Plenty to remember about the S.W. Moores

Nicholas Mercer
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There are some things we know about the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace.

Compass file photo
There are plenty of memories inside the walls of S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace.

We know it’s been the on-and-off-again home of the CeeBees senior hockey team for close to six decades. There have been a couple of breaks over the years, but for the most part, the rink has played host to a countless number of senior hockey games.

We know fans used to lean over the boards — there was no glass — to watch the games and smoking was encouraged. Former CeeBees keeper Doug Moores has said it would be hard to see the other end of the ice when the second period rolled around for the cloud of smoke that hung in the rink.

We know about the rabid fans who clamored for the chance to watch hockey of any kind.

There was even a time when one patron in particular took offense to a player in the penalty box, so much so that he came out of the stands to take the player over the head with his cap.

However, as much as we know about the stadium, there are still some stories and information that is kind of left in the dark.

A couple of weeks ago, The Compass published a column remembering the old barn, which is due to be replaced by a new rink within the next year. The post generated plenty of page views and attracted some interesting comments from readers.

They told us about catching early morning bus rides from Kennedy’s Corner to the stadium on dark and cold Saturday mornings.

The children were heading for minor hockey. There were peewee, bantam and air cadet hockey practice, amongst others in those days. The air cadet practice doesn’t exist now, but just the mention of it, shows how much interest there was in the corps in those days.

“Thank god, because the stadium at 6 a.m. was an icebox,” said one reader. “I still get cold thinking about those memories.”

“Nothing quite like slapping those walls in the standing room up top to encourage your team. Walls were covered I believe a few years back to cover many a dent,” wrote Carbonear’s Jim Harris.


'Remembering the old barn'

'What to do with S.W. Moores?'

'The home of Harbour Grace's true spirit'

There are other stories of the S.W. Moores that you wouldn’t expect. Did you know the early editions of the CeeBees had their own brand of cheerleaders?

Eva Jones remembers heading on the ice and cheering on the likes of Jim Penney, Alfie Hiscock, Mac Martin, Allan Dawe, Joe Hunt and others.

“I certainly remember the 1960s there,” she said. “First when the CeeBees started, about six of us girls were cheerleaders in between periods on the ice in our short skirts and legs frozen.”

Jones also worked in the canteen where she arrived early to peel and pre-cook the potatoes, while also working at the door.

“Lots of ice skating and roller skating, I did there,” she said. “Such fun days.”

Senior stalwarts

Of course, any conversation about the rink would be remiss to not mention the storied players and teams that have toiled there over the years.

“A lot of great memoires playing and watching in the old barn,” wrote Corey Crocker, who played in the CeeBees minor system and later the OHL. “A Stanley Cup champion was developed inside those tin can walls and many provincial championships were won.”

The Stanley Cup champion is Dan Cleary, but he’s not the only standout to cut his teeth on the ice in Harbour Grace. Upper Island Cove’s Robert Slaney played pro hockey, while Harbour Grace’s Matthew Thomey played NCAA puck.

There are countless others who have thrilled fans inside the rink.

Guys like Jack Rose, Paul Oliver, and Jerome Connors were just some of the supposed “rink rats” who cleaned the ice.

“You’d be squeezed to death trying to exit the door after the game was over. What memories,” wrote a reader. “If those old stadium walls could talk.”

“The building has a tonne of character for sure,” said Jim Harris.

Organizations: The Compass, NCAA

Geographic location: Upper Island Cove

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Recent comments

  • Masterwatch
    February 18, 2016 - 08:19

    The man I am referring is the late Dr. Cron He gave his services often without compensation to the people of Harbour Grace and surroundings. He travelled by car, horse and sleigh and often on foot to bring relief to so many people. I was privileged to know him and be one of his patients. If anyone deserves recognition it is Dr. Cron!

  • Mr. Observer
    February 16, 2016 - 21:51

    I don't like the idea of signaling out someone in the community over someone else. I think in the long run it does not add to the "glue" of a community but, in fact, maybe takes it away. Usually, people know who’s who in the community and what they have done for the good of the community. I, personally, don't think that trying to immortalize somebody by calling a public building after them is the way to go, especially if that means naming it after yet another “male”, given it is 2016 nowadays…That is not to say that such good people should not be recognized. i.e. planting a tree in their honour etc etc. At the same time, I would not like to see it called “The Mary Brown’s Arena,” and, certainly, not the Frank ‘Duff’ M.xxxxxxxx Arena… please no politician names, i.e. The Danny W. xxxxxxxxx Concussion Arena. How about the Amelia Earhart Arena, or the S.S. Kyle Arena, or The River Rats Arena… but, then, what do I know… No disrespect, whatsoever, towards Mr. Charles Cron intended, quite the contrary… and, of course, I assume there was a Mrs. Cron as well.

  • Masterwatch
    February 16, 2016 - 08:35

    How about naming the new facility The Charles Cron Àrena in honour of the man who did so much for the people of Harbour Grace for so many years. Often without collection his medical fee!

  • Mr. Observer
    February 16, 2016 - 06:41

    I remember leaving your house before the fire was even lit in the stove to get your sorry ass to Kennedy’s Corner, Carbonear for 6AM on dark freezing cold Saturday mornings to catch Joe Noel’s old 1950s ancient coxinelle tiny bus to take us over the saddle to the stadium in Hr. Grace… Pee Wee, Bantam, Air Cadet hockey practice was the call...What don’t kill you, will make you stronger… I recall two dressing rooms with a heater way up high in the corner driving out some warm air into the room …THANK GOD, because that stadium at 6 in the morning was an ice box… I still get cold when I think about those mornings… I remember the Cee Bee Hockey games… curly Penney, and Jim, and Ern Cole, and Danky Dorrington, Jerry Lahey, Jimmy Dawe, Toy Toy Gallant [defenceman Buchans Miners], Hughie Hutton, and who can forget the black player Clobie Collins [Corner Brook Royals]… My God, how much name calling was sent his way… In those days, the referees sometimes had buckets of raw meat they hove into the stands to cool down the crowd… The games were pretty lively… I also remember well, the Rink Rats… those responsible for scraping the ice between periods… Jack Rose, Paul Oliver, Adian and Cyril Morraity, Larry Sheen, Jerome Connors, and others… How much cat calling and verbal abuse was sent there way… Holy Moley… I remember jumping over the boards at the end of a Cee Bee game trying to try and get a hockey stick from a player… What a treasure... I remember little Junior Murphy and the long stairs going up to his shop, and Mercer’s restaurant to get a plate of chips…Those were the days… You’d be squeezed to death trying to exit the door after the game was over… Man oh man, what memories… if those old stadium walls could talk…