2010 Annual General Meeting

Brandon Manitoba

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2010 Fall Meeting


Brandon, Manitoba

Bravo Brandon!

By Bill Fitsell

Thanks to arrangements made by genial Morris Mott, with an assist from Bobby Kirk, the May 14 session at Brandon University, was a great success. Where else would you have such a generous and humorous guest like ex-New York Ranger Don "Bones" Raleigh, attend the Friday night Hot Stove League session and return for the all-day Saturday meeting and grace it with insights and humour. He cracked me up when I asked if his old boss Lester Patrick had a reputation as a scholar. The Silver Fox—the man who brought big time hockey to Broadway — he said, was as scholarly as Scotch tape! Was he close with the buck? Bones, whose annual salary never topped $17,250, retorted. "Tighter than the skin on an onion! Priceless!

Personally, my next biggest thrill was to meet for the first time, David Hammond, with whom I have talked by phone for a dozen years and never seen his likeness. He gave a very personal look into collecting (Aren't we all collectors—of ephemera, anecdotes and friendships?) As an example of his kind and considerate ways of dealing with former NHLers and their families, David was extremely helpful to Mr. Raleigh, who is just a month short of his 84th birthday.

What a pleasure to welcome back the enthusiastic and articulate Mark Presley, who travelled to Kingston two years ago with the unique, 19th century Moffatt stick, for the first study session on various hockey and shinny cudgels. Combining his antiques knowledge and love of history and genealogy, with the professional skill of Mount Allison University's Colin P. LaRoque, he has elevated the analysis of such sticks, from "guess-and-by-golly" to a scientific process in which provenance is supported by tree-ring dating. They have set a standard that will go a long way to facing get-rich-quick collectors who make outlandish claims based on flimsy evidence.

David hails from British Columbia (Port Coquitlam) on the west coast and Mark calls Nova Scotia (Berwick in the Annapolis Valley) home, which means SIHR is now truly coast-to-coast in Canada. Our gathering was "international" with three reps from Minnesota, Michigan and New York states and "global" with the announcement that Timeline creators Patrick Houda and Carl Giden won the Brian McFarlane Award for outstanding research and writing. And SIHR's arrival got reams of space in the Manitoba press.

As the Past President with the most past and being the only one present, it was a distinct honour to conduct the election of officers at Brandon University's "Louis Riel Room." There was no rebellion. President James Milks and his executive committee were returned by acclamation—a sign of exemplary service over two very productive years. Four offices were decided by ballot. New blood was added in R.J. Pratt of Calgary, Alberta (VP Canada West) and Jim Mancuso of Utica, NY ( VP USA East). With the presence of James Benesh of Regina, Sask., (who offered SIHR a cache of hockey books at reasonable prices) and the active participation of the Winnipeg Goldeye twins, Kent Morgan and Ted (Dutch) Holland all three Prairies provinces were represented for the first time.

It was a special delight to have Kingston approved as site of the 20th AGM in May, 2011. The "XX" meeting will be a homecoming for SIHR, which was founded in the Limestone City—the home of Don Cherry, Wayne Cashman, Rick Smith, Jim Dorey and Taylor Hall, not to mention Bill Cook, Ken Linseman, Doug Gilmour and Kirk Muller (all of whom have scored Stanley Cup winning goals).

In May 1991, our Society was formed by 17 hockey buffs that were tired of working in isolation and strove to emulate the successful efforts of the Society for American Baseball Research. (SABR), which I monitored for a half-dozen years. The genesis occurred at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Sports Heritage, (CASH), consisting mainly of officials and supporters of the International Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum in Kingston and the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Conveniently located halfway between Toronto and Montreal and in easy reach of many core members, Kingston has hosted five other SIHR meetings — 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999 and 2004. Honourary President Ed Grenda, who has arranged most of the Kingston sessions, promises the 2011 meeting will be memorable.

