Most of the history of hockey in Garson comes from the development of various rinks and sports facilities in the area.
Early hockey games in Garson were held on frozen ponds and swamps and consisted of a group of people playing for fun. In 1937, Garson's first outdoor rink was built by the Garson Mine Athletic Association in the laneway between Henry Street and Pine Street. It included a penalty box and players' benches.
By 1945, the Garson Sports Association was formed to encourage active participation in sports activities by arranging for the creation of leagues for winter and summer sports. The Association was presided over by Father Coghlan, the Roman Catholic priest of the day, and by the treasurer, Jack Donnelly. The group made arrangements to lease land from the Separate School Board to allow them to build a rink on the William Street property (the exact location where the addition to St. John Separate School now stands). The committee went on to raise money for various sporting equipment and also to install swings and other amusements for the children. Sport and field days were held in the summer and a winter carnival was held every winter in order to help raise funds. Both events were always very popular and well attended.
In those days, Garson possessed a junior, bantam, and midget hockey team as well as a few mining teams through INCO. The mining teams began to compete in the 1930's, right up until the early 1950's when they were disbanded.
A community playground was built in 1953 between Pilotte Street and Lawrence Street. This playground was erected through the effort of a group of residents along Garson Road who felt they needed to create a sporting facility for their community. The group, led by Tom Croteau, constructed a large rink with overhead lights, and on a patch of land donated by INCO, they also built a baseball diamond. Over the years, swings and other childhood delights were added.
This group, later known as the Garson Road Community Club, sponsored four hockey teams and three boys' softball teams in the Garson area.
It is important to note that women also participated in the sport of hockey most likely beginning in the early 1920's. Though not much is known of this historic event in Garson, it is known that the ladies' hockey league consisted of a team of married women and another team of single women.
Material compiled from Voices from the Past: Garson Remembers.