Raymond Joseph (Raymy) Gerwing
Born: 1939 (Lake Lenore, Saskatchewan)
Died: May 6, 2014 (Melbourne, Australia)
Ray Gerwing played catcher for the semiprofessional Saskatoon Gems and, later, Ambassadors of the Northern Saskatchewan baseball league. He often formed a battery with his older brother, Alois, known as Al, with whom he won provincial titles with the Ambassadors in 1960 and ’61. The team was later inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame.
In 1965, Gerwing married Cynthia Plymin, an Australian. The couple settled in Melbourne, where Gerwing played baseball for the Essendon baseball club. After retiring as a player, he worked as an umpire.
An intermediate-B player in Canada, Gerwing was a star in Australian hockey, helping the state of Victoria win the Goodall Cup as senior national champions in 1968 and ’72. He led Victoria in scoring in 1968.
A 1970 newspaper article noted the boost ex-patriate Canadians were giving to hockey in Australia, citing Gerwing’s contributions. He credited Australians’ affinity for sports for their ability to adopt to hockey.
“In Australia, many Monarchs players didn’t see skates or ice until they were into their teens,” Gerwing said. “The other thing is that you don’t get enough ice time here. During the season we’ve been getting 45 minutes’ practice a week. In Canada, we’d fit in a couple of hours a day.”
Gerwing was the youngest of seven children born to Rose (née Britz) and Peter Gerwing. He died in Melbourne and leaves his wife, a son, a daughter, three grandsons, two brothers and three sisters. He was predeceased by his pitching brother, Al, who died in 2007, aged 76.
Ray Gerwing catches a game for Ambassadors at Cairns Park in Saskatoon in 1962. Photos from http://www.attheplate.com