The 1934 Haliburton Huskies hockey team were the team to beat in Ontario. The new Haliburton arena with natural ice became the heartbeat of the town. The Huskies won a record breaking seven tournaments, developing legendary status as they travelled around rural Ontario to towns like Fenelon Falls, Lindsay, Kinmount, Burnt River and Omemee. Under the management of George Woods and Grenville Dart, the Huskies were the rock stars of their generation. Fans jammed the arena for local games and travelled by “special” trains to watch them when they played out of town. In the grim years of the Great Depression, hockey generated enthusiasm, lifted spirits, and boosted community pride. In the years before organized hockey, towns and villages hosted tournaments, with the winner taking home a trophy. The iconic photograph of the 1934 Huskies, posing in their uniforms in front of the “new” arena, shows a surprising lack of protective equipment. No helmets or pads for these young heroes of the rink. Lined up in front of them are seven trophies, making Haliburton the undisputed champion of the year’s tournament circuit. Players were famous, their names still celebrated in local history books and familiar to this day. Many of their descendants still call Haliburton home. Well-loved and memorialized in a poem by Burleigh Wallace, their legacy lives on.
Curry, Logan for the defence,
Ossie Gliddon guards the twine,
Lucas, Iles and Dean are forwards,
Dart, Watt, Austin subbing line.
Hockey cups are here in plenty.
Looking at them it would seem,
There’s a cup of some description,
For each member of the team.
The success of this elite team established Haliburton as a “hockey town.”