|Herbert H. Carnegie, C.M., O.Ont.
Member of the Order of Canada 2003
Northern Secondary School Graduate 1930’s
For over 40 years, Herbert Carnegie has been a mentor and tireless community activist. One of the most promising hockey players of his era, he never had the opportunity to turn professional due to the racial barriers of the time. Finding inspiration in disappointment, he redirected his energies to become a successful businessman and financial planner. Opening the first hockey school in Canada, he wrote The Future Aces Creed to encourage, inspire and guide young people. In 1987, he established the Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Foundation to provide scholarships for young civic-minded students.
Herbert H. Carnegie, O.M.C., is the creator of the Future Aces Philosophy. Over the last 30 years, he has devoted much of his time and energy to publicizing and distributing the Future Aces Creed. His primary objective has been to promote the use of the Philosophy in elementary and secondary schools as the basis for an ongoing program utilized by teachers as an integral part of societal and citizenship education for students.
A family man, Mr. Carnegie was born in Toronto in 1919. He has been married since 1940 to Audrey May Carnegie, who was also born in Toronto. Herb Carnegie says that "Future Aces is my greatest victory!"
An author ... He published his autobiography - Fly in a Pail of Milk: The Herb Carnegie Story, Mosaic Press, 1996.
A star hockey player ... In the 1940's, Herbert Carnegie became a star hockey player with the Quebec Aces in the Quebec Senior Hockey League. He played with Jean Beliveau who went on to have a distinguished career as centre for the Montreal Canadiens, and was coached by the late Punch Imlach, who later became coach and manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Earlier, as a semi-professional player with the Sherbrooke Saints, Mr. Carnegie was three times voted the most valuable player on his team. His ambition was to make it into the National Hockey League.
Denied his chance ... This ambition, however, was not to be fulfilled. In the 1940's and 50's, it was uncommon for a black man to set his sights on a professional hockey career. Although the media and his fellow players recognized his great talents in the sport, the unwritten code of the time denied Mr. Carnegie a try-out in the NHL because of his race.
Dealing with disappointment ... Undaunted by this setback, Mr. Carnegie redirected his energies. He had a successful career in business as a Senior Accounts Executive and qualified financial planner. He was a member of The Millionaire Club with Investors Syndicate for 24 years.
Golfing successes ... Mr. Carnegie was a successful amateur golfer. He was:
A vision for the future ... Impressive as these achievements are, Mr. Carnegie deserves our attention even more for his volunteer work which spans most of his working life. In the 1950's, he became deeply involved as a hockey coach to a group of youngsters in North York. He founded the 'Future Aces Hockey School', one of the first hockey schools in Canada, where he stressed the importance of skill development, team play, and cooperation, as opposed to the aggressive, win-at-any-cost attitude so prevalent in the sport. Mr. Carnegie regarded his young protégés as 'ACES' (winners) of the future. Wanting to leave the boys with more than a love for the sport, he wrote the Future Aces Creed in 1955. He had a vision: develop a positive self-concept and the doors would open to a richer, fuller life for everyone.
A force for good ... Several years later, Mr. Carnegie decided to adapt the Creed to a wider use. As a black person living in a predominantly white society, Mr. Carnegie was well aware of the need to combat racial prejudice. He felt that the Creed, if widely distributed, could be a positive force for good in the community, and most important, help Canadians in all walks of life to remember that hatred and intolerance can breed bitterness and social strife.
The Future Aces Foundation ... Stimulated by the success of the Future Aces Philosophy in schools, Mr. Carnegie established the Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Foundation in 1987. The Foundation is a non-profit, registered, charitable organization whose aim is to assist young people to go to college or university. Since 1994, many students have received scholarships from the Foundation.
Public recognition ... In recognition of his contribution to Ontario society, Mr. Carnegie received the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship in 1988. In 1989, his work in North York schools earned him the North York Volunteer of the Year Award, as well as the North York Board of Education Champion Award. He has also been awarded the Order of Ontario for his humanitarian work in the community. He has six Hall of Fame Awards to his name and in November, 2001 was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Another Hall of Fame award sits proudly in his living room recognizing a 32-year career as an Account Executive with Investors Group, which is now the Foundation's major corporate partner that provides financial assistance to his youth projects. The Harmony Movement, in November, 2001, honoured Mr. Carnegie with their Harmony Award because he 'turned the racism he was subjected to as a young man into a career of valuing differences and enhancing positive life skills with youth.' Toronto Parks and Recreation highlights him on their fifth poster series of Contributions of African Canadians. In May 2001, Toronto Parks and Recreation renamed the recreation centre at 589 Finch Avenue West the Herbert H. Carnegie Centennial Centre. This honour by the City of Toronto will be a lasting tribute to Mr. Carnegie's many contributions to the community. The Black Business and Professional Association honoured Mr. Carnegie with the Harry Jerome President's Award in April 2002 for his community leadership in sharing his vision of how people can live in harmony.