The longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island will return to Port Alice for its 40th anniversary.
“Oscar Hickes” was born Oscar Tootoo in 1952 in Churchill, Manitoba. He grew up playing hockey with his brothers and absolutely loved the sport.
Tootoo and his two best friends, Ray Carter and Bill Poole, moved to Port Alice in 1972. In August of 1978, Tootoo went to Vancouver to see a specialist to correct a knee injury so he could play hockey that winter.
The doctor informed him his playing days were over, and he passed away minutes later in his car from a heart attack. He was only 27-years-old.
The Oscar Hickes hockey tournament officially started that same year, and the tournament will be held once again in Port Alice this year, thanks to the Port Alice Arena Society who fundraised enough money to open the Doug Bondue Arena for the weekend.
When asked how much money was needed to actually open the arena for the tournament, the Village of Port Alice’s Chief Administrative Officer/Finance Officer Bonnie Danyk noted it cost “$12,000 for ice install / removal and staffing for the event.”
She added the amount of staffing “may go up or down depending on how many teams are in the tournament and the hours the arena will need to be opened. I have estimated 1.5 people during the event for ice maintenance.”
Oscar Hickes is being organized this year by Russell Murray, Pat Murray, and John Smith.
The tournament will be held March 28-31 at the Doug Bondue Arena in Port Alice, if you would like to sign up a team to play in the tournament, please contact the Oscar Hickes Organizing Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.