A native of Bridgenorth, Frank E. Jopling was known most of his life by the nick-name “Drake”. He attended school there, and at PCVS where, at age 16, playing for the PCVS Seniors, his tough plunging style was a major factor in the team winning the Ontario High School Championship.
Drake had an abundance of talent, excelling also in swimming, canoeing and hockey. As an uncoached 19-year-old, he placed third in the Canadian Canoe Racing Championships – with a borrowed shell. As a youth, he regularly won 100-yard swims and canoeing events.
After learning hockey at Bridgenorth, he joined the Peterborough Jr. B team where his superior skating and defensive style caught the eye of pro scouts. Drake took the New York Rangers’ offer over one from Detroit and played two seasons with their No. 1 farm club, the New York Rovers. Then he returned here and was an important cog in the city teams which won the Ontario and Eastern Int. A title in 1939-40 and Sr. B laurels in 1941-42.
Drake took up skiing at age 50 and was still winning events 25 years later.