Old Arena Sings Her Swan Song

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM - Made­line Mul­hol­land Stanstead

TheOld Arena fi­nally sang her swan song this past week­end, as her clos­ing events en­cour­aged both young and old to come and en­joy the premises one last time. On Fri­day evening, April 7th, the Arena hosted a Bur­lesque and Wrestling show. The event may have been an eclec­tic com­bi­na­tion of en­ter­tain­ment, but the crowds showed up any­way. Adults, teens, and even par­ents with young chil­dren in tow, all con- verged upon the arena to en­joy the rowdy show. The pro­ceeds of the event went to­ward the Pat Burns Arena fund.

At 11:00 the fol­low­ing morn­ing lo­cals from far and wide showed up once again to en­joy the Fam­ily Day events sched­uled to run all day. The weather was co­op­er­a­tive and those in at­ten­dance en­joyed a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties de­signed to ap­peal to all ages. Craft ta­bles were set up for the young­sters, while se­niors en­joyed an old timers’ hockey game. Lunch was avail­able for those who wished to stay through­out the af­ter­noon. The Stanstead Cul­tural and Re­cre­ation Cen­tre hosted a se­ri­ous of fund rais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties on site as well, such as chucka-puck and a shootout, from which the pro­ceeds are to be used to fund up­com­ing recre­ational ini­tia­tives for the town.

The his­tory of the arena was high­lighted on a bul­letin board with post­ings of news­pa­per ar­ti­cles and other mem­o­ra­bilia, while Bev­erly Good­sell’s own scrap­book, con­tain­ing more per­sonal mem­o­ries of the arena’s his­tory, was also on dis­play for ev­ery­one to en­joy. The free skate was en­joyed by many, as par­ents were on the ice with their chil­dren while old timers were skat­ing amongst them. Chil­dren from Sun­ny­side’s grade three class darted in and out of skaters in a game of ice-tag, while an NHL cal­i­bre three year old, in a Mon­treal Cana­di­ens’ sweater, was seen zoom­ing around the rink with his dad try­ing to keep up.

The Old Timer Hockey game saw some of the re­gion’s more hearty se­niors out on the ice play­ing hockey, as they had in times long gone. Stan­ley Holmes ar­rived dressed for hockey suc­cess, re­s­plen­dent in his an­ti­quated hockey jer­sey. His well-worn Cana­di­ens sweater had a few small holes it seemed, but upon closer scrutiny, ap­peared to con­sist more of stitched re­pairs than orig­i­nal sweater. Nonethe­less, it was worn proudly by Mr. Holmes over his reg­u­lar shirt, along with his old, sea­soned ice skates draped over his shoul­der. See­ing Mr. Holmes en­joy­ing the rink was apro­pos, as the land upon which the old arena cur­rently re­sides orig­i­nally be­longed to the Holmes fam­ily. Stan­ley Holmes’ grand­fa­ther do­nated the land to the town with the con­di­tion it be used for pub­lic use. The arena was built later. The new arena could not be built in the same lo­ca­tion, as new leg­is­la­tion for­bids are­nas to be built near a river front.

Hélène Hamel, or­ga­nizer of the events, was on hand through­out the day and claims to have been very pleased with the feed­back. She laugh­ingly ex­plained that the fund-raiser had turned out to be more like a friend-raiser, as gangs of

The crowd at the old arena, last Fri­day, en­joyed the an­tics of the mem­bers of the East­ern Town­ships Wrestling As­so­ci­a­tion.

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