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Monday, November 6, 2017

Big 40th Celebration for Coliseum

Southampton | by John Divinski  

The facility celebrated 40-years of serving the community with lots of activities on Saturday, November 4th.

 
It was an arena full of memories with a heavy dose of fun thrown into the mix for the people that chose to visit the Southampton Coliseum.
 
The facility celebrated 40-years of serving the community with lots of activities on Saturday, November 4th.
 
There was free family skating, goodies to eat and an alumni hockey game between the Lakeshore Winterhawks and the Southampton Mariners plus other activities as well.
 
What there was plenty of, was memories and stories.
 
Current Saugeen Shores councillor Don Matheson, who took part in the hockey game, says the Coliseum was a second home to him, growing up.
 
Matheson says he played hockey at the facility, roller skated in the summer and worked there too.
 
He says, "This was the spot to be."
 
One of the organizers of the event Hardy Henry, who just recently retired from 38 years of Zamboni duty says he remembers the entertainment at the facility that jammed the place to the rafters with fans.
 
Saugeen First Nation former chief Vernon Roote, now a First Nation councillor, says his memories go back to before the latest edition of the Coliseum was built.
 
Roote says, 53-years ago they didn't have the luxury of a Zamboni getting the ice ready.
 
The ice had to be scraped manually before water was put down to create fresh ice for the next hockey game.
 
Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith goes back that far as well, saying, "Remember when the old arena was condemned or said it was unsafe and how a group in the community came together and decided they were going to build this new facility.  Just an example of what communities do."
 
Officially, the current Southampton Coliseum was opened on November 12th, 1977.
 
Two years before, the old building was shut down by the province stating safety concerns with the then 50-year old structure.

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