Defying the odds was a way of life for Tom Settee.
Born in Prince Albert in 1914 Settee grew up with a lung disorder which ultimately required medical attention. At the age of 23, Settee turned to boxing to try to improve his respiratory capabilities.
That proved to be a wise decision as “Little Chief” went on to a very successful boxing career in both the amateur and professional ranks.
Settee began boxing under the tutelage of Tommie Elvery in 1937 and for two years fought a series of bouts working toward a shot at the welterweight (under 147 pounds) championship. When the Second World War broke out, Settee went overseas to serve his country. He did not quit boxing, however, with between 60 and 70 fights during that time, including three consecutive appearances in the Canadian Army championship. Settee reached the final in the welterweight division on each occasion, losing in 1942 and 1943 before claiming the gold medal in 1944. That feat is made more impressive by the fact it took victories in 16 bouts to be declared champion.
Settee was injured later in the war and after his discharge became a professional boxer. Despite having a piece of shrapnel lodged in his hip, Settee went on to win 13 of 15 professional fights.
Fighting under the name of Tommy Deschambeault (his mother’s maiden name), Settee captured the Western Canadian welterweight and middleweight (under 160 pounds) championships before retiring in 1948.
Settee continued his involvement in the sport on his return to Prince Albert, offering his expertise to local boxing enthusiasts.
In 1991, Settee was inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.