Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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BROOKDALE RINK

In 1910 a rink committee was formed with Mr.

David McNaughton as president, Mr. C. Gowan as vice-president and Mr. T. Sallows as secretary treasurer, and W.J. Kinney, E.S. McDonald, J.W.

Miller, F. Hunter, and J. McKenzie as directors.

The rink was built that fallat the east end of town. It consisted of a sheet of skating ice 50'' by 150'' with a sheet of curling ice on each side, and a waiting room. The cost of the rink was $3000. It was lit by gasoline lamps. Unfortunately finances were depleted before it was shingled, and the men that had backed the notes were never paid so it was torn down.

Open air rinks provided winter recreations for a number of years. In 1928a site for a new rink was agreed upon on the school grounds north of the spruce trees with the southeast corner of the proposed rink to be at least 100'' clear of the northwest corner of the school. In 1931Mr. Douglas Aikenhead, principal, and students prepared for an outdoor rink. They dug a well and the school board purchased a pump. Angus Lawrie was to look after levelling of the ground. The waiting room for this rink was the old Brookdale School building that had been moved into town and was in use as a shed on the back of Hilliard Clegg''s lot, then moved again for a waiting room at the rink. This building was burned one evening and so another shed was moved in.

Brookdale''s Open Air Rink In 1933 a new outdoor rink was planned and built. The walls of this rink were built to support a roof when finances permitted. One sheet of curling ice was added to the north side. This sheet of curling ice had a board walk down the south side, with hinged openings out onto the skating ice that could be opened for watching hockey games or ice carnivals.

In the 30''s there were few dollars for building rinks and by the time finances would have been available for a roof, the walls had deteriorated and would not have supported a roof. A new Memorial Skating Rink was built on the same site in 1950.

Much of the labor was volunteer. Skating again became a popular winter sport. A record player and sound system were bought for the rink and skating to music was enjoyed by a large number of people especially on a Saturday evening.

Brookdale Memorial Rink 1950 One afternoon a week the ladies would hold a skating party. This was an excellent opportunity for the old and young alike to learn to skate. The preschoolers were included and this was also the era of the bob skate; a pair of double runners that were fastened to a pair of shoes by hooks and straps.

Lunch and a social time were held at the conclusion of the afternoon.

In 1970 two sheets of curling ice were built to the east end of the skating rink and in 1979 artificial ice was installed. There was a common waiting room between the two rinks, with windows up and down for viewing curling and hockey or skating.

Later, the ladies started serving lunches for different events so kitchen equipment was collected gradually; then it became meals for bonspiels, the ladies taking turns at kitchen duties. It was a bit difficult serving meals on hot plates, but soon an electric stove and refrigerator were installed. These kitchen facilities were above the waiting room and were deemed unsafe with only one exit down a stair in the case of fire. The waiting room area was torn out and a new waiting room has been built, with modern wash rooms and kitchen on the ground floor. One person has said they miss the cosiness of the upstairs. The kitchen now is much larger and much handier for working in with the stoves, refrigerators and lots of hot running water. A hall running south from the rink waiting room has been started but to date finances are not available to complete it.

 

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