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Legionnaires Planning Alumni Association

thursday july 11, 2013

By Dan McCaffery

Plans are being laid to celebrate two Sarnia Bees championship squads next winter.

Bob Williamson, general manager of the Sarnia Legionnaires, unveiled that news along with other ideas the local Jr. 'B' hockey club is exploring during a meeting earlier this week to discuss a possible alumni association.

If an alumni association is set up it will be for anyone connected with the team, which has been known over the years as the Sailors, Legionnaires, Bees, Steeplejacks and Blast.

"Sarnia has a rich history, we have two guys in the Hockey Hall of Fame who played Jr. 'B' hockey in Sarnia, Williamson said, referring to Phil Esposito and Dino Ciccarelli.

In addition, 23 other graduates of the club have played major league hockey, including former NHL stars Pat Stapleton and Tony McKegney.

Noting the team has won a huge number of championships (16 Western Jr. 'B' titles and seven Sutherland Cups as all-Ontario champs), Williamson said the Legionnaires will resume hanging championship banners in the Sarnia Arena next winter.

In recent years, he noted, nights have been held to honour championship squads from the 1950s and '60s. They included two Sarnia Sailors teams and five Legionnaire clubs.

This coming season, the 1973 and 1974 Sarnia Bees will be honoured.

The '73 Bees were Ontario champs, while the '74 club won the Western Jr. 'B' crown.

There are also plans to erect six trophy cases in the Sarnia Arena lobby to display items from all six decades of Sarnia Jr. 'B' hockey.

Williams said an alumni golf tournament may also be a possibility, along with old-timer hockey games and other events.




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