World’s largest hockey stick in Duncan, B.C., faces challenger

The world’s largest hockey stick has survived the World’s Fair, relocated to Vancouver Island, the fury of the Canadian winter and even the fury of woodpeckers, but is now a memorial to the Canadian game at Duncan’s Ice Arena in British Columbia. the times are catching up

The 28,118-kilogram pole was built to mark the entrance to the Canada Pavilion at the 1986 Vancouver World’s Fair, but 37 years later, the Cowichan Valley Regional District announced it was “nearing the end of its life.” .

The district has launched a survey asking residents to help decide the fate of the stick.

The 62.5-meter-long steel and Douglas fir poles, along with the pack, were shipped to Duncan in 1988 after the community defeated several other communities and private investors to take ownership.

In 2008, it was officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest hockey stick.

District spokesman Chris Schumacher said the sticks underwent some refinements in the early 2000s, but recent problems prompted an investigation.

“I recently had a woodpecker encounter that left a hole in it and I just had to deal with it,” he said.

“I believe there has been fun and creative problem-solving here, especially in the last few years, as nature wants to do what it wants.”

In a report to the city council, the district estimated that the replacement sticks would cost between $1.5 million and $3 million to manufacture and install.

If this proposal is rejected by the residents, the stick will be demolished before the end of its three-year useful life if it poses a safety hazard.

Schumacher said the district recognizes that the exchange is expensive compared to the sentiment, adding that it is important to hear the views of local residents.

“At the end of the day, it’s great to understand that sentiment and to know its heritage and what it means to people in the area,” he said.

“Especially when you’re talking about millions of dollars to maintain it and you understand that that money could be spent elsewhere.”

Taxes for residents of rural districts will increase by 11.49% from 2022, and the cost of replacing sticks will be borne by taxpayers.

“I think there is a growing sensitivity to spending money on things that are not core services provided by local authorities,” Schumacher said.

Stick’s record, meanwhile, faces the threat that all hockey record holders face: a young rival.

In January, the city of Lockport, Illinois, approved a proposal for a new fitness hockey facility with sticks larger than those in the Canadian city.

The new stick is 76 meters long, about 13.5 meters longer than the Canadian version.

Schumacher said the proposed stick end generated a lot of interest in the community, with 500 survey responses completed within 24 hours of its launch.

The survey will run through the end of the summer and will be available both online and in paper format at local district locations.

This report by the Canadian Press Agency was first published on June 23, 2023.

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