The four members of the Windsor Royals executive opposed to the team taking a one-year hiatus have heard loud and clear there's community support to keep the team going.
A special meeting was held June 19 in Room 5 of the Hants County War Memorial Community Centre to allow people to voice their opinions. The general consensus was to find a way to keep the Royals franchise alive.
“The purpose of the meeting was just to get support from the community and from the membership of the society,” said Dale Evans, the interim vice president of the Royals executive and one of the members opposed to the hiatus.
“We got the support we were looking for; we know that we have funding for a hockey team, we know that we have players that will play for us, we know that we have people that are willing to serve on the executive board and that's really all we were looking for,” he told the Journal following the meeting.
“We wanted to get that kind of support so we can go to Hockey Nova Scotia and say with these three things, we can put a team on the ice next year and there's no need to take a leave of absence.”
Earlier in the month it was revealed the interim president of the Royals, Dan Boyd, contacted Hockey Nova Scotia to make the leave of absence request official. He said it was due to “turmoil and conflict” within the executive board. Seven members are in favour of the hiatus while four are opposed.
The Alcohol and Gaming Division of Nova Scotia, the entity that provides the Royals with a license for their television bingo fundraiser, was also notified of the hiatus.
A decision to grant the leave of absence or disband the Royals is anticipated to come down July 7.
With the outpouring of support June 19 – including 15 people willing to sit on a new executive board – Evans said they will take the steps necessary to try to reverse what's happening.
“The next step will be to do a special resolution to put a new executive board in place to make decisions for the hockey team that are in the best interests of the hockey team,” said Evans. “We will be seeking legal advice, legal counsel, to make sure that we are compliant with the Registry of Joint Stocks, with Alcohol and Gaming.”
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In order for the members to vote in a new executive, proper notice must be given to the membership – which Evans says constitutes any members who have attended the failed AGM May 24 or the June 19 meeting – that a special meeting will be held.
That meeting is to take place June 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Hants County War Memorial Community Centre.
None of the seven executive members in favour of the hiatus were present at the June 19 meeting. About 30 people, including some past-executive members and hockey players, were present.
In an email interview June 25, Boyd said they understand the concerns of the fans but are still looking for a hiatus.
“There is so much more to this story than anyone could ever truly appreciate. The current Royals’ executive respects very much the feelings of those in attendance last Tuesday (June 19) but they were not involved in the day-to-day actions of what the executive were forced to contend with last season,” Boyd wrote, noting they faced potential fines of up to $5,000 for things like the use of illegal players, dressing illegal players, and tampering with hockey players, to name a few reasons.
“We are seeking a one-year cooling off period and will invest Royals bingo money in the local community, providing to minor hockey, high school hockey, and charities doing great things for the community,” he wrote.
Boyd said nothing will be official until the team governor and an alternate meets with the Board of Governors of the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League on July 7 in Trenton.
Boyd said a new governor and alternate were being appointed at an executive meeting of the Royals Monday at the Brooklyn Fire Department.