Last November it was my honour and privilege to present a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal to Edmonton East resident Dan Glugosh, in recognition of his contributions to the community in promoting and managing the McCauley skating rink.
In 1999 there were plans to appropriate the full-size McCauley Community Hockey Rink (which is paved, allowing summer roller skating ball hockey), replacing it with rental housing by a social group intending to use “profits” from the “non-profit” housing to pay for social centre office space. Also proposed was to keep a rink so small as to be unacceptable for hockey, meant only to make the community believe that it would still have ice skating.
I was appalled at this callous social-centric takeover attempt. I felt it was important to save the hockey rink, the only such facility in the area. When I informed the community by mail out, people were aghast at losing the rink and spoke up. The social welfare project was cancelled and the rink was saved. Unfortunately the very sound community hall with washrooms was removed and now needs to be replaced. Fourteen years later the rink is still a community magnet in all seasons.
One of the highlights of the rink year is the now annual McCauley Cup where beat officers from Edmonton Police Service’s Downtown Division take on McCauley community youth in a game of shinny. This gives area youth positive interaction with the police and allows stereotypes to be broken, for the benefit of the community.
I think facilities such as the McCauley rink are a treasure to all communities. We should be vigilant and rightfully suspicious of those that wish to appropriate them.
I think it’s time for a skate. So drop by, thank Dan or maybe volunteer to help.
What do you think?