Reg Morrison and Stan Halliwell met while playing hockey with Emil Weisbeck’s “Old Blues” with ice time late on Wednesday nights at the old Exhibition Stadium, and later joined the “Rangers” when that team became part of the 50 Plus League.

The 60+ League started in the same rink Nov. 22nd, 1993 with 26 players, some from the Old Blues, some from the 50+ league, and some who just hadn’t played hockey for some time and wanted to get involved in the game again for fun and exercise. To start with, we just divided the guys into two teams as they came in the door ($5.00 per game)…..we soon had enough coming out to make up 4 teams, and started re-drawing the teams periodically to avoid cliques and/or hard feelings. As of 2024 we have 38 teams of five playing twice a week, with ages ranging from 60 to 89 with many in the 70+ age group, and with over 20 in the 80+ age group. Our expansion of our dressing room in 2024 that will now accommodate nearly 200 players.

We played at the Stadium in 1993/94 and 94/95, and then moved to Gemini in 95/96 while the Schroh Arena was being built, and have been there since the fall of 1996. Our 60+ league supplied a lot of volunteer labour to the rink, particularly laying the ice surface and installing the boards and glass. We also painted our own dressing room, and built and installed the stalls (designed by Ron Cowie, welding done by Lou Deluca and Al Wekerle).

We have sent at least one and as many as 3 teams to the Playmaker’s Tournament in Victoria each spring in March. In August of 2018 we sent three teams (65+, 70+ and 75+) to the Canada 55+ Senior Games in Saint John, N.B. and August of 2022 we sent the same compliment to Kamloops to participate in the 2022 55+ Canada Summer Games. In 2024 we will have the 65+, 70+, and 75+ participate in Quebec.

The purpose of our league is fun…No body-checking or slap shots, players are seeded according to ability, and we are fortunate in having referees who are all players that volunteer their time to officiate our games.

We try to emphasize the social aspect of our league as well, having an annual Christmas party and golf tournament……..and I really think the best thing that has happened is that each of our old hockey players now know and can count on as friends, at least 100 people we would not have met before.

Over the past 20 years, the 60+ Hockey League has supported various charities, Crisis Center, Special Olympics, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Alzheimer’s Society, being some of the many, to over $30,000 in donations. Many thanks to those who donate their time and money.

Stan Halliwell