Joe Iles combined innate athletic ability with the skills of a natural born leader in over six decades of active involvement in sports in Haliburton County.
At 15, Joe was the youngest player on the Senior Huskies but, by all accounts, he dominated play. At 17, he earned legendary status during the final game of the 1945 Porter Cup. In front of the largest crowd to ever watch a hockey game in Haliburton County, Joe broke a 6-6 tie, scoring the winning goal in overtime with a dazzling end to end rush. The resounding cheers of the crowd echo through time and remind us why the arena was central to Haliburton’s culture in that golden era. A highlight of his hockey career was the chance to play in Maple Leaf Gardens as a member of the 1947 OHA Junior All-Star team.
Joe was also a top flight baseball player, a local golf champion and a celebrated skip at the Haliburton Curling Club. In 1961, he skipped his curling team to victory, winning both the Carling and Gilliam trophies.
Joe was influential as an athlete, but also in the community, holding many leadership positions. He was a founding member of the Glen Dart Hockey Tournament, President of the Haliburton Minor Hockey Association, President of the Haliburton Curling Club and President of the Rotary Club. His most prominent public service was as a forty-year member of the Dysart et al Volunteer Fire Department, and for many years as its chief.
Joe’s athletic career taught him courage, teamwork, and tenacity. Characteristics he used to serve his community. His lifetime accomplishments were recognized when he was presented with the 125th Anniversary Medal of the Confederation of Canada.