Between 1937 and 1951, the youth of Brockville and the organized Hockey teams were without a covered or artificial ice arena. The previous 23-year-old all-wood arena on the west side of Gilmore St. had suffered a sudden and suspicious fire, which destroyed it on January 17, 1937. The fire department found it engulfed in flames before they could do anything, and in 2 hours it was completely destroyed. The fire was blamed on an arsonist whose string of local fires later included the old Opera House (now the Arts Centre).
After many years of natural ice outdoor skating and a lengthy world war, efforts were started in 1945 by volunteer committees to work toward building a new ice rink for the town. After two failed groups gave up the task, the town council and alderman Jack Regua set to work again late in 1947. After involving numerous individuals, including the Women’s Division pictured here, the Ways & Means Committee managed to raise over $150,000, which was augmented by $60,000 from the tax rolls. In April 1950, Mayor Fred Reynolds turned the first sod, and the Pyramid Construction Co. started work of the new Rotary Memorial Civic Centre, located on the same site. It was later opened with a official ceremony on February 25th, 1951.
Women’s Division Committee
25 February 1951
Back Row (from left):
Marjorie Bogart, Margaret McLean, Hilda? (Mrs. Alfred) MacDonald, Peggy Reid, Jean McLean, Eileen Moorehouse, Mrs. Cecil Robinson, Edna? (Mrs. Mac) Johnson, and Jean? (Mrs. Bob) Graham.
Front Row (from left):
Laura Winford, Noreen Kelly, Nellie Kelly, Mina Glover, Rena Miller, Esme Pyke, Evelyn Davison, Kathleen Cook, and Theresa Aikens.