Last week's column had a focus on creating a discussion about potentially having the McIntyre Community Centre declared a historical site via a designation with Heritage Ontario.
It certainly created a discussion from a wide cross-section of readers both from Timmins and areas afar. And one thing stood out — the responses were overwhelmingly in support of a historical designation. I would like to thank all those who participated in said discussion.
I have received communication from people in positions that are directly involved in the historical designation process and that is a fabulous start. I have a meeting soon to discuss the idea and have any questions that I may have answered by them, as well as receiving valuable input from people far more educated about the process than I am. I had a super pleasant and informative conversation about the idea with one official that left me with a good feeling that our local heritage is in good hands.
RELATED: Mully makes a case for the Mac
When you are as adamant or as vocal as I am (or like my Nono would say, "bigga mouth") about things, you sometimes find yourself doing more than you expect. So what originally started as a column to create conversation appears, for me at least, to have morphed into something more. A large number of people seem to think I should be organizing a plan for having the Mac designated. When you receive the emails, texts, phone calls, likes, shares, etc. that I have received I guess the walk follows the talk. So, in an unofficial capacity, I will meet with the appropriate people, do more research and provide feedback to readers about that process. If it looks like the historical designation is a feasible endeavour I will be a part of a much larger group looking to work hand in hand with the proper officials to continue along this path. It is so easy to spew ideas and leave the doing to others. I spewed, now it's time to be a part of do. As I said, I will explore the issue as best I can. If things develop further I will do my part to try and be part of a group to take it further.
The Tale of Timmins Sports Council
Because I never learn, here is another thought for conversation.
Somewhere around 2006, someone brought forward the idea for a Timmins Sports Council. The idea was to have representation from all the sports groups in the area on a formal council to promote and work co-operatively in promoting and sustaining sports in our community. It came from a potential bid for a large multi-sport event for Timmins.
I remember our first meeting (I was invited to be a part of the council by the organizers) and I was excited and shocked to see the response of the sports community. Pretty much every sports group was represented at the get-together and ample time was given to anyone who wished to address the group. One of the main points for the council was how each individual group could help other groups to build, maintain, grow and improve the sports culture in our city. A sports think tank so to speak.
For example, say a local sports group wanted to apply and host a national championship. That group would spearhead those efforts and use their expertise to realize their goal. They could also count on other groups to assist them in areas like grants, fundraising ideas, event volunteers, promotion and community involvement. Some local groups may have already hosted national or even international events and would be valuable allies and sources of advice to make the other events run smoothly and successfully. The host could draw on the expertise of any of the other organizations if they so desired or needed. Any profits from the event would stay within the host organizations' care for use in keeping their sport funded and sustainable.
All sports groups would have the same opportunity to enlist help from other groups should they so desire.
Big-ticket items bring big-ticket dividends to our community. And the more we have, the more our sporting groups can thrive. That includes a huge injection of money into the community from participants, parents, officials, media, fans, etc., attending those events.
Another goal of the council was to create a unified voice for local sports with civic leaders and administration.
It appeared that a bright and innovative idea was well on its way to fruition.
Some setbacks seemed to take the wind out of the new group's sails and the council never fully materialized. It was nobody's fault. Most of them, if not all, were disappointed.
It was a great idea, but maybe the wrong time.
I still like the idea. There were pros and cons, but it seemed like a large number of people were in favour.
Maybe someday a new younger demographic will see what we saw and try to revive some form of sports council.
Boudreau Deserved Better
If you've been a coach, organizer, manager, teacher and so on, you have had the experience of having the knives removed from your back by a good friend or relative.
Your critics and some who wish not so well are always close by. But mostly good people will be found around you as you try to make a difference. It's especially irksome when you are being disparaged while a volunteer.
Now I realize it's a business and a professional sport, but the Bruce Boudreau saga was so very tough to watch. Why he simply wasn't fired when it became apparent he no longer had a future with the team is beyond me. You can appoint one of the assistants or another organization member as an interim while you search for a new coach. I know the potential new coach might have had to work around a current commitment, but geez, Boudreau deserved better. I don't think anybody was trying to be malicious or mean, more like it just was mishandled or played out in public too much. Some apologies have been made and it seems like the people involved have learned and are better for it.
Anyway, Bruce will land on his feet, I'm sure, and be back in the game soon enough. He deserves as much. Good guys like him are needed in the game.
And so an excited and ready Rick Tocchet takes over the reins and looks to improve the team's fortunes.
The Spirit of Pee Wee Hockey
Trevor Morden invited me this past weekend to watch his young lad (Trayton) play a game Sunday morning. The spirit and excitement of Pee Wee hockey has always been a level I enjoy watching. I also got a chance to talk to and observe Jason Brazeau coaching the team that also has his daughter(Taylor) on the team. Jason and Trevor both played for me with the Majors and it's always a treat to watch their kids play. It was a pleasant morning to watch the game and chat with Trevor as the Timmins club completed a three-game series with Nickel City. A most successful series I might add.
After six games with his new team, the Windsor Spitfires, Shane Wright has five goals and six assists for 11 points. And the Spitfires are leading the London Knights by three points in the battle for first in the OHL's Western Conference. The Knights do have a game in hand.
Local product Kevin Walker's Red Lake Miners have started their Superior International Hockey league 2023 segment off on a tear. The Junior club is 5-1 since the holiday break.
I mentioned last week that I would give my thoughts on the city’s revamp of their long term recreation master plan. Well I lied. I felt I needed to share the response to last week’s column first and therefore needed more space for a column on that proposal. Next week it is!