Plenty to re­mem­ber about the S.W. Moores

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cbn­com­

“Noth­ing quite like slap­ping those walls in the stand­ing room up top to en­cour­age your team. Walls were cov­ered I be­lieve a few years back to cover many a dent.” Jim Har­ris

There are some things we know about the S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour Grace.

We know it’s been the on-and­off-again home of the CeeBees se­nior hockey team for close to six decades. There have been a cou­ple of breaks over the years, but for the most part, the rink has played host to a count­less num­ber of se­nior hockey games.

We know fans used to lean over the boards — there was no glass — to watch the games and smok­ing was en­cour­aged. For­mer CeeBees keeper Doug Moores has said it would be hard to see the other end of the ice when the se­cond pe­riod rolled around for the cloud of smoke that hung in the rink.

We know about the ra­bid fans who clam­ored for the chance to watch hockey of any kind.

There was even a time when one pa­tron in par­tic­u­lar took of­fense to a player in the penalty box, so much so that he came out of the stands to take the player over the head with his cap.

How­ever, as much as we know about the sta­dium, there are still some sto­ries and in­for­ma­tion that is kind of left in the dark.

A cou­ple of weeks ago, The Com­pass pub­lished a col­umn re­mem­ber­ing the old barn, which is due to be re­placed by a new rink within the next year. The post gen­er­ated plenty of page views and at­tracted some in­ter­est­ing com­ments from read­ers.

They told us about catch­ing early morn­ing bus rides from Kennedy’s Cor­ner to the sta­dium on dark and cold Satur­day morn­ings.

The chil­dren were head­ing for mi­nor hockey. There were pee­wee, ban­tam and air cadet hockey prac­tice, amongst oth­ers in those days. The air cadet prac­tice doesn’t ex­ist now, but just the men­tion of it, shows how much in­ter­est there was in the corps in those days.

“Thank god, be­cause the sta­dium at 6 a.m. was an ice­box,” said one reader. “I still get cold think­ing about those mem­o­ries.”

“Noth­ing quite like slap­ping those walls in the stand­ing room up top to en­cour­age your team. Walls were cov­ered I be­lieve a few years back to cover many a dent,” wrote Car­bon­ear’s Jim Har­ris.

There are other sto­ries of the S.W. Moores that you wouldn’t ex­pect. Did you know the early edi­tions of the CeeBees had their own brand of cheer­lead­ers?

Eva Jones re­mem­bers head­ing on the ice and cheer­ing on the likes of Jim Pen­ney, Al­fie Hiscock, Mac Martin, Al­lan Dawe, Joe Hunt and oth­ers.

“I cer­tainly re­mem­ber the 1960s there,” she said. “First when the CeeBees started, about six of us girls were cheer­lead­ers in be­tween pe­ri­ods on the ice in our short skirts and legs frozen.”

Jones also worked in the can­teen where she ar­rived early to peel and pre-cook the pota­toes, while also work­ing at the door.

“Lots of ice skat­ing and roller skat­ing, I did there,” she said. “Such fun days.”

Se­nior stal­warts

Of course, any con­ver­sa­tion about the rink would be re­miss to not men­tion the sto­ried play­ers and teams that have toiled there over the years.

“A lot of great mem­oires play­ing and watch­ing in the old barn,” wrote Corey Crocker, who played in the CeeBees mi­nor sys­tem and later the OHL. “A Stan­ley Cup cham­pion was de­vel­oped in­side those tin can walls and many pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onships were won.”

The Stan­ley Cup cham­pion is Dan Cleary, but he’s not the only stand­out to cut his teeth on the ice in Har­bour Grace. Up­per Is­land Cove’s Robert Slaney played pro hockey, while Har­bour Grace’s Matthew Thomey played NCAA puck.

There are count­less oth­ers who have thrilled fans in­side the rink.

Guys like Jack Rose, Paul Oliver, and Jerome Con­nors were just some of the sup­posed “rink rats” who cleaned the ice.

“You’d be squeezed to death try­ing to exit the door af­ter the game was over. What mem­o­ries,” wrote a reader. “If those old sta­dium walls could talk.”

“The build­ing has a tonne of char­ac­ter for sure,” said Jim Har­ris.

There are plenty of mem­o­ries in­side the walls of S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour Grace.

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