Hockey Team Dances Their Way Home

This is another story about the long trips undertaken by sports teams, but what caught my attention was that a dance was planned for every evening of their trip home.  Assuming that it took five days to get to Grande Prairie from Peace River Crossing by team, three days for the hockey games, and five days to get home, this jaunt would have taken nearly two weeks.  Apparently a return trip was in the cards, as there is mention of baseball games arranged for the summer.

Researched & written by Kathryn Auger

Frontier Signal ~ March 25, 1915

Frontier Signal ~ March 25, 1915

Frontier Signal ~ 25 March, 1915

Frontier Signal ~ 25 March, 1915

This Week in History – “A Roaring, Sizzling Contest”

Several items on the front page of the January 5, 1939 Grande Prairie Herald Tribune seemed worthy of note:

“A roaring, sizzling contest” is how the writer described a hockey game between the Grande Prairie Red Devils and Beaverlodge Bombers. Many names associated with local hockey even into the 1950s appear in this account.

The article on the Immigration Hall being given to the Legion by the Federal Government indicates there was no longer a need for it, and for the Legion to have meeting rooms and provide a gymnasium for the Athletic Association was a greater need in the community.

The last item, “Women’s Musical Club” outlines an ambitious program for the coming year for the club. We may think that an isolated small town may have been without cultural activities, but this program certainly indicates otherwise.

Researched and written by Kathryn Auger. 

Grande Prairie Herald - January 5, 1939

Grande Prairie Herald – January 5, 1939

Grande Prairie Red Devils

Grande Prairie Red Devils, Winter 1938-1939: RW Wright, DG Law, JE Shields, AP Power, HE Oxley, RH Shantz, RK Card, CWS Turner, AW Wright, ED Parrish, FM Edmundson, HSD Spicer, and Roy Davis.

Grande Prairie Herald - January 5, 1939

Grande Prairie Herald – January 5, 1939

Turners at Immigration Hall

Jeanne and Charles Turner on the steps of the former Immigration Hall.

Grande Prairie Herald - January 5, 1939

Grande Prairie Herald – January 5, 1939

 

 

We Like Winter ~ Cause of Hockey

We embrace winter, that’s a fair statement about people in the Peace Country. We may not love winter but we truly embrace it. How do we do that? We don’t let it stop us, we rise to challenge that Mother Nature throws at us! What do we like about it? Good question, but one of the reasons I believe we secretly like winter is as the weather changes it signals to all of us the start of  Winter Sports Season!

Here at the Archives we know how much people in the South Peace embrace our winters – we have the photographs to prove it! In honour of the hardy Peace Country people we are going to be doing a blog  series on winter sports in the Peace Country, and the first installment is … HOCKEY!

There are so many different thoughts come to mind when I start thinking hockey, cheering fans, arena burgers, hot chocolate, early mornings, warming vehicles, smelly equipment, grinning faces, team spirit, friends for life, awesome coaches and experiences never forgotten. Whether it be indoor, outdoor, street or organized hockey we have oodles of photographs of smiling faces and happy kids.

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Boys hockey team with their coach ~ ca.1930.

I can recall loading up my kids and taking them to the rink in La Glace for a hockey game, it was probably -30 below. We had to call a time-out in the middle of the game due to frozen kids. The kids, who were slightly hypothermic, shuffled  off the ice like little penguins and made their way into the change room. The parent crew quickly went to work removing skates and gloves, trying our best to thaw out their little hands and feet. Those that weren’t already crying soon started when the feeling returned to their appendages. After a quick break, we laced up their skates, re-gloved them, wiped their tears and with some encouraging words gave them a little push onto the ice.  Once the game began coaches were trying everything they could to keep the kids warm after a shift change, managing the bench was keeping them busy! You may ponder why did we would do such a thing? Looking back I wonder too but I think deep down we didn’t want winter to beat us!

I am sure many Peace Country children/parents have had similar experiences.

Outdoor hockey in 1950.

Outdoor hockey in 1950.

All the way back to 1927 people knew that hockey was the answer –

hockey

 

Nov. 25, 1927

Nov. 25, 1927

This season when I bundle up with blankets, gloves and  grab my Timmies I will take a look around at all the hockey enthusiasts and know that we like winter ~ cause of hockey!

This Week in History: Hockey at -45

Serious Hockey at 45 Below

The article in the Feb. 8, 1935 paper about a challenge game between Sexsmith and Clairmont caught my attention because it mentioned a special train being put on for the game. That’s a pretty big deal, and reading the subsequent articles of Feb. 15th and 21st only served to show how seriously this hockey game was being taken. The challenge had been issued right after Sexsmith lost the Kerr-Orr cup to Clairmont, when no doubt feelings were still running high. The bet on the game was $200, and the assumption was that there were many side bets; don’t forget that this was in the middle of the Depression, and that seems like a lot of money to bet on a hockey game. Grande Prairie’s Wapiti rink was the venue, and the 9 pm start time was after the stores closed for the evening. On the evening of the game, the temperature was 45 below, but the game went on, and Sexsmith was avenged!

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Clippings taken from the Grande Prairie Herald Feb.8, 15 & 21. Found on the website Our Future Our Past.