MJHL saddened by passing of former commissioner Frank McKinnon

The MJHL family is deeply saddened by the passing of Frank McKinnon, who served as commissioner from 1992 to 2002.

McKinnon, who was 81, passed away peacefully in Calgary where he had been living the past several years with his wife Pat.

“Frank was a terrific person and totally committed to hockey,” said MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “His accomplishments were many and he leaves a proud legacy of success and commitment. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He’s going to be missed, but certainly not forgotten.”

This past February, McKinnon was welcomed to the Member of the Order of Canada.

McKinnon served two decades on the executive of the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association (now Hockey Manitoba), including five as president in the 1970s. He was also president of the Carman-Dufferin Minor Hockey Association.

He also left his mark beyond Manitoba. As a trustee, he helped create the Centennial Cup (now RBC Cup) in 1971. He was a member of the congress of the International Ice Hockey Federation and part of the committee that organized the first IIHF World Junior Championship in 1974.

In 1979, McKinnon became the first chairman of the board of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (now Hockey Canada), a post he would hold until 1982. His contributions to growing the game at the grassroots levels weren’t unnoticed. In 1981, he was awarded the Gordon Juckes Award for efforts in developing amateur hockey at the national level. Two years later he was named Hockey Canada’s Volunteer of the Year. He received a third award from Hockey Canada, the Order of Merit, in 1991.

McKinnon also made a difference beyond hockey, serving two years as director of the Sports Federation of Canada and four years as vice-president of the Canadian Olympic Association. In 1993, McKinnon was named a Life Member of Hockey Canada.

He’s also been made a Life Member of the Canadian Junior Hockey League and Hockey Manitoba, and been inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame and Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association Hall of Fame.