Fred ‘Whitey’ Severson’s jersey was the first Victoria Shamrocks jersey to ever be retired. The 91-year-old died Monday. (Facebook/Victoria Shamrocks)

Shamrocks legend ‘Whitey’ Severson dies at 91

Lacrosse legend was one half of ‘the Gold Dust Twins’

Beloved Shamrocks alum Fred ‘Whitey’ Severson is being remembered for both his lacrosse legacy and infectious smile. Severson, 91, died on Jan. 27.

Severson set records for the Victoria team from 1951 to 1963, accumulating 869 points in a Shamrocks jersey and 1,202 in total throughout his lacrosse career.

Before he came to Victoria, he and famed teammate Archie Browning played for the New Westminster Adanacs, helping to earn the team the 1947 Mann Cup title. Both light-haired, the athletes played box lacrosse at a time before helmets, earning themselves the nickname the ‘Gold Dust Twins.’

READ ALSO: Shamrocks honours – Alexander best shooter of his generation, maybe the best ever

Both players joined the then brand new Victoria Shamrocks in 1951 and shared the Western scoring title in 1952. Severson was the solo scoring champion the year after.

Severson played in six Mann Cups and took home three wins. The Victoria Shamrocks Alumni group say Severson is one of few to participate in the Cup as a player, a coach and a referee.

Archie Browning (left) and Fred ‘Whitey’ Severson were known as the Gold Dust Twins for their fair hair and lacrosse skills. The pair played together for the New Westminster Adanacs before joining the Victoria Shamrocks in 1951. (Photo Courtesy of Walt Christianson)

Walt Christianson, Shamrocks Alumni president, knew Severson well, but never got the chance to see him play. Still, he often heard of Whitey’s legendary skills.

“Whitey was known for his passing and play-making and his scoring,” Christianson said. “The Shamrocks have only retired three jerseys and the first one was Whitey’s: No. 8.”

But the ‘golden twin’ was loved for more than his athleticism. Christianson remembers him as a “wonderful person” who would walk in the room with a smile, taking the time to talk to everyone there.

“Everyone was very fond of Whitey and talked about his smile and what a great person he was,” Christianson said. “He was very friendly and very social, very kind and loved by everyone.”

READ ALSO: Throwback Thursday: Shamrocks revisit the 1950s with new uniforms

Severon became an Honoured Member of the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1970 and was inducted in to the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

The Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame calls Severson’s accomplishments on the floor “legendary” adding that after 80 years of organized lacrosse in Canada, only 10 other athletes have played more than his 540 games.

Severson earned a spot as a Saanich councillor in the ’70s and worked for the Victoria Fire Department until 1985, when he retired from his position as deputy chief.

Severson is pre-deceased by his wife Betty-May Severson, who died in 2018.

Victoria Shamrocks legend Fred ‘Whitey’ Severson has passed away at age 91.(Photo Courtesy of Walt Christianson)



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Victoria Shamrocks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay permits recreation vehicles in driveways during COVID-19

Council lifts restriction on campers as a place to self-isolate

Vikes Maffia, Mollenhauer among annual athletic award winners

UVic Vikes release annual athletic awards

Greater Victoria survey shows third of respondents did not pay, or partially paid rent for April

Survey of 70 respondents says 40 per cent expect they will not be able to pay May rent

Advocates call safe drug supply a victory but worry about logistics in pandemic

Pandemic contributes to scarce supply, advocates worried about potential impact on the streets

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read