Walter Gretzky, seen cheering on the Canadian men's hockey team at the 2002 Olympics, was named to the Order of Canada Friday. ((Hans Deryk/Associated Press))

The man who first taught Wayne Gretzky how to play hockey is among 61 people who were named to the Order of Canada on Friday.

The Great One's father, Walter Gretzky, tops a long list of honourees announced by Rideau Hall. In total,Gov. Gen.Michaƫlle Jean announced the appointments of 40 members,18 officers and three companions (the highest level) of the order.

Also on the list were Phoenix Suns' star Steve Nash of Victoria and Olympic speedskater Clara Hughes of Winnipeg. Gretzky was named a member, while Nash and Hughes werenamed officers of the order.

Walter Gretzky is best known as the father of the NHL's all-time leading scorer, Wayne Gretzky.

Rideau Hall said Walter Gretzky was named to the Order "For his contributions to minor hockey in Canada, and for his dedication to helping a myriad of local, provincial, and national charities."

Wayne Gretzky, who was appointed to the order in 1984, learned to play hockey on a backyard rink that was made by his father in Brantford., Ont.

Nash was voted the NBA's most valuable player in 2005 and 2006 to become the first Canadian to win the honour and the ninth player overall to win it in back-to-back seasons.

First handed out in 1967, the Order of Canada launched the creation of the country's own system of honours.