Old Arena Sings Her Swan Song
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.