Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Winter Sports-Carnival of Canadian Genealogy

Does your family participate in winter sports up here in the great white north? For the Hillman’s the answer seems to be yes - any  or all. But hockey was king.

The earliest winter photo that I have is of my Dad’s family .  The little one in the photo is my uncle Bruce who I would guess is about two That would date the photo to somewhere around 1924. That means that the little party is somewhere around Caledonia where grandpa was farming at that time.

By the time that the family moved to the farm in Dunwich Township, Elgin County, somewhere around 1930, hockey was the all consuming interest. Dad still remembers his neighbor Norm Hodder shoveling snow off the pond on the back of his farm so the local boys had a place to play (true pond hockey). Norm Hodder also built a wooden shed to change in. I remember Norm . He also played through the 1930’s, and for a time during and after the war refereed games.

The boys were good at it. Especially my father John Arnold and his younger brother Bruce Ivan. They were members of the Dutton Thistles hockey team from 1938 to the point that both joined the R.C.A.F and went overseas in 1943.. The Dutton team was a strong one. They played in the Ontario Rural Hockey League, and dominated their own division for 13 years. Twice they played in the Ontario finals. It is interesting to note that at that time the hockey season lasted from January to March.

Even after the war hockey was big in our family. Grandma was a life long fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and I do not remember her ever missing a televised game.

Photos from my personal collection. The team shown is the Dutton High School Hockey team of 1938. The goalie is my uncle Bruce Ivan Hillman. Dad says that he hated that position. On the Dutton Thistles he was a winger.

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