Much of the growth in amateur and professional hockey in the Pacific Northwest was attributable to the efforts of Fred Hume. A natural leader with interests in athletics and politics, Hume used his influence to help put the city of Vancouver on the international sporting map.
Born in New Westminster, BC, Hume's first calling was local politics. He was elected alderman at the age of 29 then became mayor nine years later. A fine lacrosse player, Hume formed the New Westminster Salmonbellies to compete against the best clubs from eastern Canada.
Hume then moved to nearby Vancouver where he also served as mayor. His love of sports led him to help found the Western Hockey League as owner of the New Westminster Royals hockey club. He operated the team for nine years with Ken MacKenzie but never won a championship. Hume finally sold his players to Portland and folded his franchise when mounting costs made pro hockey in a smaller community like New Westminster an unrealistic venture.
Hume always believed that the Vancouver area could support large scale sporting events. His involvement and lobbying grew when he gained a stronger voice as Vancouver mayor in 1950. Undeterred by the difficulties facing the New Westminster hockey club, Hume brought the British Empire games Vancouver in 1954 and helped land a minor pro baseball franchise in 1955. Hume's drive and leadership won him a host of admirers throughout the West Coast. The WHL honoured his contribution by naming a trophy after him to presented annually to the league's most gentlemanly player.
He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962.