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