Meeting Photos

Bones Raleigh addresses the group

Co-hosts Robert Kirk and Morris Mott

2010 Fall Meeting

Toronto, Ontario

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View Official Minutes (Members Only)

As fall weather began to settle over Canada's largest city, a record number of members convened in the greater Toronto area for the annual fall meeting of the Society for International Hockey Research.

The lounge at the Hershey Centre SportZone in Mississauga was the venue for the Friday night meet-and-greet. Members from across Canada and the United States had the opportunity to mingle over drinks and discuss all things hockey.

Thanks to the efforts of organizer Kevin Shea, those in the mood for hockey headed next door to the Hershey Centre Arena, site of the 2011 Memorial Cup, to watch the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors of the Ontario Hockey League defeat coach Doug Gilmour's Kingston Frontenacs by a score of 5 to 1.

Before the night wrapped-up, honorary President and prolific author Brian McFarlane addressed the group, recounting stories from his time in the broadcast booth and saying a few words about his new book Peter Puck's Big Book of Hockey.

As young hockey players came and went to the pads of ice and parents huddled sipping Tim Horton's coffee at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, SIHR members gathered in the lobby of the state of the art D.K. "Doc" Seaman Hockey Resource Centre within the sprawling complex on Kipling Avenue early Saturday morning.

The lobby of the Resource Centre was converted into a mini-book expo where author members offered their recently or yet-to-be released books. Of great interest was Pucklore, The Hockey Research Anthology, which was officially launched at the meeting. Publisher Bob Hilderley handled sales of SIHR's first book, and reported that it was well received. Following a greeting from host Phil Pritchard, Vice-President and Curator at the Hockey Hall of Fame, each of the sixty-seven members present had the opportunity to introduce themselves during the Roll Call before the group began the business portion of the meeting.

President James Milks highlighted the release Pucklore, and recounted how the morning before while en route to Toronto, he received a last minute phone call from SIHR member and friend of Prime Minister Harper, Mark Kihn, inviting him to 24 Sussex Drive, the official residence of the Prime Minister. After a brief visit and a discussion about Mr. Harper's hockey book collection, James presented the PM with a copy of Pucklore, which found its place among many titles from SIHR authors on the towering shelves in the Prime Minister's office.

Jean-Patrice Martel, the Executive Vice-President, discussed how he continues to be a point of contact for the French media in Quebec while Earl Zukerman, V.P. Quebec, handles English enquiries. He also recapped how he and other Quebec members have translated a selection of articles taken from the annual journal to French and that they are now available on the website.

Secretary Lloyd Davis informed the group that membership continues to grow and that it has surpassed 500 for the first time in the society's history. This represents an increase of approximately 20% over the same time last year, and 40% over two years ago. Paul Bruno, the long-standing Treasurer, recapped the group's financial situation which continues to be stable, and that the bank balance has increased slightly over last year.

USA West Vice-President Roger Godin outlined the presentation a few SIHR members gave on the History of Hockey in St. Paul, Minnesota. He talked about pre-WW2 hockey, Paul Henning talked about the University of Minnesota Gophers, Kyle Oen talked about the Minnesota state high school hockey championships, and Jim Coughlin talked about Olympic hockey players from St. Paul. Glen Sonmor was a special guest. It was at the Summit Brewery and proceeds went to Historic St. Paul, an organization that restores historic buildings.

Paul Kitchen of Ottawa thanked SIHR for the letter of support sent to the group "Lord Stanley's Gift", which is chaired by Mr. Kitchen, in regards to the Stanley monument in Ottawa. The group proposes to erect a statue of Stanley holding the original silver bowl, hopefully to be unveiled in 2012, at a projected cost of over $5 million. Situated in downtown Ottawa, the design for the statue will be chosen from submissions to a national design competition.

Other business included the creation of a Commemoration Committee, which has a mandate to "liaise with, advise and evaluate proposals from communities, groups and other interested third parties who wish to commemorate hockey personalities and events". Wayne Geen was appointed as Chairperson.

Organizer Ed Grenda provided an update on the 20th Anniversary AGM scheduled for May 28th, 2011, in Kingston, Ontario, which will take place at the Royal Military College of Canada. A specially designed logo commemorating the the event was unveiled to the group at this time.

