Even as a silly little English boy who arrived with my parents in Ponoka, Alberta in the middle of the very cold winter of 1948, I would quickly fall in love with this amazing Canadian game called hockey.
Growing up in those memorable years I hung around our first big old arena at the south end of 50th street, learned how to skate on an outdoor rink and on the Battle River, and later got to play my first game of shinny hockey out on the frozen road in our Riverside neighbourhood.
I was totally thrilled to become a member of the Ponoka Minor Hockey Association and put on my first ‘way too big’ team sweater, and then much later played in the rough and tumble Ponoka Town and County Farm Hockey League as well as one of the gang on the Ponoka Complex Coyotes staff team. But along the way my fondest memories of becoming a total ‘hockey fanatic’ came from cheering for our countless local Ponoka Minor Hockey, junior, and senior teams, of getting to cover hundreds of games for radio station C.K.R.D, the Ponoka Herald, and the Ponoka News, and then having the pleasure of managing the arena complex from day one and for 10 great and very busy years of watching all those teams and countless events grow and succeed while giving so many people the great opportunity of having lots of fun both on the ice and around the rink.
Now a senior at the age of 76 I still love the game of hockey, watching games at home, and getting down to the local rinks at every opportunity. Of course my favourite hobby is to be able to write about the long and colourful history of our Ponoka town and county in the Reflections and Remember When features of your Ponoka News. This of course has included the countless amazing stories about the dedicated families, men/women and youth, entrepreneurs, businesses, sports teams, events, along with the outstanding efforts that have highlighted the 100 plus years of steady growth, milestones, and ongoing successes to which all our thriving generations have been blessed. Thanks to the staff at the Fort Ostell Museum and the Ponoka News and so many other people who have so kindly provided me with so many great story ideas, pictures, books, materials, and delightful interviews, I have graciously been able to keep on sharing our proud history as well as write a zany column for quite a few years.
This week in salute of minor hockey playoffs and tournaments I will feature a couple of our talented young teams from the roaring sixties and ’70s.
Please keep right on sharing all this great information with me by popping into the office on Chipman Avenue or give me a call at 403-341-5750 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.