Instant Replay

Lock pranksters reveal a botched attempt and a close call at being caught; plus the North Shore’s all-star offspring of the 1956 “stall ball” champions.

The recounting of The Great Lock Caper, the story of how five ingenious Hillside grad pranksters changed the locks on 800 lockers overnight in l973 (Instant Replay, April 5), created plenty of interest.

It also resulted in the uncovering of the present-day whereabouts of all of the practical jokesters except Ed Huff; plus the disclosing of two significant additions to the story — a botched attempt and a close call at being caught — that virtually no one has been privy to until group members revealed them after the article appeared.

Leader Brent Tynan became a lawyer and eventually used his entrepreneurial skills as a very successful marketer of unusual real estate properties, including the current re-marketing of Tumbler Ridge in northern B.C. as a recreational area as its coal mining diminishes. He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and part time in Gold River, B.C.

Guy Gordon resides in Unionville, on the coattails of Toronto. He’s a fund manager with Royal Trust Capital Partners.

Wayne Hartrick lives in Vancouver and is the founder and CEO of Verus Public Relations which has done p.r. work on that Tumbler Ridge project.

Steve McHale has been an account manager with Corporate Express for the past 15 years and also lives in Vancouver.

They had great fun reading about their escapade. But as admitted by them now — despite the intricate detail in which the entire venture was planned and eventually accomplished — their first attempt to carry out the brazen deed one night earlier was completely blown when Brent was asleep at the switch so to speak.

Ed picked up Guy, Steve and Wayne in his car as they all snuck out of their homes just after midnight. But when they got to Brent’s place, they waited a half hour until they presumed (correctly as it turned out) that the mastermind of the operation must have slept in, forcing them to return home.

Then, after pulling it off the next night, they drove up Chairlift Road to ditch lists of lock combinations and other incriminating evidence. They were stopped by a police car and thought the jig was up and they would soon be rotting in jail. Somehow they managed to explain away why they were on a back road at 6 a.m.

When the police came to the school later that morning to investigate the lock switching, our heroes figured they’d be caught when 2 and 2 were put together. Fortunately for them, all combinations need a third number.

Second generation

Ed Wild and several of his B.C. teammates who won the 1956 Canadian basketball championships after Wild stalled the ball for 11 minutes in the final game to counter the opposition’s zone defence (Instant Replay, March 29) had kids who made an impact on North Shore high school sports.

Wild, Doug Brinham, Mel Brown, Bob Burtwell, Bob Pickell, Ron Stuart and Ted Ball did not grow up on the North Shore, but all moved here and raised their families in North or West Vancouver.

Four of Wild’s five children played at Hillside. Two were North Shore second all-stars: Tony for basketball in 1980-81 and Lisa for both volleyball and basketball in 1982-83.

Brinham’s son, Jason, was a two-time North Shore first all-star in basketball at Windsor in 1983-84 and 1984-85.

Brown’s daughter, Vicki (now Shanks), was a basketball player and volleyball second all-star for Handsworth in 1982-83. She’s now a teacher there and coaches the school’s senior tennis team. Her siblings, Karen (now Kry) and Rick also played basketball for the Royals.

Burtwell’s sons, Brian, Jeff and Marty, played hoops at Handsworth where there was a Burtwell on the senior basketball team for seven straight seasons in the 1970s. Jeff was a North Shore first all-star in 1975-76.

Pickell’s son, Stephen, swam at Sentinel and in the Commonwealth, Pan-Am and Olympic Games between 1974 and 1980, winning five medals.

Stuart coached basketball at Sentinel in ‘69-‘70.

Those ‘56 Canadian champs were the B.C.-champion CFUN team augmented by stars from other teams. The additions resulted in CFUN’s Jim Carter, Reid Mitchell and Brian Upson being dropped from the B.C. squad. All three later became educators and basketball coaches in West Vancouver schools. Carter was a leader in the campaign that thwarted Bill Laurie from purchasing the Grizzlies last year.

(This is the 76th episode from Len Corben’s North Shore sports stories.)