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Sunday, November 22, 2009
After the memorial arena was officially opened on February 3, 1951, sportsminded people in Chapleau started to think about installing artificial ice, but it was Mrs. Moore who made the commitment to really turn the idea into a reality. For 15 years she sold tickets, and without her efforts, the project would likely not have been completed.
In a write-up published when the artificial ice was completed, it was noted that from the opening of the memorial arena in 1951, "Mrs. Moore was determined to see artificial ice installed in our arena, even if she had to raise the necessary funds herself. Through her untiring efforts and sheer determination, this grand lady, virtually by herself, raised the unbelievable sum of over $12,000. Without this amount the plant would not be installed...So it is with deep an sincere appreciation we say: Thank You Mrs. Artificial Ice Moore."
Mrs. Moore also donated to a public address system and to the painting of the memorial arena.
Mrs. Moore was named "Chapleau's Greatest Hockey Fan" by the members of the Chapleau Trappers hockey team which she supported for many years. After the Trappers won the town championship in 1949, a dinner was held where they honoured Mrs. Moore.
"... Mrs. Moore has so generously devoted her time, winter after winter in the interest of our hockey club," a tribute read. "She has shown this interest in various ways, by the selling of hockey pools, putting on bean suppers, mending hockey sweaters and socks, knitting an too many other things too numerous to mention."
The tribute also noted that when referring to the sport of hockey (back in the 1940s), it was generally thought of as being connected with a group of men with women being spectators. "Would it not be a more wise and profitable sport if we had more women like Mrs. Moore?" the tribute writer asked.
"Without a doubt she is the backbone of our hockey club. Whether we win or lose a hockey match she is right behind us cheering all the way. Her faith in us as a hockey team is truly unfaltering. Her heart and soul belongs to the Trappers, each and every time we play a game...."
Mrs. Moore remained an avid hockey fan through the years attending games of the Chapleau Junior "B" Huskies who were the first great beneficiaries of her efforts in getting artificial ice, through the years to those of the Chapleau Intermediate "A" Huskies in the memorial arena and the Mrs. A.W. Moore Arena in the Chapleau Recreation Centre opened in 1978.
At the official opening of the recreation centre which Mrs. Moore was able to attend, it was announced that council had decided to name the arena, the Mrs. A.W. Moore Arena in recognition of her outstanding contribution over many years.
Mrs. Moore died in 1979 and it was very fitting that members of the Intermediate "A" Huskies who were carrying on the hockey tradition in Chapleau acted as pallbearers. Chapleau hockey players were always her "boys."
The next time you visit the recreation centre, and enter the Mrs. A.W. Moore Arena, pause for a moment and think about this wonderful lady who contributed so much to hockey in Chapleau, and was truly one of the commuunity's most outstanding citizens. My email is email@example.com.
This article first appeared in my Chapleau Moments column in the Chapleau Express.
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