‘Old Barn’ Go­ing Out with a Shazam

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM - Made­line Mul­hol­land Stanstead

Stanstead Col­lege’s cur­rent arena wasn’t re­ally ‘old’ un­til the prom­ise of the Pat Burns Arena loomed on the hori­zon. Af­ter all, we were us­ing it to host vis­it­ing teams and tour­na­ments this past win­ter. De­spite the new arena not be­ing com­pleted, it has al­ready rel­e­gated its’ pre­de­ces­sor, the ‘Old Barn’, to the sta­tus of di­nosaur.

Our new arena is so an­tic­i­pated that we may be over­look­ing some­thing im­por­tant. How many ir­re­place­able mem­o­ries lay within the walls of the cur­rent arena? How many hours of prac­tice, how much sweat, mem­o­ries of joy, an­tic­i­pa­tion, and dis­ap­point­ment have oc­curred, for so many gen­er­a­tions of peo­ple, in this one place we will now aban­don? And how will any­one whose great mo­ments lay within truly feel when it closes its’ doors for­ever on April 9th, 2011?

The old arena is not go­ing out with a whim­per. And why should she? How many par­ents tell their chil­dren about the games that took place in that arena, about awe­some goals in fi­nal min­utes of im­por­tant games? This place is valu­able for more than its walls and ice. The cel­e­bra­tion planned for her clos­ing is go­ing to be wor­thy of her his­tor­i­cal value to Stanstead and the gen­er­a­tions of peo­ple who shared great mo­ments there.

On Fri­day, April 8th at 7:30 PM the arena will host Shaz­am­fest’s ‘Cabin Fever’, an evening of Rock and Roll and wrestling. The evening’s en­ter­tain­ment in­cludes five wrestling matches and the Shazam World Cham­pion Ti­tle cour­tesy of the East­ern Town­ships Wrestling As­so­ci­a­tion. Also per­form­ing are the bur­lesque per­form­ers Rock­alilly & Cap­i­tal Tease. ‘Blood­shot Bill’ is a one-man rock­a­billy band who will per­form with gusto as the au­di­ence joins him to twist and shake on the dance floor.

Tick­ets for the show are $20 in ad­vance or $25 at the door. If you’re in­ter- ested in pur­chas­ing tick­ets you may con­tact Hélène Hamel at (819) 876-7891, ext. 227, or buy them at the arena. There will be a cash bar of­fered. All pro­ceeds of this ex­cit­ing evening are to sup­port the Pat Burns Arena fund. The min­i­mum age re­quire­ment for the event is 16 years. For more in­for­ma­tion on the evening’s events visit www.shaz­am­fest.com.

On Satur­day, April 9th, the arena will host a Fam­ily Day. The events have been or­ga­nized in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Stanstead’s Re­cre­ation and Cul­tural Cen­tre, and will in­clude a full day of fam­ily-ori­ented ac­tiv­i­ties guar­an­teed to en­ter­tain ev­ery age group. Some of the sched­uled events are free skat­ing, an old-timers game, and a hockey skills competition. There will also be bal­loons, crafts, and a lunch for $2. To help raise money for the Stanstead Re­cre­ation and Cul­tural Cen­tre, some ac­tiv­i­ties charge a fee, such as raf­fles and a chuck-apuck con­test, but the gen­eral ad­mis­sion for the day is free for ev­ery­one.

On Satur­day doors will open at 11:00 AM and the fun will run into the evening, with the fi­nal clo­sure of the Arena be­ing 7:00 PM, April 9th. A de­tailed list­ing of the day’s itin­er­ary will be pub­lished on Wed­nes­day, April 6th in the Stanstead Jour­nal, and will also be posted on site. All vis­i­tors are en­cour­aged to bring pho­tos to post on the arena’s Clos­ing Day Mem­ory Wall, where ev­ery­one is wel­come to post pho­tos of their Arena mem­o­ries on poster boards that will be set up on site cour­tesy of Stanstead Col­lege.

photo Hélène Hamel

The old Stanstead Arena, built in 1954 on land do­nated to the com­mu­nity by Wil­liam Henry Holmes, will be clos­ing its door for good on April 9th.

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