It is nice to see that the editor finds the Hants Exhibition Arena an excellent venue for agricultural events. After the editor’s comments, I am not sure whether the editor thinks these people are easily satisfied or perhaps they are second class when they drive up in their $50,000 trucks, $50,000 horse trailers complete with their $50,000 horse and are happy to compete in what is generally known as the best indoor equestrian facility in the Maritimes.
I agree completely with the editor, Windsor needs a new rink. The Windsor Agricultural Society for many years has been the supplier of a building for ice making, first in the old rink since 1952 and in the newer rink since 1981. If the old rink had not burned in 1981, during the winter operation I am sure it would still be in use today. The old rink was not modern but it did attract up to 3,000 people at many hockey games during those years.
The present day structure was built in 1981 for less than $1 million. The society built the arena through 80 per cent funding from the Windsor Agricultural Society, and provincial and federal government. The remaining 20 per cent came from the Town of Windsor, West Hants municipality, and fundraising.
It was Spartan from the beginning but it was desirable to have it paid for when it opened and it had to be built for the next hockey season and exhibition. Since 1981, the town used the building rent-free for six months of the year. They were to pay for operational costs during those six months. Operational costs included all ice making equipment and operations.
With municipalities constructing newer facilities in various towns, I agree a new arena should be built in Windsor. The leadership, as in other areas, must come from town council. Once they start leading, the volunteers will come forth to raise money. After all they like to say the town is the Birthplace of Hockey.
The town has the land. The perfect location would be by the new swimming pool and the oldest rink in Canada. That old rink could be redeveloped into a minor hockey rink to give two ice surfaces.
So citizens of town, talk to your councillors and get them moving on this project. It could be a perfect project to boost the economy downtown. It could be a real money-maker.