By Neil Armstrong TORONTO: Herbert H. (Herb) Carnegie, an ace Canadian ice hockey player whose dream to play in the National Hockey League was stymied by racism in the 1940s and 1950s, died at the age of 92 last Friday. Carnegie was born in 1919 to Jamaican parents, George and Adina Carnegie, who immigrated to Canada in 1912. “To those who knew him, and to the many thousands of youngsters whose lives he touched, Herb Carnegie was a hero. As a young hockey player in the 1940s and 1950s, he was a prodigious talent. But he was prevented by the racism of that time from taking his rightful place in the National Hockey League,” said Ontario lieutenant governor, David Onley. Immigration minister, Charles Sousa hailed him as ‘a superb hockey player, a strong role model and a hero in the struggle against racial discrimination.’ “Mr. Carnegie’s legacy has and will continue to inspire generations to come. His leadership, his courage and his achievements have made our province a better place to live for all of us,” a statement from Sousa read in part. Carnegie’s hockey career began in 1938 with the Toronto Young Rangers and continued in the early 1940s with the Buffalo Ankerites, a team in a mines league that played in mining towns in northern Ontario and Québec. He also played for Shawinigan and Sherbrooke of the semi-professional Quebec Provincial League and was named most valuable player for three consecutive years. Canadian hockey legend, Jean B*liveau, wrote in the Foreword of Carnegie’s biography, A Fly in a Pail of Milk: The Herb Carnegie Story, that: “It’s my belief that Herb Carnegie was excluded from the National Hockey League because of his colour. How could the N.H.L. scouts overlook not one, but three Most Valuable Player awards for a player on a team in a top senior league?” In one famous 1938 incident, Conn Smythe, the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, watched Carnegie play as a member of the Toronto Young Rangers. He is alleged to have said either that he would accept Carnegie on the team if he were white or that he would pay $10,000 to anyone who could turn Carnegie white. After retiring from the game of hockey in 1953, Herb started the Future Aces Hockey School, one of first hockey schools in Canada. In 1954, he wrote the “Future Aces Creed” in an attempt to foster respect, tolerance, diversity and sportsmanship among young people. recognition “In the 1940s and the 1950s, I should have been the first coloured player in the NHL. And had that dream become a reality, my Future Aces Philosophy would enjoy a higher degree of recognition and acceptance than it does,” writes Herb in his biography, A Fly in a Pail of Milk: The Herb Carnegie Story. Carnegie also founded Future Aces Hockey School, one of the first such schools in Canada. Its success led him to develop the Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Foundation in 1987 which has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to young people who display the same qualities of leadership, service, and courage that characterized Herb Carnegie’s own approach to life. In 1987, Carnegie, his wife Audrey and daughter Bernice established the Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Foundation to provide bursaries for college and university. Herb was named to the Order of Ontario in 1996 and the Order of Canada in 2003. In May 2005, the North York Centennial Centre was renamed the Herbert H. Carnegie Centennial Centre in his honour. He also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University in 2006 and a public school in York Region was named in tribute to him. The lieutenant governor noted that Carnegie refused to give in to bitterness, however, moving on with his life as a loving family man, a notable business success, and a champion golfer, winning several provincial and national senior championships. Carnegie is survived by his daughters, Bernice, Goldie and Rochelle, and son, Dale, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The viewing will be on Thursday, March 15, 2 - 4 p.m. & 6 - 9 p.m at R S Kane Funeral Home, 6150 Yonge St (south of Steeles) and a celebration of Herb Carnegie’s Life will be on Friday March 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Earl Haig Collegiate, 100 Princess Avenue. A private funeral service will be held.