This is important...

I have recently been thinking about one of Westdale Secondary’s most famous graduates – Russ Jackson. Here is his Wikipedia page for you to review. Although not a Ticat alumni, he was arguably one of the greatest players of the sixties and he is a Hamilton boy.

He had the most amazing CFL career winning not only the Schenley most outstanding Canadian player award 4 times, but also the Schenley most outstanding player (of any nationality) award 3 times. He was a product of Westdale Secondary and McMaster University. After his stellar playing career in Ottawa, he began his second professional career in education.

You might wonder why I am sharing this with you.

The City of Hamilton has formally recognized 3 former NHL players from Hamilton by naming arenas in their honour (Pat Quinn, Harry Howell and Dave Andreychuk). So far, at least, nothing in Hamilton has been so named in Mr. Jackson's honour. Naming a football stadium after him would seem to be most appropriate, however the only city owned facility that I am aware of is Tim Hortons Field, so this likely cannot happen.

I was thinking that, with his connection to 2 schools in this city (Westdale and Mac), and his post playing career in education that re-naming his high school alma mater as 'Russ Jackson Secondary' might be a worthy substitute. Schools are often named after famous people, for example Elizabeth Bagshaw and Nora Frances Henderson. I realize this is an unusual circumstance (re-naming an existing school rather than naming a new one), perhaps never having occurred previously. However Russ Jackson's career, both as the greatest football player this city has ever produced, and his subsequent professional education experience make him an excellent candidate for perhaps the first example of where this sort of honour could be bestowed.

I have shared this idea with my public school board trustee for Ward 7 Dawn Danko, and the trustee for Ward 1 (where Westdale is located) Christine Bingham. I got the impression from them that a single voter (myself) will not be enough to get this done, so I am posting this here with the hope that it will start a social media campaign with hundreds (hopefully thousands) of potential backers. If this happens perhaps the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board will make this change. I have hope that it can and will be done.

If anyone knows how to promote this on Facebook, Twitter, etc. their help will be very much appreciated.

As Russ is currently 78 years of age, this endeavour has a certain amount of urgency to it, unless re-naming is done posthumously. (I hope he is in good health).


This is all the people need to know

Have seen Dawn and her husband JP at Ticat games so I think you have a friend Mike in Dawn. Know her personally, sharp cookie.

Sorry, this will never happen.
The Hamilton Public School Board would never rename Westdale, it's their flagship school and one of the most dominating historic structures in the west end.
You're wasting your time as there would be an enormous amount of opposition to a motion proposing any name change.
You would have more luck getting Mac to rename Ron Joyce Stadium.
Or start a fund raising campaign to redo the playing field behind Westdale, add bleachers and change rooms and call it "Russ Jackson Field".

Not so fast Baldy. I went to Barton Secondary which has been amalgamated with Hill Park and is now known as Nora Frances Henderson Secondary. Hill Park was named after Sackville Hill. Although Barton and Hill Park, as schools, were not in existence as long at Westdale there is a similarity. Name changes do happen when schools amalgamate. Here is part of an email I received from Teresa Moore, executive assistant to Sue Dunlop the Superintendent for Westdale:

[b]A school is renamed under a couple of circumstances:

  1. Following a Board approved accommodation decision.

This will happen in the next couple of years when Sir John MacDonald Secondary School closes and the students merge into Westdale[/b]

Here also are several links she provided:

[url=] ... n-Part.pdf[/url] [url=] ... ective.pdf[/url] [url=] ... erence.pdf[/url]

Thank you for your suggestion about re-naming Ron Joyce Stadium. That would be an excellent idea if it was not already named after the major financial contributor for building it in the first place. Money talks I'm afraid (see Juravinski, last name Hospital). If only there was another football stadium the city owned like the small arenas that have been renamed for Andreychuk, Quinn and Howell.

I'm not sure if there is room for Westdale's football field to have bleachers added. I haven't been by recently but I believe the field takes up most of the land, and is a practice field only. If there is then that might suffice instead of re-naming the school.

Good luck on your campaign! :thup:

As I don't live in Hamilton anymore, I don't really have a say on this. But I'm going to sprout my opinion. As an alum of Westdale SS, I strongly oppose the idea of renaming the school. However, I would not have a problem with naming the football field after Mr Jackson.

So far I have received what I consider to be a lukewarm response to my idea. I personally thought it was a no-brainer, but fear I may have been a little optimistic in that regard. In order to help better gauge the feelings of Tiger-Town I will be starting a new thread with a poll. The results there will show how the majority of members of this site feel. If not overwhelming in favour I will reluctantly drop my idea.

