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Walden Pensioners Hockey Club Print

Contact Name: Ken Westaway

Phone Number: 705-523-0992

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Website: http://communities.mysudbury.ca/Sites/wphc/default.aspx

Type: Recreational

Location: TM Davies Arena, Walden

Dates and Times: M/W/F from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Gender: Male

Members: 36

Ages: 55 plus


Teams are selected at game time. 

It was the 5th of January, a Thursday in 1995, when we first hit the ice at the Tom Davies Community Centre (sometimes better known as the Walden Arena). At that time there was just two players, Dennis Dowdall and John (Red) MacDonald. They passed the puck back and forth and then played some “hog the puck”. The first outing lasted one hour, and they were a couple of pretty tired guys. Although not realizing it at the time, it was to be quite a significant event.

It really started in December 1994 when a fellow named Dennis Dowdall who had recently retired from his place of employment of thirty plus years, and who had not skated or played hockey in nine years, came up with a thought. He had just started skating and playing hockey again, and got the idea that if every other demographic group could get ice time, why not ice time for retirees. At the time, it was unheard of, having pensioners play at non-prime time, in other words, during office hours. Dennis decided to approach the current arena manager at the time, Rick Ahola. To his great delight, Rick was very receptive to the idea, and invited Dennis into the arena office to check the facilities ice time schedule and see if there might be some ice time available during daytime hours.  Well lo and behold; there were Mondays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.  Needless to say, Dennis was ecstatic.

The following Thursday Dennis and Red were on the ice in full regalia.  It didn’t take long.  At the next workout, which was on the following Monday. The two were joined by their next player by the name of Nick Tomiuk. The three of these boys had been playing with the Sudbury Oldtimers on Sunday mornings. Now the Sudbury Oldtimers immediately became a fertile recruiting base for the fledging group. Soon, a few more Oldtimers joined them from Sudbury.  Recruiting seemed easy at this time for many reasons.  First, we were not being charged for ice time; second, the time of the workout was great, also the quality of players we were recruiting was of a very high calibre. For the next couple of years, things just started to blossom. We were attracting players within the Walden community and beyond. Players from Copper Cliff, Coniston, Garson, and Chelmsford, not to mention Sudbury came to play. This was how things were when we started the 1995-96 season. At times we had too many players, other times not enough.  Eventually things started to settle and it seemed like the same faces were showing up.

In order that we could differentiate our club from any other active club, we had to come up with a name. “The Walden Pensioners’ Hockey Club” was decided on, thus our moniker was established.  Also about this time, it was decided that Dennis Dowdall would be looked upon as President of the club.


funder: City of Greater Sudbury
funder: Ontario Trillium Foundation
funder: my!sudbury