TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO Getting Greasy defeated the Warriors 5-4 in overtime in the A-Final of the 40th anniversary Oscar Hickes Memorial Hockey Tournament in Port Alice.

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

There will be no 41st Oscar Hickes Memorial Hockey Tournament in Port Alice this year.

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island, broke the sad news on social media on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

RELATED: 40th anniversary Oscar Hickes

Murray stated the organizers asked the Village of Port Alice if the tournament could be held at the shuttered Doug Bondue Arena like it always has been (other than the one year it was held in Port Hardy in the 90s), but were told “no” by council, who, according to Murray, cited concerns over bringing in ammonia, loading and then evacuating the system after the ice is removed, the cost of hydro, and the financial burden on the taxpayers of the village.

Port Alice Mayor Kevin Cameron confirmed Murray’s statement, noting it was “very accurate with what today’s situation is without the financial backing of Neucel (Port Alice’s dormant pulp mill). Basically, we’ve had to streamline operations.”

Since the pulp mill shut down in 2015, the village has had to make numerous cuts to their operating budget, which included closing the arena for the 2018-2019 season (the rink did open for the 40th annual Oscar Hickes weekend in 2019, which cost $12,000).

Neucel still owes the village approximately two years worth of taxes (totalling around two million dollars), and Cameron stated there has been “nothing to this point” regarding any kind of payment from Neucel. “When the mill was running it brought in 28 million to the coffers for the island in general, with the majority of that being spent in Tri-Port,” Cameron added, noting that if things do change financially for the better in Port Alice, the annual Oscar Hickes weekend will definitely return once again.

‘Oscar Hickes’ was born Oscar Tootoo in 1952 in Churchill, Manitoba. He grew up playing hockey with his brothers and absolutely loved the sport.

Tootoo and his two best friends, Ray Carter and Bill Poole, moved to Port Alice in 1972. In August of 1978, Tootoo went to Vancouver to see a specialist to correct a knee injury so he could play hockey that winter.

The doctor informed him his playing days were over, and he passed away minutes later in his car from a heart attack. He was only 27-years-old.

The Oscar Hickes Memorial Hockey Tournament officially started that same year in Port Alice.


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tofino shakes up emergency notification service

“You can download maps and it has more functionality.”

Dylan Green set to launch B.C.’s first ride-hailing app in Tofino

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Police recover body of Tofino man near Hot Springs Cove

An RCMP dive team has recovered the body of a Tofino man in his 50s.

Winter hits Tofino and Ucluelet with snow and power outages

Ucluelet’s new public works foreman tackles town’s first snowfall first day on the job.

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Most Read