Goodbye Olympia

Ian Murdoch
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Final skate at St. Anthony Arena brings laughs, tears and torn up ice

The final skate took place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. as a large crowd from around the area came out to enjoy a few laps, eat some finger foods and reminisce about the good ‘ol days.

People from around the St. Anthony area looped around the rink for one last skate at the Olympia in St. Anthony on April 16.

The night featured three hours of skating, finger foods and presentations by representatives from broomball, figure skating, minor hockey and the town.

Mayor Ernest Simms recalled, in an entertaining closing speech, the countless memories many people have of times throughout the rink’s 48-year history.

He recalled the early days that brought bands, a riot, track walkers, boxing fans, and hockey spectators and players from all over to witness the events that shaped local residents’ lives.

Mr. Simms also commemorated the vast amount of volunteers that have spent countless hours working at events at the stadium.

“We wouldn’t be able to survive what without you,” he told the crowd of skaters gathered around the podium on the ice and spectators in the bleachers.

“There are so many volunteers out there that we don’t even know about many of them.”

But, Mr. Simms said to see them, shake their hands and thank them is important.

A minute of silence was held in memory of all who had passed away and had some connection to the arena.

Finally, a piece of the ice was chipped away by long-time zamboni driver Vernon Simms. It was then bottled and is to be later melted and poured on the Polar Centre ice when it is ready.

The doors closed for one last time for skaters but the memories, and a piece of the ice, will live on.

Geographic location: St. Anthony

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