Danny Cleary erects plaque to remember coach Dick Power
Harbour Grace icon honoured forever at new stadium
Dick Power is a well-known name throughout the town of Harbour Grace, and one that won’t soon be forgotten thanks to a plaque recently erected in the town’s new stadium.
Power was highly respected as both a member of the community, and a member of the local hockey scene. He spent nearly four decades working as the manager of the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium, and as a minor hockey coach.
Power died at the age of 75 In July of 2016.
With the new Danny Cleary Harbour Grace Community Centre up and running, some residents of the area may have felt the new stadium would not be complete without some sort of reminder of Power’s legacy.
One of those people is Danny Cleary, the first Stanley Cup champion from Newfoundland and Labrador, who Power coached in his minor hockey days.
Cleary said he got the idea after seeing similar plaques at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
“I saw these bronze plaques at the Joe dedicated to legends like Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsey,” Cleary, a long-time Detroit Red Wing, told The Compass. “I said, Dick Power needs one. He’s a legend too.”
Cleary said that from there, he contacted the company in charge of making the plaques, and worked with them alongside Libby Power, one of Dick’s daughters, to make sure the plaque was as perfect as it could get.
The wording on the plaque was written by Cleary himself, with some help from Ged Blackmore, a lifelong friend of Power’s.
“The plaque is there at the community centre as a reminder to everyone who passes through those doors. I wanted to remember Dick, because he was like a second father to me,” said Cleary when asked what the plaque represented to the community. “Words can’t explain what that man did for my career.”
Alongside being a coach, Power spent several years of his life as a player, first starting out in the junior club in Bell Island, his hometown.
Power went on to play for the St. Pat’s in St. John’s in the early 1960s, and captained the St. John’s Capitols to the provincial junior title.
Power also played for the Corner Brook Royals during a Herder Memorial championship in 1962, and spent the following three years playing for Grand Falls-Winsor and Gander. He finished his playing career as a player coach for the CeeBees.
Power was inducted into the provincial Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
“Dick was a great friend to me, and he was a pillar of strength and wisdom in the Conception Bay area. He touched many lives, and I feel very lucky that he touched mine,” added Cleary. “This plaque is what Newfoundland is all about.”
The plaque, dedicated to Dick Power, rests on the wall leading to the rink in the Danny Cleary Harbour Grace Community Centre.
Dick Power died last July at the age of 75.