New home, new resolve

Ashley Thompson
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Hockey Heritage Society celebrates grand reopening

A museum that seemed destined for closure seven months ago is now an example of what can be accomplished with a little teamwork.

Kings-Hants Liberal MP Scott Brison expressed this sentiment while addressing a crowd of about 50 guests lining the front lawn of the Haliburton House Museum July 27 for a press conference announcing the reopening of Windsor's Hockey Heritage Centre.

"It shows you that regardless of the colour of your sweater, if you keep your stick on the ice,... your elbows down, and aim at a common goal, you can get good things done in government or hockey," said Brison, commending Hants West Conservative MLA Chuck Porter, Nova Scotia's Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris, Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley, West Hants Warden Richard Dauphinee and members of the Windsor Hockey Heritage Society for working together to keep the popular tourist destination alive and well in the little town of big firsts.

In January, at the request of Beazley and Dauphinee, Porter arranged a meeting with Paris, of the governing NDP, to discuss the fate of the financially-burdened, non-profit group toying with the idea of closing the centre on Gerrish Street to cut costs.

The society has since benefitted from an influx of new members dedicated to keeping the centre open, a variety of fundraising efforts, a partnership with the Association of Nova Scotia Museums, and a temporary move to the Haliburton House Museum.

At the press conference, Paris, a Windsor native, took the liberty of reminiscing about his days on the ice with his hometown crowd before taking a peek at the new hockey heritage exhibits. The exhibits now occupy several rooms in the west wing of the home where Thomas Chandler Haliburton is believed to have witnessed children playing a game of hurley on the icy surface of Long Pond more than 200 years ago.

“Hockey was born here and raised around the world.” David Hunter

"This town is where my love for the game of hockey began," said Paris, adding that his father, John "Buster" Paris, is a Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame inductee for his contributions to the sport.

The Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism provided $15,000 to help the society move the centre to its new home on Clifton Avenue. Communities, Culture and Heritage helped with the arrangement of hockey heritage exhibits in the Haliburton House Museum.

"Innovation such as this is the key component of our government strategy, jobsHere - the plan to grow our economy," Paris said of the combined museums.

"I have no doubt that this innovative exhibit will attract many hockey enthusiasts from all over Canada and from around the world."

Hundreds of guests, including several local hockey legends, attended a reopening celebration for Windsor's Hockey Heritage Centre on the Haliburton grounds later that evening.

David Hunter, the president of the hockey society, says the Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre is a necessity in the small town that proudly claims to be the birthplace of hockey.

"Hockey was born here and raised around the world."

Organizations: Haliburton House Museum, Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre, Heritage Society NDP Association of Nova Scotia Museums Department of Economic and Rural Development

Geographic location: Windsor, Hants West, Nova Scotia Gerrish Street Long Pond Clifton Avenue Canada

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