So long to Wally the Scooter Souter

Kimberley Dynamiter legend Centre Ice Man Wally Scooter Souter passed away in January

Wally Souter

Wally Souter

ANTHONY DRANSFELD

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.