Honorary Life Members

CIS Championships in OTTAWA 2013

Honorary Life Members: Charlie Diffin, Al Rae and Past Board President: Wayne Ellis

Wayne Lewis

Wayne began his refereeing career when a student at Glebe collegiate. It was interrupted in his years at university but the Ottawa Board of Education retired teacher continued in 1968 being recruited by Charlie Diffin and John Cullen. He has been a member of IAABO and OABO from then to the present day. Wayne held the post of Treasurer for 7 years upon the untimely death of John Cullen, and then became board Interpreter for a twenty-year period. While on a teaching exchange he refereed for a year in Oxfordshire, England and coming back served in the position of OABO Vice President. He officiated numerous Provincial championships, the 1982 Summer Games, and for 15 years men’s and women’s university games. He was in attendance at the first JDP camp organized in the Province and was responsible for the initial design for the OVBABO crest now used. Along with former CABO president Donnie Cline, who started his career in Ottawa, Wayne began the tradition of the Christmas party and end of year social that each member looks forward to over the course of the season.  Presently, Wayne spends his time split between Ottawa and Florida and officiates in both associations.

Wayne Bourbeau

Wayne began his officiating career in 1974 and worked all levels of play in high school as well as Senior City Men’s and Women’s leagues. For three years he worked at the College and University men and women’s divisions. He represented at OVBABO at several OFSAA tournaments and worked one CIAU Eastern playoff game. He recounts how an interesting tournament was when he accompanied Jim Ward to the Easter Arctic games in Iqualuit. Wayne was the OVBABO secretary for 6 years followed by 6 years when he acted as Board President.

Jimmy Ward

Jim Ward is the longest serving member of the Ottawa Board of Approved Basketball Officials. He has been refereeing for more than 60 years and has been awarded the City of Ottawa Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Jim refereed all levels of play from Senior men and women to many OFSAA high school playoffs and officiated for a number of years at the men’s and women’s intercollegiate level. For many years Jim was on the OVBABO executive and acted as Treasurer.

Charlie Diffin

Charlie was a member of the Ottawa Board since the age of 16. At a young age he found himself refereeing Senior men and then University men in Ottawa, Kingston and Toronto. For many years Charlie was the assignor for the Ottawa Board and got to know all members. His stories of past members create a collective memory for all young officials as he refereed with all the men and women who made up the history of the board.

Paddy Byrne

After his university playing career at Carleton, coaching high school boys and girls teams, then club basketball in the Gloucester Wolverines program, Paddy began refereeing at the suggestion of his friend, Wayne Lewis. He has continued officiating receiving an OABO 30 year certificate in 2011. His officiating career had him assigned to many high school provincial playoff OFSAA tournaments and at the women’s college and university level of play. He became active in and administrative role in OVBABO, first as Vice-President and chair of the Grievance and then for 8 years as Evaluator in Chief. He has worked as an observer for the woman’s panel for several years and is presently the Community College assignor. He was part of the OVBABO spring camp for a number of years and on the committee forming the first Provincial camp in Ottawa for university officials. Most recently Paddy has enjoyed working as an evaluator at the Elite Development Camp for university officials.

Rod Capern

Rod played university ball for the Royal Military College and was twice a QUAA all-star.  He started coaching basketball after injuries sidelined him and became involved with the GCBA.  It was Brian White, a coach for two of his sons who played with the Wolverines, who suggested Rod try officiating.  He never looked aback and immersed himself in refereeing, officiating at evaluated OBA Provincial Tournaments, two Canadian Forces National Championships and numerous Canadian Forces Regional Championships.  He continued his volunteer work with the GCBA and became the Referee-in Chief.  He revamped the GCBA referee operation and ran a comprehensive and highly successful junior referee program that trained many young people over a 10 year period.  His effort was acknowledged via the Francis Alie Award, the GCBA’s top volunteer award.  However, his volunteer work in basketball officiating expanded significantly after Wayne Lewis asked Rod to consider taking over the Treasurer position when Jimmy Ward retired.  Rod served 7 consecutive terms in that capacity, helping OVBABO transition to a business model that better served members, the Board and clients.  All the while, Rod kept very active in local refereeing for OVBABO as well as supporting the GCBA junior referee program.  Basketball …. you gotta love it!  The best way to do that is by volunteering and giving back to the sport.

Bill Magnus

Bill joined the OVBABO in September 1968, and has been an active member ever since; with a total of 26 years officiating games at the OUA/CIS level (both women’s and men’s games, starting in 1976 at age 25.

During his time as a university official, Bill was a member of 2 university men’s panels, as well as officiating local university games when the panels were not in existence, having officiated numerous university tournament finals and OUA/CIS playoff games (Wilson Cup finals, etc.) including 2 CIS national championship men’s tournaments, where he officiated the consolation final games on both occasions.

Bill has also officiated numerous community college tournament finals and OCAA/CCAA playoff games, including several CCAA/OCAA championship men’s tournaments, including several OCAA championship final games.

Bill has also officiated in the 2001 Canada Games, in addition to several OFSAA provincial championship tournaments.  During his tenure, Bill was an OABO provincial evaluator for several years (and have evaluated officials at several provincial OFSAA and OCAA provincial championship tournaments), as well as a current member of the OVBABO Evaluation Committee.

Bill has also been active as a member of the OVBABO Executive for several years (having held the positions of Vice-President, President and the Board Interpreter and Chair of the Board Training Committee, which included the 3-person training program in our local board).

Bill has also been a past member of the OABO FIBA Ad Hoc Provincial Interpreters Committee to help develop FIBA rules instructional and training materials for Ontario officials  and a past OVBABO Community College Officials Assignor for 2 seasons.

Bill is currently one of the OVBABO game assignors.

Al Rae (1932 – 2016)

Al was not only a Honourary member of the Ottawa Board but also of OABO and CABO. Al’s refereeing career included his refereeing in the 1964,1968,1972 1976 Olympic games as well as many European championships, the Pan Am games and numerous Canadian and CIS National Championships. Al was head of the FIBA Technical Commission and writer of many of the technical manuals used by officials worldwide. He was the CABO national interpreter from 1973 -1991. In 2000 Al was inducted into the Canadian basketball Hall of Fame. He was also in the Manitoba and Ottawa Sports Halls of Fame.
While officiating at the highest level of play he was also an active board member in Ottawa providing mentoring to inexperienced officials over his time on the court.