WINDSOR, N.S. — When Creelman MacArthur talks about watching Canada defeat the U.S.S.R. on the ice during the Summit Series, he can’t help but get a little emotional about it. For him, he’s never felt prouder to be Canadian.
With his black coffee in hand, MacArthur talks about moving to Windsor with his wife, working for a former premier of P.E.I., and of course, that legendary hockey game he witnessed first hand in Moscow during the height of the Cold War.
“My wife and I lived in Halifax before moving to Windsor. We had a condominium right downtown. My wife was a dental hygienist and I sold real estate. We lived next door to the Brewery Market, so it was pretty easy. We were a little fed up with the noise in the building and the traffic and everything. I went to school down at Horton Academy, so we were coming back and forth to the Valley, but we moved here, bought a little duplex and have been here ever since — very happy. Life is definitely easier here. In fact we still go into the city quite a bit, and the parking and construction, I’m just out of the habit of dealing with that; it’s brutal.”
“Quite a number of years ago I was the executive assistant for the premier of P.E.I., Alex Campbell. He’s even older than I am. That was interesting times. That was in the late '60s, early '70s. He was one of the youngest premiers ever elected at the time, and it was an exciting time for us all really. He brought in some big changes, including the development plan, major overhauls for how business was done. I only ran two campaigns for him. In the late '70s he resigned and when he did, I moved. It was time for a change.”
“I was living in Fredericton at the time and I heard on the radio that there was only three or four tickets left for Maritimers to go on this trip to Russia, and I’d already planned on going to the first game in Montreal. (I) had my plans all made and so I thought ‘maybe I’ll go,’ so I pulled into the travel bureau that was advertising it and grabbed a ticket to Moscow. It was only $850 for three weeks of hotel, breakfasts, and all your transportation and the tickets. “
“When we got to Moscow, it was all very well organized. I knew who my roommate was. The Cold War was on — somebody said it was like Toronto before the war. It was grey, it was overcast all the time, and it was really backward, I thought at least. The policemen all walked around with machine guns. At first it was a little disturbing. During the game, the Canadians were all seated together. It was 3,700 people, some Americans too. It was something to see — I’ll tell you. It was brutal hockey, only a few wore helmets. The second-last game, I was taking a taxi back to my hotel. I noticed Brad Park and Mickey Redmond walking along the sidewalk and it was starting to rain, so I said to the taxi driver, turn around and pick them up. So we did. (We) picked them up in this little Soviet Lada. I said ‘Hi boys, how’s it going?’ They said they had some steaks and beer from Canada. They told me ‘We got them on the run.’ They had won the last game and were sure they were going to win. We were down. Then they went out and they beat them.”
“It was something to see. I was on my way out, figuring it would end up a tied series, so I started on my way down, was at the double doors to go out and, Jesus, they scored. (Paul) Henderson scored. I couldn’t believe it, the place went wild. It was just such an ending, you know? Every time I talk about that I get emotional. It made me proud to be Canadian, I tell you.”