Shortly before 9:00 AM, President Jean-Patrice Martel called to order the fall meeting of the Society at Swanmore Terrace on the Lake Couchiching shoreline at Stephen Leacock’s Old Brewery Bay Museum.
Following a greeting from museum curator and meeting host Fred Addis, several first-time attendees were introduced during the popular roll-call, which included members from Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, New York and Minnesota.
The business portion of the meeting soon got underway and saw the delivery of reports from members of the Executive as well as the Chairs of the website, minor hockey, constitution and origins committees.
The report of Secretary Lloyd Davis showed that membership numbers remain largely constant just below 600 with a slight net gain year over year, despite the “churn” of roughly 100 members that opt not to renew their membership after their first year. The financial picture of the group remains healthy as was noted in the Treasurer’s report delivered by President Martel in the absence of Treasurer Iain Fyffe.
Chairman Lenard Kotylo informed the group that the membership is now complete for the Constitution Committee and that members have begun their analysis in order to establish a framework that will be used in the revamping of the SIHR document.
A healthy debate followed the delivery of the Origins of Hockey committee report by Chair Ed Grenda, but order was restored and a motion was passed which saw the committee’s mandate confirmed. It will continue to monitor and review any credible future claims on the birthplace of hockey. Ed also put forward a motion which was adopted calling on the executive to strike an awards committee “to identify and nominate members for appropriate awards”.
Two additional committees were created. The first is the “Hockey Origins Research Group” which will search for and document early hockey and skating references by any name on ice or ground up to 1882 in Canada, 1896 in the US and 1908 in Europe. Approval was also given to create a searchable database for the research available on the SIHR website. Members interested in participating are encouraged to contact Chairman Carl Giden. The second is the “Special Projects Committee” to establish guidelines on funding of future projects.
Finally, the website committee was tasked with investigating the feasibility of live streaming of future meetings and implement this where and when possible.
After an onsite lunch, the group was treated to a tour of the Stephen Leacock Museum led by curator Addis who delighted the group with anecdotes and personal insights into the property and its charismatic former owner.
Following the tour, the group settled in for the afternoon research presentation sessions. Stewart Richardson of Cobourg, Ontario, and Rick Leblanc of Surrey, B.C. presented Dit Clapper and the Rise of the Boston Bruins which outlined the steps which led to the publishing of the book of the same name and the Dit Day celebration held in the village of Hastings honouring the Hall of Fame inductee.
Next up was host Fred Addis who recounted the Allan Cup win of the host city team in his presentation The 1972–73 Orillia Terriers: A Retrospective. He was followed by the popular orator Glen Goodhand who regaled the group with Double Trouble, in which he commented on the five sets of twins who have played in the NHL, as well as several other womb-mates that played at junior and minor-pro levels of hockey.
Past-President Len Kotylo delivered a heartfelt presentation titled The Missing Leaf: Les Kozak and the 1961–62 Toronto Maple Leafs which chronicled the inspirational and unlikely path taken by the one time NHLer after his career was cut short by a serious head injury.
Rounding out the day was Eric Zweig of Owen Sound who presented Tommy Phillips Takes Montreal, in which he detailed the on-ice exploits of the Rat Portage star during his stint in Montreal while studying at McGill University.
Members heard a glowing report from Jim Mancuso about plans for the 2013 AGM in Utica, NY, with a side trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown. The executive announced that the 2013 fall meeting will be held in Renfrew, Ontario, home of the N.H.A. Millionaires and of the birthplace of the N.H.L. museum.
A spirited ball hockey contest was played on Sunday between Team Quebec and Team Ontario, with the latter taking the Fitsell Cup in overtime.