Mi'kmaw runner from P.E.I. to be inducted in Maritime hall of fame
William John Paul was the Maritimes' accepted champion long-distance runner in the 1930s
A Mi'kmaw long-distance runner from P.E.I. will be inducted into the Maritime Sport Hall of Fame Wednesday.
William John Paul was born in Cape Breton and moved to P.E.I. at the age of four. He lived on the Island until his death.
He was the accepted champion long-distance runner of the region in the 1930s, according to a news release.
"People on the Island said he ran like the wind," said Frank Mitchell, chair of the Maritime Sport Hall of Fame.
It's difficult to know exactly how many races Paul won in his lifetime, said Mitchell, but the estimate is 35. He won one race in Saint John eight different times and he was a competitive runner until he was 50 years old, the news release said.
His lengthy career was only broken once — while he served in the Canadian Army during the Second World War.
Many of the inductees come from submissions by people in the Maritimes through an application form on the organization's website.
But Paul's story was uncovered by a P.E.I. member of its history committee who had been searching for possible hall of famers from the Island, said Mitchell.
'Some individuals never got nominated'
Mitchell is glad the team found a possible inductee whose story was not well-known to Maritimers, so that Paul's accomplishments can be recognized.
And he is especially happy that this new inductee was a member of the Mi'kmaw community, a group Mitchell believes has received little recognition for distinction in sport.
"We've … found out that over time some individuals never got nominated," said Mitchell. "And this is particularly true of people going back to the turn of the century."
The Maritime Sport Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place Wednesday, June. 19, at the BMO Centre in Bedford, N.S.
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With files from Angela Walker