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Page Index of A History of Portage la Praire
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Provincial and Western Canadian Championship trials have been held on the Portage plains many times, and competitors from the district have won on several occasions.
We don't have a list of winners through the years, but we can mention a few of the latest ones: Gerald Lyttle won the Manitoba and Western Canada trophies (1968), and the same year Dan Wer biski, Leslie Watson, Jim Moorehouse and W. A. (Bim) Smith were also in the winners' circle.
Before ice arenas were built, settlers' families learned to skate on frozen ponds and creeks and clearings on the Slough. Then,
Portage Arena, Skating and Hockey Rink, 1902
open-air skating rinks, with caretakers shovelling off the snow after storms and pouring multi tanks of water on them, became popular places for skating parties, and also for hockey games.
The picture of a Portage arena, shown here, was taken in 1902 and must have been either built that year or some time prior to that. It is quite possible that it was Portage's first 'closed-in rink'. Maybe this was the rink that the boys, who won the championship of the West practiced in. The location has been given as S. of Dufferin Ave. between Royal Rd. and Tupper St.
It was back in 1893 that the Portage Juniors first covered them selves with glory by winning this championship, defeating the "Victorias". The score was 10 to 1 in their favor! Records don't show the first names of the players; they are listed thusly: Lawrence, Hunter, D. Macdonald, Ellis, Merritt, Grassie and S. Macdonald.
The Manitoba Liberal of Feb. 8, 1893, gives an account of another hockey game: "The first match between the Portage hockey