On April 8 members of the Rocky Lake Board welcomed guests to a celebration to inflate the Gary Martin Arena, located off of Damascus Road. The celebration took place in the strip mall right next door to the dome.
To see photos from the event, click here.
The idea is that we are a sports community and today, the board represents children and adults who play hockey, soccer and basketball and who will benefit from the new community recreation facilities.
Steve Warburton, board member and Bedford Blues hockey dad M.C.’ed the event.
Jokingly, he stated that the new arena is located in the ideal place, because as any hockey parent knows, there is no other place for an ice rink except by a Tim Horton’s!
Warburton talked directly to the young people present, emphasizing that it will be up to them to keep the arena going. Young adults do not have to leave Nova Scotia; plenty of jobs are available here.
Barry Mason, Chair of the Rocky Lake Development Association spoke on behalf of everyone on the board when he said they “dedicate the arena to the memory of Gary and Gary’s family”.
Bedford Councillor Gary Martin passed away in 2008 after a battle with cancer. “He was a valued member of the Rocky Lake Development Volunteer Association. His tireless efforts helped make this Dome and the event possible.”
In 1995 1,500 kids in Bedford played soccer. Presently, there are 3,500. Yet there are no new facilities available to accomodate this increase in players.
The Rocky Lake Board was told by Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) that they would never succeed. They were told they would never be successful in getting government funding. Yet they were able to get $20, 000 from the federal government. HRM told them they would never be able to recruit enough volunteers. But once again they proved them wrong.
On December 16, 2008 they received their building permit.
In conclusion to his talk, Mason stated, “yes we can!” to HRM. He encouraged the crowd to make the same statement…and again louder…”yes we can!”
MLA for Bedford, Birch Cove Len Goucher started off by saying “ain’t that a thing of beauty out there?”
Goucher went on to say that the inflation of the dome (which happened on April 4) is just the start of a 50 acre recreation site.
Rocky Lake will be easily accessible to all of HRM.
Goucher choked up and said he “will never forget Gary Martin’s friendship and loyalty”.
His final words were, “ladies and gentlemen, this is just about one of the best days of my life”.
Student Michael Murray, captain of the CP Allen High School hockey team, has been playing hockey since he was five years old. Like kids today, he practiced and played at the LeBrun Centre.
Murray emphasized the importance of being involved in sports. Now in grade 12, he has meaningful memories of growing up and participating in various sports, including basketball, soccer, lacrosse and others.
Laura Keays, another student at CP Allen High School, was the last speaker. As a grade 10 student she has been a member of the soccer, basketball and hockey team.
She concluded her talk by thanking all the volunteers and sponsors for making this arena a reality.
Before heading outdoors to “show off” the new dome Steve Warburton concluded by saying that the Rocky Lake Board will be looking at the community for fundraising.
“It will come because we need it…I’m satisfied today but I’m hungry for more”. It will take continuous, ongoing effort.
After the speeches the guests were led outside for a view of the dome. Six boys aimed guns in the air, fired, and long colourful streammers flew everywhere!
To conclude the afternoon the guests were once again led inside the building for cake and refreshments.
And thus ended the “Inflate and Celebrate” afternoon.
For more information visit: www.rockylakecommon.com.