Scotty Morrison says goodbye, promises to visitBy Darren Lum
Published Oct. 2, 2018
The man with the great smile and a heart to match is moving away.
Scotty Morrison is leaving Haliburton to live in Invermere, British Columbia.
The last time he lived out west was when he worked for the Western Hockey League back in 1952. He met his wife Joan there and they moved back east in 1954 when he was asked to work for the National Hockey League. His return is motivated by a desire to spend more time with his grandchildren.
Morrison didn’t hide his love for Haliburton.
“I’m going to miss it here. There’s no question about that,” he said. “It’s just one of these things.”
Morrison said he expects to move close to the end of the month or in November to spend more time with nine of his youngest 26 grandchildren.
His plan is to eventually live in a two-bedroom unit at the Columbia Garden Village in Invermere with a view of the mountains of Panorama Resort. Right now he is on the waiting list, but will live with his daughter Joanne and her six children, including Cassidy, who was featured in the Echo for her skiing achievements and pursuit of making the Olympics. Morrison points out Cassidy was training for two weeks in Chile with the Canadian national women’s downhill alpine ski team.
“I’m looking forward to having a visit with her at the Olympics for the next little while or something,” he said.
Being out west will give him an opportunity to spend more time with not only his grandchildren, but also his daughter, Carolyn, who lives in Calgary with husband Dean and their three daughters.
Morrison said Invermere compares well to Haliburton.
It’s “a nice small community where people know each other and people say hi to each other even though you don’t know who it is,” he said.
Morrison’s list of achievements is long and includes being Highlander of the Year, winning the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers and being a driving force behind the fundraising event named for him, the Scotty Morrison Charity Hockey Tournament, which raised $200,000 for Community Care Haliburton County over its seven year history.
He had been stepping back from various causes, which most recently included the Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation board.
He said it was during a discussion about future equipment purchases at the board that it sunk in that it might be time to move on to other things. CEO Carolyn Plummer was talking about a purchase to be made in two years. His fellow foundation board member, Don Popple, leaned over to make a joke.
“Popple was sitting there. His exact words were, ‘Holy, ... Morrison, you’ll be 90 when that comes into the hospital.’ That in itself hit me like a ton of bricks. We were just kidding about it later. He said, ‘I really shook that [guy] up.’”
Popple and Jim Mitchell have also recently retired from the foundation board.
“So it’s time to step back and do some other things,” he said.
Among the things he will miss is going to the Kosy Korner, meeting all his buddies, such as Len Salvatori, for coffee at 9:30 a.m.
“I’m going to miss them for sure,” he said.
This isn’t forever, he said, remarking that he still plans to return to visit.
Upon reflection of what else he’ll miss, he will always remember Haliburton for the people.
“When I open my car to get the walker out ... the number of people who say, ‘Scotty, can I help you?’ And I’ll say, [that’s OK]. ‘No, no, here, let me help you.’ And they help by getting the walker out for me. That’s what Haliburton’s all about and I think Invermere is exactly the same so that makes it nice,” he said.