Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Senior Hockey in Belleville 1949-1950

Hockey programs can kindle fond memories. I recently received a copy of the program for the Belleville Diesel-Electric O. H. A. Senior Hockey Club, for the year of 1949-1950.

One of the first places to which I usually venture in these publications is the centre page, with the starting line ups for the opposing teams. The Belleville side was composed of the finest players in the city at that time: Al Meagher, Don Barrett, Tim Williams, Doug Free, Leo Goyer, Vern Goyer, Maurice Lefort, Bruce Woodman, Joe Nolan, Tom Schreider, Claire Williamson, Gerry Moher, Doug Day, Doug Bastedo, Pete Jones, Jack Wardaugh, Bryan Mulvihill and Keith MacDoanald. Another player not on the roster at that time, but pictured on page 22 is Earl Cousins.

Many of these players continued their Senior hockey careers in the Belleville area. The Mohawks and the Memos (an abbreviation for Memorial-the name of the arena at that time),were also Senior Hockey clubs. Of all the players on that list, only one went on to play for the Belleville McFarlands-Prince Edward county’s Keith MacDonald. The team was coached by Jim Ethier, and Mac Carson was the manager.

Most of the businesses in the program are long gone; however, some still are with us. On page ten there is an ad for Lorne McDougall Insurance Agencies Limited. Finkle Electric advertised on page 21. The back cover is occupied by the Northern Electric Company Limited.

Most of the other hundred or so companies and businesses mentioned in the program have disappeared. Meagher’s men’s wear, Clark and Miles Meat Market, Jim Truaisch’s Imperial Service Station, Ozzie Hales’ Grocery, and Reddick’s Bakery, to name a few.

In those days, the phone numbers were relatively uncomplicated. Barber’s Flowers on the Market Square could be reached by calling 516. That is correct---no area code, no seven digit numbers to follow. Three simple digits.

For entertainment, it was suggested that you drop by Tobe’s Country Gardens-The Dining and Dancing Centre of Eastern Ontario. It was listed as “Just Across the Bay in Rossmore”. Their phone was listed in the Mountain View directory-Number 50.

To make sure your shoes were correctly fitted, all fittings were checked by “X-Ray” at Leslie’s Shoe Store. On page 15, the people at the Belmont Restaurant, 289 Front Street, were there to wait on you after the game. Even the Moose Lodge supported the team with an ad.

There is almost a full page of adverts from the legal profession: Cameron and Sprague, Butler, O’Flynn, Maraskas, Robertson, Collins and Cushing, Robb and Ross, and Ted Folwell contributed to the program.

Billiard parlours, laundries, plumbers, car dealers, hotel proprietors, jewellers, and a host of other small town merchants pitched in to help the club.

The program and others like it will be permanently displayed by the Belleville Sports hall of Fame, once suitable display areas are constructed.

The current Sports Hall of fame activities involving the Belleville McFarlands will aid in the construction of the display areas.

James Hurst

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