About the LeagueUpdated Sunday March 13, 2016 by Red Circle Hockey Club.
If we go back a few years ago when the city of London only had 4 skating pads, Silverwoods, Farquharson, Carling, and Kinsmen were all outdoor pads and minor hockey was hardly heard of. With the building of new pads such as Stronach arena, organized hockey for kids started taking off. The Ontario Minor Hockey Association (O.M.H.A.) was the self appointed governing body for all of Ontario and they set the rules.
But people like Mac Beach, Al Langille, and Jim Leonard felt there were kids (and parents) who did not want to play stringent competitive hockey. These kids were not your superstars. They just wanted to be involved in a hockey program where they would be treated equally and get as much ice time as the other guy/girl.
The Stronach Minor Hockey League evolved from Mac's dream and provided a "house league" program for the young kids. There was still competition between the teams but not at the "win at all costs" level. Soon it grew and encompassed players from age 5 to 17. Membership in the club grew, and in 1971 it was incorporated as The Red Circle Hockey Club but maintained the basic philosophy,
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY REGARDLESS OF ABILITY
After 40 years, that philosophy is still maintained.
Mac, Al, and Jim were the first presidents of the club. In the years to follow, such names as Bob Booth, Pete Schmid, Jim Backus, Murray Currah and Don Hodgins added their leadership. Many of the ideas and changes made by these people are still in effect today.
Bea Booth, the mother of Red Circle, ran the concession booth at Stronach for many years and was known to every player in the club. She was instrumental in forming the Ladies' Auxiliary which, until recently, operated as the Red Circle Booster Club.
Jim Agathus, owner of the Huron House Restaurant has been a major sponsor right from day one. Other long term sponsors include Heslop Auto Wreckers, Holiday Print & Litho, several Optimists groups, and Jack & Mels Skate Sharpening.
In the mid 80's, Red Circle teamed up with Stoneybrook Athletic Association and formed several Ringette teams for girls. In the first year of operation, the Red Circle teams captured first place. As the girls grew into young women, they still wanted to play Ringette. Stu Murray and Ray Gibson coached the Merry Timers to several provincial championships during the group's history.
Although the club was set up as a house league program, there was a desire to play more competitive hockey with other clubs, but there was a huge problem. The O.M.H.A. did not recognize Red Circle as a minor hockey association and prohibited other O.M.H.A. teams from playing us. Eventually a new organization, called the Provincial Minor Hockey Association was formed and non-affiliated clubs from Oshawa, Brantford, Hamilton, and Copper Cliff joined. Red Circle formed "Select" teams from each division and these teams participated in and won many championships across Ontario.
Also still during the mid 80's, the club held a promotional contest to find a name for our Select teams and a new logo. The chosen name of "Raiders" was submitted by Katrina MacPherson and the new logo was designed by Keith Alexander and Jason Brown.
Red Circle Famous NHL'ers
Many great people have evolved from Red Circle and the most notable is Eric Lindros. He started playing in our Tyke Division and was a super-star even before joining the Oshawa team and moving on to the N.H.L. But Eric did not forget his roots. When he was selected as "Player of the Year" he was given a monetary award to be donated to his favourite hockey organization. Eric's coach in Red Circle was Aussie Sharrard and Aussie attended the award ceremony and accepted a cheque from Eric on behalf of Red Circle.
One person everyone should know by name is Fred Kilgour. Fred was elected as President for the 2002-2003 season and also spent many, many years as our Treasurer, looked after the Select Team program and was the key figure behind our Mite program. Fred was also the person responsible for setting up our Bingo program which is still a prime revenue maker for the club. During the past few years, Fred has been called upon many times as an advisor to the Board and his knowledge of the club will never be forgotten. In appreciation of Fred's contribution to the club, The Fred Kilgour Award of Merit was set up with Fred being the first recipient. This award is given out each year to the individual who "exemplifies the ideals, spirit and enthusiasm that Fred contributed over his many years of service".
During our past 44 years, we have had some unfortunate incidents involving our members. Brian Boyd, a midget player, was killed in a car accident. Ian Quinn, a Pee Wee, was involved in another accident that left him a paraplegic and also Steven Arnstrong a great Red Circle volunteer and player passed in a tragic accident. In recognition of these players, A Sportsmanship Award has been created for both the Midget and Pee Wee divisions. The more recent Steven Armstrong award has also been created for a Midget or Juvenile player who displays excellence in volunteerism.
Red Circle President List
2014- Present, David Dawe
2011-2014 Donna Crosby
2008-2011 David Dawe
2007-2008 Scott Murray
2005-2007 Keith Root
2004-2005 Dave MacGee
2003-2004 Dave Booth
2002-2003 Fred Kilgour (Deceased)
2000-2002 Teresa Grimminck
1999-2000 Jamie Coombs
1996-1999 Jack Ivanisevic
1995-1996 Rick Robbins
1993-1995 Jerry McIntyre
1991-1993 Gary Weiler
1990-1991 Stu Murray
1988-1990 Jim Backus
1987-1988 Tom Robertson
1985-1987 Bruce Casson
1983-1985 Dick Howard
1982-1983 Bruce Casson
1981-1982 Murray Currah
1980-1981 Don Hodgins (Deceased)
1979-1980 Pete Schmid
1977-1979 Jim Backus
1975-1977 Bob Booth (Deceased)
1974-1975 Al Langille (Deceased)
1972-1974 Jim Leonard
1969-1972 Mac Beach
After many years' involvement with the club, some names are still familiar. Murray Currah is still a Board advisor and a key volunteer for the bingos. Stu Murray has been a sponsor for 20 years and was the sites webmaster for a number of those years. Dick Howard shows up periodically to support his future National Players as well as his Grandson.
Today our Club is still growing and providing a family atmosphere for inspiring hockey players from age 4 to 19, and we still follow Mac's initial philosophy: