The puck dropped on a new Community Treasurers exhibit at the Museum of Surrey Oct. 11 as “50 Years of the Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association” opened in the upstairs exhibition hall.
The unique exhibit features a tonne of artifacts related to the Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association (CHMA) that cover the past 50 years.
The exhibition includes: championship banners, player jerseys, a focus on CHMA alumni, and many other artifacts that tell the story of the Association’s history.
“It’s a celebration of our 50th anniversary,” said Deanna Cox, CMHA president. “It’ll feature information about the Association, there’ll be a few features on players that have had specific success within our Association, and just celebrating the Association and Cloverdale Arena.”
One of the players highlighted in the exhibit is local Jennifer Gardiner.
A Lord Tweedsmuir grad, Gardiner won a national championship with the Ohio State Buckeyes earlier this year in March.
Former CMHA player Tyler Soy will also be highlighted in the exhibit. Soy played in the World Juniors for Canada and is currently on the roster of the Belfast Giants.
Cox said she’s enjoyed the process of gathering information for the exhibit as she revisits the history of CMHA.
“Since I’ve been part of the executive, I’ve been trying really hard to connect with alumni,” she said. “I’ve created an alumni page. I’ve been tracking their career progress and highlighting them on our social media page, so that our players know where our people are and who’s played for us in the past and keep some of that excitement within the Association.”
Cox has also been working with the Surrey Archives to pass on materials for posterity.
“I’ve been trying to create more of a legacy for Cloverdale and the Colts, as well as ‘The Barn,’” she said. “We’re all very sentimental about Cloverdale Arena itself and would like to celebrate that.”
Cox said “The Barn” opened Oct. 12, 1972.
She added Cloverdale Minor will also be celebrating The Barn and the Association at some point in October with a pregame ceremony before a home game.
She said CMHA will also raise their U15 A1 championship banner from the 2021-2022 season at that ceremony.
Cox said she’ll also highlight the Community Treasurers exhibit at the Museum of Surrey during the banner raising and encourage everyone to go down and see it.
She added the birth of CMHA was tied to the opening of The Barn.
“There was a meeting on Jan. 25, 1972, where they struck the first committee for the Association and basically formed the Association,” explained Cox. “It looks like the (arena) didn’t open on time, so we didn’t actually have our first games, as our own association in our own building, until Oct. 12.”
Cox said when the new twin rinks open on the north end of the Fairgrounds mean it won’t mean the end of Cloverdale Arena as the spiritual heart of local hockey.
“For now, we’ll keep everything at The Barn because The Barn is not scheduled to close anytime soon,” she said. “We’ll be working with the new facility to figure out the right presence (for us) to have in the building.”
She said it makes sense to build some CMHA presence over there right away, but it won’t be everything, all at once.
“We’ll possibly move trophy cases over there, things like that, but we’re all pretty sentimental about The Barn. So it’ll be a slow process.”
Cox said it will also depend on what the city decides to do with Cloverdale Arena.
“They’ve said Cloverdale Arena won’t be taken down until there’s at least a third sheet there.”
“50 Years – Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association” runs until Dec. 18 at the Museum of Surrey, 17710 56A Avenue.
Entrance is free. To find out more info, contact the museum at 604.592.6956, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit surrey.ca.
Community Treasures exhibitions are shows brought to the museum through public outreach and engagement.
According to the Museum of Surrey, “Community Treasures celebrates the stories of Surrey’s people.”