Following a heartfelt and touching eulogy by Lloyd Davis, a moment of silence was observed in honour of member Todd Jones of Cambridge, Ontario, who lost his battle with Cancer in August.

One of the highlights of the day was the tour of the facility, which was led by Phil Pritchard and Craig Campbell, Manager of the Resource Centre and Archives. Due to the large turnout, groups of fifteen to twenty at a time were guided through the climate controlled storage facility during the business meeting. Members were in awe of the collection as they paused to pose for photographs and consult artifacts donated by current NHL stars, International players and pioneers who helped build the game long ago.

During lunch Toronto's Paul Patskou treated the group to rare archival video footage from the early part of the twentieth century. The montage included women's hockey and a game between the now defunct Pittsburgh Pirates and NY Americans to name a few.

Eugene Willis was the first presenter with his paper titled January 25, 1952: The Town of Bracebridge Scores a Hat Trick. Mr. Willis had former players from the featured 1952 team and the Mayor of Bracebridge, Don Coates, in attendance as guests.

Lenard Kotylo followed with an entertaining presentation titled The Incomplete Trophies of the Southern Ontario Junior Hockey League, in which he chronicled the path taken by the dilapidated hardware before he salvaged them at a yard sale.

The original work of Ron Leger called "The Alphabet of Hockey" was performed by the Ron Leger theatre players, personally hand-picked by him, being Paul Bruno, Lloyd Davis and Len Kotylo (also known as "The Twin Towers plus Len").

The Many Faces of the IHL was the title of Charter SIHR member Pastor Glen Goodhand's paper, which outlined the many incarnations of the name adopted by various leagues dating back to the first openly professional league.

Following a short break, attendees were treated to the Publishing Hockey panel discussion moderated by Phil Pritchard. The discussion featured authors Todd Denault, Glen Goodhand, James Mancuso, Kevin Shea and Eric Zweig as well as publisher Michael Worek of Firefly Books. The men shared their experience of working with large publishing houses versus self-publishing, and offered great advice and insight into writing hockey books.

Roger Godin recounted the trials and tribulations of the United States National Team of 1958 in Prelude to Squaw Valley before the ever cheerful Liz Pead presented her paper The Signifigance of Hockey to Canadian Culture and Identity. Her presentation, which featured photographs of her unique hockey art, was a felicitous departure from the norm and was a perfect way to round out the day.

A small group attended the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game on Saturday night while others gathered for dinner. In addition to some publications and posters, all attendees received free admission to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Sunday.

Meet and Greet Photos

Steve Leblanc and Ron Leger pose with St. Mikes Majors Truck outside of the Hershey Centre (Photo: Marc Dallaire)

Ron Leger and Bob Duff with Lloyd Davis in the background. (Photo: Marc Dallaire)

Roger Godin (left), VP USA West, President James Milks and Ron Leger, VP Atlantic, enjoying a few laughs (Photo: Marc Dallaire)

Brian McFarlane addresses the group. (Photo: Stéphane Harvey)

Meeting Photos

SIHR Members pose in front of the Resource Centre (Photo: Craig Campbell)

Members of the Executive listen to comments from the floor during related to the creation of a new committee.

Len Kotylo presents one of the "Forgotten Trophies" (Photo: Marc Dallaire)

Jim Mancuso (left) presented former NHL player Brian Conacher with a copy of his book Hockey Night in Utica (Photo: Marc Dallaire)

Host Phil Pritchard and president James Milks (Photo: Lloyd Davis)

An impressive wall of sticks in the HHOF collection (Photo: Rick Ambrozic)

Reels of vintage film (Photo: Rick Ambrozic)

Craig Campbell wows members with his Halloween costume (don't tell Phil...) (Photo: Stéphane Harvey)

Paul Patskou's vintage film session (Photo: Rick Ambrozic)

The book panel (Photo: Rick Ambrozic)

Liz Pead addresses the group (Photo: Rick Ambrozic)