who could not go to Cowtown due to work, listened to the games on C.K.E.K. Radio in Cranbrook. Very exciting times for Kimberley hockey fans (we lost two games in overtime).
Wally Souter was a big fan favourite here, so smooth on his skates and a guy who never shied away from the corners, but a very clean player. Former Dynamiter team mate Art Bryant had an astute comment about Souter, “Wally’s speed kept him out of trouble out there”. Souter never went looking for trouble, but would not back down from it either.
Kimberley fans were quick to bestow the name “Scooter” on him during his first season with the Dynamiters. If you came to town without a nickname, it would not be long before you were given one. Coach Bill Steenson used Souter as a shutdown Centre against the opposing team’s best player. As Steener said to me once “ Wally is a guy you want to go to war with”. Kenny McTeer always seemed to take the key face for the Nitros (and won most of them too). He was an N. H. L. calibre player from Calgary, hence the name “Cowboy”. Souter and McTeer were two of the finest centres in amateur hockey.
Off of the ice he was a quiet unassuming man. Souter was 76 years old at his passing Where does the time go? It did not seem all that long we were flooding the Kimberley rink, waiting for the Spokane Jets to hit the ice against our beloved Dynamiters.
The very best Kimberley Dynamiters ever? My list would include Paul Kozak, Billy Steenson, Frank Sully Sullivan, Ralph Redding , Harry Brown, Bill Hryciuk, Walter Peacosh, Ken Cowboy McTeer, Wally Scooter Souter, , Dickie Vincent (The Bear himself) and Les Lilley.
Ray Jensen from Wasa said to me once that Wally Souter worked as hard for Cominco he did on the ice for the Dynamiters, high praise indeed.
You will be missed Wally.