Just to let you know why I personally feel this should be done, let me share a little history from my childhood. My father went to Westdale in the twenties and was a huge Russ Jackson fan accordingly. I have many memories of watching the Ticats play the Rough Riders where he would be cheering for Ottawa and not Hamilton (due to Russ Jackson). My four siblings, my mother and I would be cheering for the black and gold of course. He is gone many years now, but I like to think he would be in favour of renaming Westdale in Jackson's honour.

And now I will start the new thread with the poll....

Hate to burst yo bubble there Mike, But Westdale opened it doors in 1931.

How about naming a downtown shopping centre after him. We could call it Jackson Square

I think your better route is the get one of the countless generically named parks renamed in his honour, or even better, rename the practice field beside Ron Joyce stadium to Russ Jackson Field

Barton High School had it's name changed to deflect the fact that the school is going to close in a couple of years and to appease somewhat the residents who were upset about the renaming of the hospital, as soon as Sherwood is renovated. They should have kept Barton open.
Westdale is not going to close in our lifetimes so the Westdale name will never be changed, sorry, good suggestion though.

Yes great idea, that would not cause any complaints from anyone. "Jackson" square that sounds good.

Or even better how about naming a street after him ? Hmmmmm, I know !!! How about Jackson Street !!! :cowboy: It could be located just a couple blocks away from that Shopping Mall someone mentioned about naming after him downtown. :cowboy:,VZR0M-vfEsAnRcM2R2liArXak--JYdVCPG58L9RF0HmSCWTWYyskfTDsHcL4J4Ro5lmXSkaBG9pmcX5cMamXSpp-KWyIk7FfoO4nLGOFztCsBQeY_BgJm32kKfDRjPvmJBU5pcP6wKjt771uURH-I865KjEkajgBr9JSv0aO3aehFNPXrQeTA2BXJ6d5lRWUvpth34-x1QuUZM9v6q-eigb05-hhOUBfFQ

All I know is every time Jackson ( with the Riders , Red Blacks) came to play in Hamilton the The Yellow Blacks tried to bet the crap out of the guy and did a few time. :lol:

Well it looks like what I thought to be a good idea is definitely meeting a lot of resistance. Thanks to Oskie09 for the correction about my father having attended Westdale. He passed away in 1969 and memories tend to change (a great deal as it turned out) over 45 years.

If the moderators would like to delete both threads I started regarding this it will alleviate some of my embarrassment.

:oops: :oops: :oops:

@MFTH - it's not embarrassing to voice your opinion and your thoughts on a friendly message board; just be prepared for the "lively" debate that would ensue. It seems that there are a LOT of Westdale grads that want their school to keep the name (it IS, after all, named after the region it inhabits), and Mr. Jackson, being such a humble man, probably wouldn't want it any other way.

If this is something you feel so passionate about, then why not approach the Council member for that area to see if they might have any ideas for honouring Mr. Jackson in another way. Perhaps naming the Westdale football field, the stretch of Main St W, Longwood Ave S, or Paradise Rd S bordering the school after him might be a good idea. Anything is possible, for those who have the dream.

="Mikefrmthhammer" Not so fast Baldy. [b]I went to Barton Secondary [/b]which has been amalgamated with Hill Park and is now known as Nora Frances Henderson Secondary. Hill Park was named after Sackville Hill. Although Barton and Hill Park, as schools, were not in existence as long at Westdale there is a similarity. Name changes do happen when schools amalgamate. Here is part of an email I received from Teresa Moore, executive assistant to Sue Dunlop the Superintendent for Westdale:
I went to Barton Secondary too and I checked my old school year books and I couldn't find any "Mikefrmthhammer" in any of the books. I was there when football was the most popular sport in high school not soccer, do you remember coach Wismer?

There are high schools in Canada where soccer is more respected from the students and teachers than football? That I didn't know but I'll admit not having kids, I have no idea at all what goes on in schools any longer in this country. :?

When I was in high school way back 1969-74, the football players got the chicks, well as the saying goes of course. :wink: Now the hockey players who were good enough to play for the London Knights in the OHL although not called as such during my time, their chick level was much higher due to potential income earnings from a possible NHL draft, junior B hockey guys with no chance at major junior, about the same as football players. :wink:

That’s funny because I couldn’t find any “slimjim” in my yearbooks as well. Perhaps they are defective? :slight_smile:

I graduated in 1974. What about you? 8)