Where are they now? - April 12th, 2017


By Rick Sparling

Having covered most of the individuals featured in his most recent book, Amateur Hockey in Neepawa A Scrapbook, local author and sports historian Rick Sparling has attempted to locate and catch up with some of the individuals featured in his first book, The History of Public School Hockey in Neepawa.

Rod Peeler. West Park School 1956-57 Junior Red Wings


Rod Peeler left Neepawa and took his Grade 5 in Winnipeg, Junior High at Earl Grey and graduated from Kelvin High School in 1965. He went directly into Eaton’s and took their Eaton’s Management Training course and became a buyer for western Canada for men’s wear. Next, he was a general merchandise manager for Ladie’s Wear and worked as an assistant manager at the Polo Park store, until he left Eaton’s in 1980. 

After leaving Eaton’s, he became a general merchandise manager for a local jewellery chain and after working there for two years, went into the real estate business. Rod’s motto pretty well sums up the success he has enjoyed in the real estate business, “I never sleep!” 


Rod has three children from his first marriage and four granddaughters. His wife for just over 15 years is Lynn McLean and he has a stepson, Michael. Rod’s hobbies are the guitar, oil painting, golf and he does Rod Stewart gigs whenever the opportunity arises.  



Lawrence Keyes. 1955-1956 West Park School Senior Canadians


Lawrence Keyes graduated from NACI in 1962 and immediately joined the R.C.M.P.. He spent his first postings in Toronto and Fort Erie, Ont., before coming back to Manitoba where he was in charge of Clear Lake detachment in the summer and spent some time posted in Virden. He finished his career with the Mounties as a plain clothesman in Winnipeg, until he retired in 1992, having served 30 years with them. 

He spent another 17 years working for the Manitoba Gaming Commission doing background checks on Lotteries and casino employees and had investigative trips to the United States and Great Britain checking out gaming suppliers. An example was ‘Bicycle’, the playing card manufacturer situated in Great Britain, who supplied our casinos with their cards. Anything the casino used in the way of materials, such as roulette wheels or dice, for example,  was checked out by Lawrence’s department. From there, he worked his final seven years with Manitoba Finance, investigating the illegal shipments of tobacco coming in from Ontario. 

Lawrence was married and has three children and three grandchildren. He is now retired and living in Winnipeg.