Bea (Hall) McKenzie was one of Manitoba’s best female softball players for 22 seasons. As a teenager she played for the St. Vital Rovers team that won the City of Winnipeg and provincial intermediate title in 1930 and the Norwood Collegiate team that won the same championships in 1931. In 1934, she moved to senior competition with the United Commercial Travellers Vics and was named to the all-star team in her first two seasons at the higher level. In 1936, her coach Jimmie McKenzie, who she married in 1943, formed a new team, St. Boniface Athletics. The team won the senior girls championship in its first season and went on to win five more titles between 1937 and 1948.
A perennial all-star at catcher, McKenzie was considered to be the “backbone” of the Athletics throughout her career. In addition to her catching ability, she was an excellent hitter. In 1951 when she played several positions, the Winnipeg Free Press reported, “the ageless Bea would be the logical selection as the best all around player in the league.” In 2002, the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame acknowledged her outstanding ability when she was among its initial group of inductees. The following year the St. Boniface Athletics teams from 1944-1948 that she captained were inducted in the team category. A top curler, McKenzie was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 as a member of the Heather team that won the first Manitoba and Canadian mixed curling championships in 1964.
b. January 20, 1914