The Peterborough Examiner

Petes and the PGCC: the ties that bind


It was Sunday, May 13, 1979. Mother’s Day. We no doubt had doted on our moms in the morning at our homes in different parts of the city.

Bob in the west end, Monty in Donwood, and me in the north. A couple of us would no doubt have already been to church.

In addition to being junior members at Peterborou­gh Golf and Country Club, we had been AAA hockey teammates since we were mites. We were now midget-age players, but Bob was on a different hockey trajectory than us and was playing junior-B as a 15 year old.

About four hours after teeing off on that May afternoon, Bob Attwell would score the Memorial Cup game-winning goal for the Petes some 500 kilometres away in an arena in Verdun, Que.

If you had said to any of us Minor Petes midgets back then that the Petes wouldn’t win another Memorial Cup for 44 or more years we would have laughed at you. We grew up as hardcore hockey players and golfers in a town that made it to three Memorial Cups that decade alone.

Bob, Monty and I were carrying radios in our golf bags, set to 1420 CKPT and the familiar voice of Petes hockey at the time, Bill Bennett. We were approachin­g the 150yard marker on the 18th fairway when Bennett’s voice started to get louder and louder and we just knew something was about to happen.

I don’t remember the exact playby-play words and never even saw a film replay of the overtime winner, but it was a goal to remember.

Attwell’s goal helped us all forget the disappoint­ment of the previous year when the Petes lost in the final to the New Westminste­r Bruins. And the Coke and french fries after the round went down especially well.

When golf and the Petes are happening at the same time it’s always a good thing. And it’s a reminder how closely tied the two sports are, especially in hockey towns such as ours, and especially at golf clubs such as mine.

It’s been way too long since our favourite Major Junior A team was in the Memorial Cup, but the current Petes playoff run feels like the magic of 1979 could return.

Our club and the Petes have been inextricab­ly linked since the 1950s.

Former Petes players, trainers, coaches, board members, not to mention boarding families have been part of the fabric of the club as long as the Petes have existed.

In that junior golf foursome back in1979 only one of us would go on to play for the Petes; Bob would score 53 goals for the Petes just three years later, and Monty went on to star for Brown University in the NCAA, in addition to his local and national lacrosse exploits.

The list of those that made for close ties between PGCC and the Petes hockey club includes former Petes captain and golf phenom Bob Jamieson, Sandy Fleming, Bob Armstrong, Doug Gibson, Bob Gainey, Bob Neville, Dick Todd, Ian Armstrong, John Druce and Jim Devlin, to name just a few.

My own memory of being a hockey-playing golfer in the ’70s was how amazing it was being able to talk shop with the likes of Bob Jamieson, Bob Armstrong and Red Sullivan. Just knowing that they were aware of your on-ice exploits made you want to achieve more.

The club has become a favourite hangout for many current and former Petes players, minor hockey prospects and current NHLers, due in no small part to the strong community roots and camaraderi­e that flows effortless­ly from dressing room to locker room to grille room, to patio to the course itself.

The country’s oldest continuall­y operated junior-A franchise (1956) and one of its oldest golf clubs (1897). Truly a match made in heaven.

Go Petes Go.

 ?? EXAMINER FILE PHOTO ?? Bob Attwell scored the winning goal in overtime on May 13, 1979 to give the Peterborou­gh Petes their lone Memorial Cup championsh­ip.
EXAMINER FILE PHOTO Bob Attwell scored the winning goal in overtime on May 13, 1979 to give the Peterborou­gh Petes their lone Memorial Cup championsh­ip.
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