Sunday October 23, 2022 | COLWOOD, BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
Amidst the din of hockey families finishing up skating lessons and getting ready for a free anniversary skate, the 50th anniversary celebration of the Juan de Fuca Arena was held on Saturday afternoon, October 22.
Due to rainy weather (the first in many months), at the last minute the media event was relocated indoors.
There was a free skate afterward, for local families who were there for skating lessons or the free event.
There was cake!
Short announcements and speeches were made by Westshore Parks and Recreation Administrator Grant Brown and also Mike Adamek whose father Rudy was part of getting the arena started and opened in 1972. And there was cake!
Brown quickly reviewed the upgrades to the arena that were done during the pandemic including floor replacement, and upgrades to lighting, spectator seats and player benches.
JDF Arena is home to the JDF Minor Hockey Association, JDF Lacrosse Association, and JDF Figure Skating Association, said Brown. He also mentioned the Capital Regional Female Hockey Association, Power West Athletics, and South Island Ravens as users of the rink.
Some JDF arena stats, as part of pride in offering “diverse recreational sports opportunities”, saying that each year JDF Arena hosts:
- 8,000 children’s skating lessons
- 16,000 public visitors to skate
- 2,500 hours of ice rental time
- 500 hours of dry floor rentals
The arena first opened on October 15, 1972, with design and construction leadership from Rudy Adamek (1923-2009), whose son Mike Adamek delivered a speech to the crowd yesterday.
In 1968 “a few gentlemen and their wives got together around a dining room table” to get things started, said Mike Adamek, who reminisced about his memories of his first hockey arena experiences with his Dad back in the early 1970s. He outlined how the (now) municipality of Metchosin helped move along the realization of the arena.
Westshore Parks and Recreation Society — which owns the JDF arena — is governed by a board of representatives from Langford, Colwood, Metchosin, Highlands and View Royal. Until a few years ago, the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area was also a participant at the society level.
Langford pays over half of the costs to operate Westshore Parks and Recreation facilities and all its assets and operations. Each municipality contributes to WSPR funding based on population size.
Located in Colwood:
The Juan de Fuca Arena is located in Colwood, as just one part of the extensive holdings, facilities and operations of the Westshore Parks and Recreation (WSPR) Society. Other facilities include the Q Centre, swimming pool, and outdoor playing field areas as well as the JDF Child Care Centre that opened in 2021.
“Whether it is on ice, water, grass or land our programs and services will meet the needs of you and your family,” says WSPR in their promotions.
“I look forward to Colwood growing,” said Adamek.
The only official representative from Colwood there yesterday was councilor-elect David Grove (doing one of his first public appearances since the October 15 municipal election).
The JDF Arena 50th Anniversary celebration was originally scheduled for October 15, 2022 but that was perceived as a conflict with the municipal and school trustee election held that day, said organizers.
However, in the wake of election buzz, there was no official attendance by any community leaders (other than Grove).
Mary P Brooke of Island Social Trends attended as media.
===== ABOUT THE WRITER:
Mary P Brooke has been a self-employed west shore journalist, editor and publisher since 2008. Her business started the series of publications that has become Island Social Trends back in 2008 with MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), then producing a weekly print newspaper Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), which she then expanded to be the colour weekly print/PDF newspaper West Shore Voice News.
Island Social Trends emerged in mid-2020 when it was clear that active news is sought by most readers online.
Mary Brooke was recently an SD62 school trustee candidate in the west shore, engaging with residents and voters in the Langford, Colwood, Metchosin and Highlands voting area. Through Island Social Trends she continues to cover news of the west shore, SD62, municipalities, food security, and community issues.
JDF Child Care Centre responds to community demand (January 17, 2022)
West Shore Parks & Rec celebrates child care centre & arena (November 30, 2021)
JDF pool & ice rink closed in COVID-summer 2020 (July 8, 2020)