Hespeler Minor Hockey Association (HMHA) is the one of the oldest hockey associations in Ontario celebrating over 80th years of operation in 2017. There is even photo evidence of the game being played in Hespeler 106 years ago!
Even before the original Hespeler arena was built was built in 1947-48 on Queen Street, Hespeler teams played in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) on the open air rinks on Kribs Street.
|The Legendary Hespeler Special Angels Playing in Old Hespeler Arena|
The success of Hespeler teams resulted in them getting approximately 40 OMHA championships and finalists league titles. Many of the trophies were on display at the old arena.
Then in October 1988 the ill-fated decision was made to tear down the arena. Visitors came from all over to bid farewell to the arena on Queen Street. There was displays, plaques,banners and even bands were playing in the arena.
A new arena opened up on Ellis Street and that is where our mystery begins. As a history buff, I have periodically tried to find out what happened to the Hespeler Hockey trophies from the old arena. Emails, phone calls to people who were involved at that time and and even searching the Ellis Street arena has not resulted in any good leads on the missing trophies.
The history of the community of Hespeler is strongly linked to hockey. The world's oldest hockey stick factory still operates on Sheffield Street. Losing these trophies would be a blow to the heritage of Hespeler.
I have came to two possible scenarios about the fate of the Hespeler hockey trophies.
1. Someone took them home and they are sitting in boxes in a basement.
2. They were thrown out by city staff who simply did not realize their importance.
If anyone has leads on where the trophies are feel free to contact me. This article also appeared in the Cambridge Times.