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Calgary rink named in Whalen's honour
By BILL KAUFMANN -- Calgary Sun

Ed Whalen

Ed Whalen Photo Gallery
  Any fears respected Calgary broadcaster and charitable crusader Ed Whalen would be forgotten have been put on ice.

  Yesterday, city council unanimously approved naming one of two hockey arenas at the Southland Leisure Centre after the affable Whalen, who died a week ago following a cardiac arrest at the age of 74.

  Mayor David Bronconnier said the honour "would be the first of many" for Whalen, whom he called an outstanding Calgarian and shining light for children and the needy.

  "His name has been associated with so many causes, we'd be here until well into the evening to name them all," said Bronconnier. "His true gift can be seen in the charitable efforts he encouraged us to follow."

  The Ed Whalen Arena will preserve "the prominent memory of a man who forever chose to support this city," added the mayor.

  Minutes before, council observed a moment of silence for Whalen, who gained fame as the wisecracking voice of Stampede wrestling and play-by-play commentator for the Calgary Flames.

  Don Seel, a longtime Whalen friend and fellow-broadcaster, has been working for the past year to have the facility named after the beloved media figure.

  "I'm ecstatic -- obviously I think he'd be very pleased about the whole thing," Seel said, adding the honour is long overdue.

  Meanwhile, the Flames are helping the Whalen family to organize a public memorial, which could be held as early as Monday with the team providing the venue.

  Details are expected to be announced later today.

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