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Club looking for a few good leads as it celebrates 60

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From a missing trophy to photographic moments that seemingly went uncaptured.

As the Bourkevale Community Centre celebrates 60 years, club officials are looking for help overturning stones in search of artifacts that will help piece together the club’s storied history.

Topping the list is the Bob Pyne Trophy, gone AWOL sometime in the 1970s, according to club president Gary Kristiansen.

Named after Pyne, a former club president largely responsible for the club’s formation, the trophy is awarded annually to the best male or female hockey player in Bourkevale’s catchment area for athletic achievement and civic duty.

"We’ve gone to people we thought might have it or know about it. We don’t know where it is," said Kristiansen, noting a second iteration of the award is still given out to this day.

"We’re hoping with all the news of the 60th, someone’s going to say ‘I got it’ or ‘I know where it might be.’"

"It would be nice to get it back," he said.

The club is also looking for photos from the day a flatbed truck carried a military H-hut that would serve as Bourkevale’s clubhouse from the airport down Ferry Road in 1952.

For the club, the moment was historic — up to that point, the founding executive had struggled for three years to raise the $6,000 needed to build a clubhouse from scratch, while the YMCA campaigned to build a $150,000 facility next door.

Add a touch of tragedy and a battle to wrestle land from the City of St. James parks board, and Bourkevale almost never came to be.

Much of the history is found in the handwritten board meeting minutes of the time, which have been shaped into a narrative to read on the club’s website by club vice-president and newspaper columnist Tom Brodbeck.

The club hopes the artifacts, along with any others the community might be able to dig up, will fill in the blanks of the its rich history of growth and young athletes, Kristiansen said.

"People have heard bits and pieces of (our history), but I think most people don’t have the complete picture," he said, noting the importance of building and spreading historical knowledge of the club online.

"(Online) they can find a little bit more of what’s going on and hopefully reach into their hearts and put up their hands and say this is a history that I want to be a part of."

Kristiansen, in his fifth year as president, said the spirit of volunteerism has remained strong at the club — something ingrained by the original board executive, which met in school halls and living rooms before the clubhouse opened Dec. 5, 1952.

"When there’s a storm outside and the rinks are full of snow, people show up with snowblowers and shovels and we have our tractor, and we do it as a community," Kristiansen said.

For community members such as Joan Templeton, Bourkevale has an important place in her family’s history. Since joining as a volunteer in 1969, Templeton has seen her two children grow up at the club, learning to skate and play hockey. She’s now watching her grandchildren do the same.

"It’s just a comfy place for me to be," said Templeton, who served as president of the club’s ladies auxiliary before it disbanded sometime in the 1990s, and currently manages club bookings.

"We’re a small community. Everybody gets to know everybody. Even if they don’t know them by name, they know them."

Instilling a sense of community in youth at the club today is important to keeping Bourkevale open and growing, she said.

"Lots of kids do volunteer and are willing to come out," she said.

"But if they don’t, it’s going to be gone."

For a detailed history of the club, visit

For more, call Kristiansen at 204-227-1980, or email
Twitter: @metroWPG

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