.nb – the original online version of this was lost; this copy unfortunately has several links dropped (shown by multiple , , , , , , , ) but we think the article deserves to be preserved as we search for a complete copy.

He was the consummate optimist, a man driven to overcome any obstacle before him but to do so with his sense of humour intact.

Wayne Pecknold was a brilliant scholar and outstanding athlete – an individual who lived two lifetimes in one.

On September 19, 2000 – just 47 days past his 60th birthday – those lifetimes were snuffed out following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Born in Victoria, Wayne indulged his love for all sports with a seemingly effortless ability to excel. At the age of 13, he picked up a lacrosse stick and led his Victoria bantam club to the provincial championship, finishing an incredible fifth in the scoring column.

Wayne mothballed his lacrosse stick until, two years later, he moved to Vancouver’s East End and began a lifelong friendship with {PeterBlack}, Wayne joined the Vancouver Junior “A” team although not yet 17 and, despite the fact that it was only his second year in organized boxla, he soon blossomed into a star – so much that he and Black (himself only 18) were called up to the senior Vancouver Pilseners (Burrards) for four games.

The following season, Wayne and Peter – still weeks away from graduating from Britannia High School – made the senior squad. The two buddies, now labeled the Gold Dust Twins, went on to share the league’s 1958 Rookie-of-the-Year honours.

But, during the high school years, there was much more to his athletic life than lacrosse. Wayne won the juvenile football scoring title with 48 points in five games with Renfrew Trojans and was a main cog on his high school’s basketball team.

And there was also hockey. After leading the Juvenile Canucks to the Pacific Coast hockey title, Wayne joined the highly regarded Prince Albert Mintos of the Saskatchewan Junior League. This hockey prowess won him an athletic scholarship in 1959 with the Michigan State University. Life appeared rosy until one day the university discovered Wayne was ineligible for a scholarship because he had signed an ‘A’ form with Prince Albert.

Oh, well, just another bump in the road to overcome. Wayne applied for an academic scholarship – he didn’t get one but, rather, was awarded two. Was it warranted? Indeed it was for he finished his freshman year with 13 A’s and two B’s, placing him on Michigan’s Honour College list.

Wayne received his Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan in 1963 and, later, his Masters and PhD in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then remained at the prestigious MIT as a professor of civil engineering. Later, he was a founding partner of Cambridge Systematics. In recent years, Wayne and wife Jeannie moved to the Washington community of Bellingham, just south of Vancouver.

Wayne’s rigorous academic schedule did not prevent him from playing and coaching hockey teams around Michigan State and MIT. Oh yes, he also returned to Vancouver each summer until 1966 to play a half season with his Vancouver lacrosse balls.

observed: “Wayne could pick up a stick after not touching it for years and play as if it were just yesterday. Like everything else he did, Wayne willed himself to succeed.”

All told, Wayne scored 213 goals and 108 assists for 321 points in 191 senior games, earning two Mann Cup medals (1961 and 1963) in three attempts

Related Images: