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OBIT: Charlie Hayward, honorary captain of McGill’s national championship hockey team, was 88

MONTREAL – McGill Athletics & Recreation regretfully announces the passing of Charlie Hayward, a former executive with the Quebec and Canadian Amateur Hockey Association who played a prominent role as president of the Friends of McGill Hockey alumni support group and served on the board of directors with the Martlet Foundation, a charitable foundation that supports athletics at McGill University.

Hayward, who died in Montreal on Tuesday, had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 88.

He skated for the Redmen in the late 1940s before graduating in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Hayward served as honorary captain when the team won their first-ever CIS national championship in 2012 and had tears in his eyes when McGill claimed the gold medal in overtime with a 4-3 win against the Western Mustangs. His fundraising efforts were largely responsible for saving the Redmen from extinction in the early 1980s and putting wind in the sails of a then dormant program that eventually went on to capture four Queen’s Cup titles as OUA league champions.

“Charlie was such a significant influence, a guiding light for all of us involved with the Redmen during the years we were privileged to have had his wisdom, his calm serenity, and his outright, unabashed love for the Redmen,” said Ken Tyler, who served as head coach at McGill from 1979 to 1987 and became a full-time bench boss mid-way through his tenure, largely as a result of Hayward’s fundraising efforts.

“He played a very special mentoring role for the young, ambitious, hot-headed, never-say-never coach he inherited when he decided to become a major force with our hockey alumni back in the early 1980s. He taught me persistence with patience and poise. For he was the model of them all. Always there, always a warm supportive, considered word. Always dapper in dress and presentation. Always holding true to the end goal, the dream of building a lifetime of pride in these very values of persistence, patience and poise for each and every Redmen life that he touched.”

The only child of the late Percy Hayward and Josephine Cooper, Charles George Hayward was born on March 16, 1926 in Jersey City, N.J. He moved to Ottawa in his youth and graduated from Glebe Collegiate high school before attending university. He played intermediate basketball and hockey at McGill, from 1945 to 1949, and was a member of the Phi Delta Theta House where he met his future brother-in-law, the late Rod Foster.

“I cannot see that lectures can do so much good as reading the books from which the lectures are taken,” said Hayward in the 1949 Old McGill yearbook.

After graduating, Hayward worked more than three decades for Drummond McCall in Lachine. He maintained a passion for hockey throughout his life. He coached the sport for many years in Lachine, Beaconsfield and Kirkland as well as being one of the original Lachine Old-Timers.  He served on the executive of Hockey Lac St. Louis, Quebec Minor Hockey Association, Quebec Ice Hockey Federation and the CAHA and was instrumental in establishing the National Coaching Certification Program.

Also an avid golfer, he was an active member at Whitlock Golf and Country Club for over five decades and served on many committees, including a term as Club Captain.

“He was truly one of the good guys, a real straight shooter,” said Mike Nelson, president of FMH.  “He made time for many, many Redmen hockey players over the years.  He was a force, a key to the hockey program’s renewal and getting it to the status it enjoys today as one of the premier programs anywhere.”

Predeceased by his wife Mary Elaine Foster and son John, he is survived by sons Doug and David, daughter Mary Ann (Joey Bush) and grand-daughters Kelly and Robin Lapointe. Visitation will take place on Sat., Jan. 31 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rideau Funeral Home, 4275 Boulevard des Sources, Dollard des Ormeaux, Que. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the “Charles Hayward Redmen Hockey Fund” (McGill University, Donation and Record Services, 1555 Peel Street, 9th Floor, Montreal, Que H3A 3L8) or to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. Condolences can be posted online at The Gazette or at www.rideaumemorial.com

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