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SENIOR HOCKEY in TISDALE In prairie communities, hockey has often been the sport that creates the most town pride and rivalries between neighboring towns. The first community outdoor skating rink in Tisdale was used in 1905. The first indoor skating rink in Tisdale was built around 1907. In 1911, a curling rink was attached to this skating rink. By 1926, the plans for a new skating rink were in the making, and in 1928, the building of the skating rink started. In the winter of 1930, a new rink was opened in the town of Tisdale. The cost of building the rink was around $8500. Many local businesses assisted in the building of the rink. It had a unique design, the first of its kind in Canada. E.G. Groat designed the circular shaped rink. It was said to be a quonset style building. After this design was used in Tisdale, many communities across the province and country used the design. This amazing structure lasted for over sixty years in Tisdale. It was located where the parking lot of the current Recplex lies. Finally, when this rink began to deterioate, the town decided that a new facility should be built. In 1982, the arena was built as part of the Recplex. The rinks in Tisdale have always been very busy and a hub of the community.
There have been many hockey teams to grace the ice in Tisdale. The first senior hockey team was called “The Log Rollers”. This team often traveled to games on the railway, and played against teams from the surrounding area. During the depression, there were some semi-professional teams that played out of Tisdale. The players received around five dollars per month and had their room and board paid. This was excellent hockey and was enjoyed by all that viewed it. At this time, the different railways in the area would send special trains to take teams to various places in Northeastern Saskatchewan. It was also common for players to travel by Bombadier. All the players would fit into one of these vehicles and travel to the games together.
In the mid thirties, the Tisdale Maple Leafs [1935-1948] came into existence. They became the Monarchs [1948-1961] when the local Ford Monarch dealer sponsored the team. In 1961 the team was in dire need of new uniforms. Ray Groat, the local Rambler car dealer, agreed to purchase new uniforms if the team would change their name to The Tisdale Ramblers. The name of Tisdale’s senior hockey team has continued to be called The Tisdale Ramblers [1961-2004].
For over fifty years the Monarchs and Ramblers have been an integral part of culture in Tisdale. One of the oldest continuously operated Senior Hockey clubs in Saskatchewan, they have been an important part of winter recreation since 1948. The teams have played in The Carrot River Valley, Pasquia, and Saskatchewan Intermediate A Hockey leagues.
In July 2003, generations of players, volunteers, and fans gathered to reflect on the team’s accomplishments. Older alumni talked about a time when transportation and facilities were limited while those younger recounted the contributions the Ramblers have made to our more recent recreation facilities and culture. As well as providing a recreational pastime and entertainment through the years, the Ramblers have also made significant contributions to the purchase of recreational capital equipment/facilities, minor hockey sponsorship, operating hockey schools, subsidizing minor hockey transportation, and establishing community events such as The Rambler Rodeo and Trade Fair. The 2003 Reunion provided the old and the young with the opportunity to get together and revisit old friendships and establish new ones. Picture collections; media reports; video displays; scrapbooks; memorabilia such as sweaters, jackets, trophies and rings; and speakers from the past decades provided an insight into the history of the club. A website [tisdaleramblers.com] was created with funds from the event.
PROUD TO BE A RAMBLER ~ the club’s motto
? Source Acknowledgement = Dayne Demarsh Sports History in Tisdale(2002) as edited by Bob Price (2004)
Tisdale Ramblers are awarded the TISDALE CHAMBER of COMMERCE VOLUNTEER GROUP of THE YEAR AWARD 20121. In what areas has your group in the past and currently spent time volunteering?(sports,arts service, community development/improvements)The Tisdale Ramblers Hockey Club were one of the community groups who participated in the fundraising canvasses which resulted in the construction of The Recplex. Executive and players also worked as volunteers to complete the project. For example, they helped lay the original tiles in the foyer and took an unfinished corner on the lower level to develop for their dressing room. They invested time, money, and labor to develop and maintain the area for over thirty years. They also purchased and installed the lower level seating in the arena and have contributed to various arena painting projects. The club’s contributions to minor hockey have included: Team bussing; uniforms; awards and trophies; and for many years their executive and players put on an annual fall hockey school.2. What are some of the most significant accomplishments as a group in the past?(project completion/events, or programs implemented)Apart from their many championship hockey teams; the annual Rambler Rodeo & Trade Fair is definitely the organization’s most significant accomplishment. Started in 1986 as a fund raiser for the team, the event quickly became the largest event to take place in Tisdale each year. Relying on a dedicated group of volunteers, player labor, and corporate sponsorship; the event has turned into an important fund raiser for an extensive list of community groups. Bringing a large number of people to Tisdale for their event has allowed the Ramblers to help service clubs, minor sports organizations, wildlife groups, the museum society, and businesses to showcase their activities or raise funds for their community work. The Ramblers also employee such groups as The Tisdale Volunteer Fire Department [security], Special Olympics and Air Cadets [clean-up], Highland Dance Club [cabaret food], and adult rec hockey [bartenders]. Through the years, the Ramblers have developed a provincially respected rodeo and trade fair operation. This has been done through the commitment of generations of volunteers working year round to prepare for the three day event that benefits all of Tisdale. They have also invested in much of the capital equipment necessary to put on an event of this magnitude. Every year involves considerable self-evaluation and modification which has made the event the success it is year after year.3. What was your group’s highlight(s) for 2011? This year was the 25th Anniversary of the Tisdale Ramblers Rodeo and Trade Fair. It was a milestone year rarely matched by volunteer groups. To be recognized by the community that has benefited greatly from theRamblers’ efforts would also be a highlight.****The Chamber of Commerce considered the above application along with those of several other nominees and selected the Ramblers Senior Hockey Club as their Volunteer Group of the Year for 2012. Carson Penner and Bob Turnbull accepted the award on the team’s behalf at a Chamber banquet.