Those who have been spearheading the “Ice for Kids” movement here for the past six years earned a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd of supporters on hand at the Civic Centre on Monday night.
The applause, coming after council approved $5 million for the town’s share of a double-rink ice facility that is supposed to be ready by next September, was in recognition of the hard work and perseverance a core group of people put in to see a second indoor ice surface in Fort Frances.
It was a long road but their efforts paid off—and then some. In fact, Fort Frances will be getting two brand new ice surfaces on the arena field next to the Sportsplex (although it isn’t known whether one of them will be Olympic-sized, or both will be North American-sized).
What also hasn’t been decided yet is what to call the new facility. But this is one question that doesn’t even need to be considered. Frankly, calling it the “Fort Frances Arena Sportsplex" or the "Fort Frances Sportsplex Arena” just doesn’t cut it.
Memorial Arena will be demolished to make room for the two new ice surfaces over the coming months. But while that grand old building—the scene of so many great hockey memories here in town—will be gone, its name must live on.
Calling the new facility anything else but “Memorial Arena" or the "Memorial Arena Complex” is wrong. Not only is that name synonymous with Fort Frances, and a source of community pride, surely our fallen war veterans deserve at least that much honour.