Winter games fondly remembered as Canada Games flag returns to Cape Breton
Memories of one of the largest sporting events in Cape Breton history were shared when the Canada Games flag was raised at city hHall on Friday.
The flag raising was part of 50th anniversary commemorations of the Canada Games being marked across the country this summer.
Cape Breton hosted the winter half of those games in 1987.
“It’s hard to believe 30 years can go by that quick,” said Carl (Bucky) Buchanan, who was among the organizers of the ’87 games.
“I was so proud of the effort of the volunteers that didn’t let us down in any area of those games.
We had as our motto ‘challenge to excel’ and I think they certainly met that challenge and I think from there they enjoyed themselves.”
The volunteer efforts in 1987 would set the stage for Cape Breton to host other major events in subsequent years, including the World Junior Hockey Championship.
Surrounded by old friends on Friday had Buchanan thinking about some other big events for Cape Breton down the road.
“I would like even to think that in the not too distant future we could maybe host the summer games,” he said.
“I think we certainly have adequate facilities and we know we have the volunteer base. I don’t think it is too far out of the realm if we can get a group together in the community and look at the summer games which would be a fantastic tourist attraction as well as just to bring back that great feeling we had for two weeks during the games.”
Buchanan thinks such a move would be welcomed in Cape Breton and across the country, where he said many still refer to the 1987 games as among the best ever.
“When I travel across Canada to various events I’ll always have someone come up to say their daughter was there or their grandchild was there and how much they enjoyed it.”
A reception in city hall followed Friday’s flag raising.
A travelling exhibit featuring history and memorabilia from the 50 years of the Canada Games will be on display at the Mayflower Mall on Saturday and Sunday.
Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Cecil Clarke, left, and Carl (Bucky) Buchanan raise the Canada Games flag behind city hall on the Esplanade, Sydney on Friday. The flag was in town to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Canada Games. It is travelling across the country this summer to host communities of past games. Buchanan was part of the committee that brought the winter games to Cape Breton in 1987. A reception in city hall followed the flag raising. A travelling exhibit featuring history and memorabilia from the 50 years of the Canada Games will be on display at the Mayflower Mall on Saturday and Sunday.