Aurora Tigers owner and former NHLer Jim Thomson skates in the 2023 OJHL All-Star Celebration alumni game in Collingwood. He’ll be inducted into the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame in November. (Photo by Amy Deroche / OJHL Images)

The current owner of the Aurora Tigers and a former co-owner of the Ontario Junior Hockey League franchise will be inducted into the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame this fall.

Former NHLer Jim Thomson, the current governor of the Tigers, and one-time owner Laurie Buckland will be welcomed during the hall’s official ceremony for the 2023 Class of Inductees Nov. 2, 2023 at the Royal Venetian Mansion in Aurora.


Jim Thomson – Athlete (Hockey)

A remarkable athlete, was born in Edmonton, Alberta, on December 30, 1965. He later made

Aurora his home for 14 years, leaving an indelible mark on the community. Jim’s illustrious

career as a professional hockey player spanned across renowned leagues such as the NHL,

IHL, OHL, and AHL, where he showcased his exceptional skills and dedication.

In addition to his achievements on the ice, Jim is the current proud owner of The Aurora Tigers

Junior A. Team, a team that has brought joy and excitement to the local community.

Furthermore, he serves as a motivational speaker at Dreams Do Come True, inspiring others

with his powerful message of perseverance, respect, fair play, and courage. Jim’s emphasis on

these values is a testament to his character and his desire to uplift and empower individuals

both on and off the ice.

Through his unwavering commitment and dedication to the sport and the community, Jim

Thomson has left an enduring legacy that continues to inspire generations of athletes and

dreamers. His contributions serve as a shining example of the profound impact that passion,

hard work, and strong values can have on shaping lives.


Laurie Buckland – Builder Category (Golf)

A renowned figure in the sports community, was born on August 8, 1947, in Stouffville, ON.

He relocated to Aurora in 1966, establishing a strong connection with the local sports scene.

With an illustrious career spanning 21 years, Laurie excelled as a professional golfer,

showcasing his talent and dedication to the sport.

Beyond his achievements on the golf course, Laurie made significant contributions off the

fairways. He co-purchased the Aurora Tigers Junior A team, demonstrating his commitment to

fostering the development of young athletes. As the director of sports for Highlands, Laurie took

on the responsibility of overseeing various sports disciplines, including golf, tennis, squash,

fitness, and aquatics. His mentorship and guidance impacted the lives of many aspiring

athletes, leaving an enduring legacy within the community.

In collaboration with Thomas McBroom, Laurie’s architectural prowess came to the forefront

when they designed and constructed the esteemed King’s Riding Golf Course in 1984. This

remarkable achievement stands as a testament to Laurie’s visionary approach and dedication to

advancing the sport of golf.

Although Laurie Buckland is no longer with us, his contributions and influence in the sports

world continue to inspire generations of athletes and enthusiasts alike. His memory lives on as a

shining example of passion, excellence, and dedication.


The other two 2023 Class inductees are

Charles Leeming – Athlete (Hockey) 

A distinguished athlete, was born on May 8, 1943, in Kettleby, ON.

With a lifelong connection to Aurora spanning over seven decades, he has become an integral

part of the community. Charles’s athletic prowess shines brightest on the hockey rink, where he

achieved remarkable success, earning several Provincial Championships throughout his career.

His sporting endeavors extended beyond hockey, as he actively participated in fastball,

baseball, and softball from 1957 to 1977, showcasing his versatility and passion for multiple

sports. In 1963, Charles and his team emerged victorious as All Ontario Champions, a

testament to their exceptional skills and dedication.

Recognizing his remarkable contribution, Charles received a certificate of Appreciation from the

NHL Oldtimers Hockey Club, honoring his invaluable involvement in The Charity Exhibition

Hockey Game. This accolade stands as a testament to his unwavering commitment and

significant impact within the hockey community.

His achievements and dedication serve as an inspiration to aspiring athletes, embodying the

values of perseverance, sportsmanship, and excellence. His remarkable journey is etched into

the sporting history of Aurora, leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.

Frank “Pete” Machell – Athlete (Lacrosse)

A celebrated athlete, was born in Aurora on August 26, 1893. Regrettably, he passed away in

August 1947, leaving behind a legacy of exceptional sporting achievements. Recognized as one

of Eastern Canada’s Greatest Lacrosse Players, Frank showcased his remarkable skills and

prowess on the field.

From 1913 to 1921, he led the Aurora Lacrosse Club to consecutive victories, securing the

championship title in the Metropolitan Cup Series. His exceptional talent as a lacrosse player

continued to shine, as he consistently ranked among the top ten league scorers in 1922, 1923,

1925, 1926, and 1927, solidifying his status as a force to be reckoned with.

In 1932, Frank achieved the pinnacle of success by becoming a Mann Cup Champion with the

Brampton Excelsiors Senior A team. This prestigious accomplishment further solidified his

position as a distinguished figure in the world of lacrosse.

Frank “Pete” Machell’s remarkable contributions to lacrosse and his indomitable spirit continue

to inspire athletes and fans alike. His legacy serves as a testament to the enduring power of

dedication, skill, and passion within the sporting realm.

The Aurora Sports Hall of Fame “is proud to welcome these outstanding individuals into its

illustrious ranks. Their accomplishments have not only brought glory to themselves but have

also instilled immense pride in the Aurora community The 2023 Class of Inductees serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes and a testament to the power of passion, dedication, and sportsmanship.”


Verified by MonsterInsights