Letters to the Editor

Oceanside isHockeyville

I would like to nominate Oceanside (on Vancouver Island, B.C.) in the CBC-Kraft Hockeyville contest. The Island jewel better known as Oceanside, consists of the small cities of Parksville and Qualicum Beach as well as several other small communities such as French Creek, Columbia Beach, Little Qualicum, Qualicum Bay, Bowser, Fanny Bay, Deep Bay and Nanaimo Regional District (which includes Lantzville and Nanoose).

It’s a jewel it is because it is one of the favourite places for retirees from all over Canada and other parts of the world to retire. The average age of the residents is the highest in Canada.

Possibly this is the reason hockey is played by players ranging from four to 90 years of age.

Our most noted hockey player until he retired recently was Howie Meeker, who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and was a commentator on CBC Hockey Night in Canada. He and other professional hockey stars ran a summer hockey school in Parksville for many years.

Recently two combined rinks and a round leisure skating area were built under one roof. One of the rinks was named after Howie Meeker and the other one after Victor Kraatz, a world gold medal figure skater.

The old arena was turned into an ice curling rink which holds a summer bonspiel.

Although hockey is popular, as noted by the coverage in the Parksville-Qualicum News, other sports, such as soccer, beach volleyball, rugby, lawn bowling, figure skating, ice curling and so on, also have a number supporters.

These activities keep young and old residents healthy and happy.

As well as top-notch junior and juvenile male teams, Oceanside also have strong midget and pee wee girls hockey teams. Businesses, service clubs and fraternities sponsor many teams in the area.

Truly, Oceanside residents deserve credit for their total involvement in all activities throughout the area.

Ted Yeomans

Qualicum Beach

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