I Played Against Orr with Ted Rogers

July 18, 2018

Ted Rogers has lived in Spruce Grove for 30 years but contributed to all parts of our region in one way or another over his life time. He’s a quiet guy with lots of friends and plenty of depth. He has invested his life into the business of ranching, hockey, education and real estate.

Ted Rogers was born north of Lloydminster to a ranching family of seven children. The whole family worked hard but also knew how to cultivate other interests in their kids. Ted excelled at the sport of hockey and his family knew they would need to let him go to pursue that dream.

Hockey life is transient and so even as a young teenager Ted was on the move.

At 14 he played midget hockey for Paradise Hill, SK.

At 15 he played midget (under 16) AND senior men’s hockey for Turtleford, SK.

At 16 he was brought up by the Edmonton Oil Kings to play on their Junior B team while attending grade 11 at Ross Shepherd High School in Edmonton.

At 17, in grade 12, Ted started playing for the Oil Kings! He played at the Junior A level for 3 years and ended it in style! In 1966 the Oil Kings had won the Abbott Cup making them the champions of the Central Alberta Hockey League and eligible to enter the 48th Annual Memorial Cup Competition in May. The Oil Kings would go up against the the Oshawa Generals hosted at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, ON.

A fun fact! Bobby Orr was the General’s captain!

Ted Rogers played against Bobby Orr and won.

In 6 games the Oil Kings secured the Canadian Memorial Cup for the second time. This was the last Memorial Cup game to be hosted at the Gardens. Ted would want me to add that Orr was injured at the time and was played sparingly. But still! That’s quite a thrill! Of course he wouldn’t know how big of a thrill it was until years later when Bobby Orr became widely acknowledged as one of the greatest hockey players of all time.

At the end of the hockey season in 1966 Ted was no longer of junior hockey age and so went on to play senior hockey for the Edmonton Nuggets and Edmonton Monarchs. Ted recalls, “The coach in my last year with the Oil Kings advised me to focus on my education and not go to play pro hockey. I was small and ‘too nice a guy’.”

Ted did finish his Education degree in 1968 (his junior and senior hockey career payed for his university degree) and he began that teaching career in St. Albert. He taught at every level – elementary, junior high, high school – but enjoyed grade 5/6 or high school English the best.

In 1977 Ted and his wife Lois moved out to Lois’ family farm in Duffield. Both secured teaching jobs at Memorial Composite High School in Stony Plain. After a 4 year sabbatical to focus on ranching (78′ – 82′) Ted returned to education and moved up into administrative positions in both Parkland School Division and Black Gold Regional School Division. There he was able to form strong positive teams in several schools. His administrative goal was to facilitate the teacher to make the classroom a great place for kids to learn. Ted became innovative in putting more adults with kids because he knew RELATIONSHIPS would be the key to learning. He understood that children from difficult situations need to be “set up for success” through special group interventions such as breakfast programs.

In the last few years of his education career Ted expanded his profile into real estate. He became a silent partner with a home builder in Devon and ran rental properties. Out of that experience, and after retirement, he began a renovation business with two of his children teaching them how to flip houses. He believes he could have been a carpenter.

Ted is sad to see the family farm and ranch changing so much that it appears as though they are dying. He wishes a family could still make a living on the farm. He has watched the mushrooming growth in the Parkland area and is pleased with the mixture of choices people have for housing in our communities. He would question the wisdom of building houses so close to the Yellowhead however and scratches his head when he sees garbage cans lining the streets because there has been no proper planning for their “out of sight” storage on city properties. He would also love to see Grove Drive connected to Boundary Road.

Anybody can talk to Ted. He has a wide array of interests and experiences. You’ll want to become his friend. But don’t get him started on Mexico! He’ll have you convinced to live there half of your year if you’re not careful!

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