Throughout the past 20 years, St. John’s Minor Hockey Associations, under the direction of a number of chairmen, have tried a variety of ways and means to finance minor hockey. Some have had favourable results while others were not so successful.
The Royal Canadian Legion raised funds by tag days, entertainment nights (bingo), and by donations by clubs, business establishments and interested individuals.
Dee Murphy tried a number of fund-raising projects during his first year as chairman of the association. These included a canvas of business establishments, a tag day, games of chance (bingo), oldtimer’s games, plus a ‘Support Minor Hockey’ collection pot that was present at the gate of all senior hockey games at St. John’s Memorial Stadium. Mr. Murphy even spent two weeks as the Jolly Snowman outside of the London, New York & Paris department store during peak shopping periods. He donated his reward of $200 to minor hockey. The first money given to the association, however, was donated by Mr. Al Kawaja of Corner Brook, who was in St. John’s on business and attended the annual meeting. He presented the new executive with $50. During his second term in office, Mr. Murphy was successful in getting J.C. Pratt Co. Ltd. to sponsor minor hockey at a cost of between $10,000 and $12,000.
The first exchange grant was approved for minor hockey in 1968, and, under coach Duey Fitzgerald, a St. John’s minor hockey team traveled to Goose Bay, Labrador to compete in an invitational tournament.
Cec Soper, while chairman of the association, raised money by registration fees, tag days, entertainment nights (bingo), and through a canvass of business firms in the St. John’s area. Although a very distinguished St. John’s businessman acted as chairman for the canvass of business firms, returns were less than $1,000. Entertainment nights had to be discontinued as the association actually lost several hundred dollars during the last project in 1970. The association found itself in the red at season’s end.
Several projects to raise monies were initiated during the terms that Howie Meeker and Bill Parrott were in office.
The main money-making project during the 1970-71 season was a variety show brought to the Arts and Culture Centre. Although the show proved to be a flop, approximately $4,000 was netted from the sale of advertisements in the program. A raffle of two return tickets to Montreal to see an NHL game between Boston and Montreal, courtesy of Eastern Provincial Airways, netted over $1,000. Tickets to Minor Hockey Week games brought in another $1,000.
A small admission fee was charged at Memorial Stadium during 1970-71 to raise money to help repay the $1,000 given to the association by St. John’s City Council to offset the pressing debts inherited from the previous executive. During the course of the season, the association received about $650 from this source and passed the total back to the Stadium Commission to be returned to the City treasury.
An application for assistance was approved for minor hockey through a Local Incentive Project grant (L.I.P.). The association received $16,000+ that provided supervisory staff (6) for a rapidly expanding minor hockey operation. Another raffle of E.P.A.-donated return tickets to see an NHL game in Montreal brought in about $1,000.
The association entered into an agreement with the hockey committee of the senior St. John’s Capitals to develop a hockey program and to promote their sale at Newfoundland Senior Hockey League games. Minor hockey only netted a little over $1,000 from this project and expenses exceeded $4,000. The latter project should have been more successful. However, some $5,000 was not realized when a number of business firms failed to pay for their advertisements in spite of the fact that the programs were sold from October 1971 until May 1972 at all Newfoundland Senior Hockey League games, high school games (average attendance 3,000), provincial minor hockey tournament games held in St. John’s, and at playoff games between the Avalon Consolidated School and Stadium systems.
Additional L.I.P. assistance was offered the city association by Joe Byrne through the N.A.H.A. minor hockey L.I.P. grant. This offer was declined on the grounds that the association already received a grant, and the money for a supervisor would probably be better appreciated and possibly more effectively utilized by another association elsewhere in the province.
The L.I.P. grant ($16,000+) was renewed again this season. Other funds were raised by a $2 registration fee at Memorial Stadium, a raffle, and the sale of minor hockey buttons. A ticket draw on the Canada-Russia series was a complete flop locally.
The St. John’s Municipal Council and/or the Avalon Consolidated School Board did not charge for ice-time used for minor hockey at St. John’s Memorial Stadium, Fieldian Gardens and Prince of Wales Arena from 1970 to 1972 inclusive.
Mr. Goss raised funds through a ways and means committee chaired by Bill Parrott. Money was raised by registration fees, a walkathon, a minor hockey dance, and by a sale of skate souvenirs.