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Letter to the Editor - Long Pond Arena

Updated renderings of the proposed hockey arena project were shown to members of the public during a public information session on March 19, 2018.
Updated renderings of the proposed hockey arena project were shown to members of the public during a public information session on March 19, 2018. - Contributed

To the people of Windsor and West Hants,

I would like to address the situation that has occurred in the Windsor West Hants area regarding the building of the Long Pond Arena. I was born and brought up in the Windsor West Hants area and have lived here most of my life. I have had many ups and downs living here but thankfully the ups have outweighed the downs. I showed draft horses with my Dad at the Hants County Exhibition for over 35 years and know what agriculture contributes and means in our community. I have also raised 2 kids who play hockey, one of which who played on not one but two hockey teams this past season and also know what hockey means to this community as well.

We have so many things in the Windsor West Hants area to be proud of: The Hants County Exhibition which is the oldest agricultural fair in North America, the world renowned Dill Pumpkin Farm, Kings-Edgehill School which is the oldest school in Canada, and of course Windsor being the Birthplace of Hockey.

I believe with my heart and soul that this arena and heritage complex should be at the site where it all started. Overlooking Long Pond. I have learned so much over the past few years about the history of it since joining the hockey heritage society and when the premier made the announcement over 3 years ago that the province was supporting the project at long pond, you could feel the excitement in the community.

The project did get downsized since then because of financial constraints, but it was still going to be a multipurpose and heritage facility. The walking track alone would benefit so many and to be able to walk and look out over the beautiful Dill Farm and Long Pond, and the views of Martock ,would have been such an added bonus. The project had to take away the “4 wall space of the hockey heritage museum” because of the downsizing, but anyone who truly looked at the architectural drawings would see how the heritage component was first and foremost, starting when you walked into the foyer. The first thing you would see is an amazing heritage display, then continuing throughout the complex. There would be no doubt that this was a heritage facility and that we were the Birthplace of Hockey. . The vision was to have the history told all over the arena, with displays, posters, and focus on local hockey legends from our area. When I went to the meeting at the community centre in March when the architect was there to present, I got so excited and impressed I thought “What can I do to help make this happen”?I started with friends and family asking them to show support for the project. In a few short days I had over $ 20,000 in pledges from people wanting to buy a seat in the arena or a puck to go up on the puck wall. With this, I unintentionally landed myself a spot on the fundraising committee. In a few short weeks, individual people in the community pledged over $53,000 in seat and puck sales. And we were barely getting started. Since that time, so many negative things have been done and said which can't be taken back. This is so disheartening, but unfortunately when people get passionate about something, things can get way off track.

Let’s get back on track and put all of the nastiness and negativity behind us. Let’s not let this opportunity get so far gone that we can't get it back. Let’s start supporting each other. Let’s build this amazing facility at Long Pond showcasing our hockey heritage and and lets promote our agriculture as well by putting funding into the exhibition facilities to upgrade so we can continue to have first class horse shows, cattle shows, 4H events, as well as many other agricultural events I believe in this community and I think we can have it all.

Respectfully and sincerely,

Krista Lloy

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