Bill Salt October 28, 1928 - May 25, 2018 Bill Salt grew up an only child on a small farm outside of Victoria, BC and later, as a young man, spent several years working in Flin Flon, MB before moving to Calgary in the mid 1950s. It was during these years that he developed the broad spectrum of interests that enriched his life and the lives of those with whom he came in contact - joy and pleasure in community service, language and reading, art and music, animals and gardening, and all things to do with the outdoors.
Victoria was also where he developed an intense love for soccer. Later, Calgary received the benefit of that love affair as Bill played a major role in the evolution of his favourite sport in Calgary. For over 30 years, he was a leader in the Calgary Minor Soccer Association (CMSA), involved heavily in administration and coaching. In 1972, he organized the zone system used by the CMSA today. He also served on the executive of the Calgary Soccer Federation and was a founding member of the Cal-Glen (now Calgary Glenmore FC) and Chinook Soccer Clubs. In the mid 1970s, Bill, Shawn Hyde, and Bob MacNichol recognized the need to provide the opportunity for girls to play soccer in Calgary. As a result, they introduced soccer for girls, which eventually grew into the girls' component of the CMSA and the Calgary Women's Soccer Association.
But Bill didn't stop with soccer. During the 1950s to the early 1980s, he was a driving force organizing and directing various projects in the North Glenmore community, and for 25 years held executive positions on the Community Association Board.
In 1974, he became one of the three original organizers of Minor Sports Calgary and served as the first President from 1974 to 1976. Bill was also a member of the City of Calgary Parks and Recreation Board for five years and acted as Chairman for two of those years. In addition, he was very involved in minor hockey at both the community and "AA" levels.
Bill was recognized numerous times for his tremendous contributions, including among others: the Alberta Government Recreation Volunteer Recognition Award (1980), the Calgary Centennial Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Enrichment of Life in Calgary (1984), and the Calgary Booster Club Sportsman of the Year (1991).
As his children grew older, Bill turned his attention to diversifying his geophysical business. He was involved with the first joint venture between a Slovak and a Canadian company after the fall of the Iron Curtain, as well as many other international ventures.
Following retirement, Bill moved to an acreage east of the city (Cloudwalker Stables) where he devoted himself to Tennessee Walking horses, assorted rescue dogs, and large vegetable gardens.
But perhaps Bill's greatest lifelong passion was jazz music. As a young man, Bill played in his own jazz ensemble and eventually built an impressive jazz record collection, one of the largest individual collections in North America, which he donated to the University of Calgary. He was also recognized as a jazz authority, and at various points in his life had been on a first name basis with the likes of Benny Goodman and Louis Armstrong. Bill and his good friend, Dr. Easton Wren, spent decades scouring used record stores, taking in jazz concerts across the continent, listening to jazz albums, and talking jazz. Several fortunate jazz fans were on Bill's mailing list for the CDs he assembled - complete compilations by various jazz artists, accompanied by liner notes he composed himself.
Later in life, Bill began to write poetry, short stories, and novels, eventually publishing As My Grandfather Used to Say..., a collection of memories of a childhood spent on a small Vancouver Island farm during the Depression and World War II.
And so, on Friday, May 25 we lost more than a father, grandfather, husband, and friend; we lost a wise mentor, someone who believed in giving of himself to youth, community, and family, and in living life to the fullest.
If friends so desire, please make a donation to an animal rescue society, your local community association, or one of your community's youth-focused sports organizations. As per Bill's wishes, there will be no public memorial service.
Published in Calgary Herald from May 31 to Jun. 1, 2018.