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All-black hockey game to commemorate Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes

A hockey game featuring all black players will take place Saturday night to remember the players who played in an all-black league during the 1900's
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The Black Ice Society & Sports Hall of Fame commemorates the Coloured Hockey League each year.

A hockey game featuring all black players will take place Saturday night to remember the players who played in an all-black league during the 1900's. 

"What we're trying to accomplish here is to acknowledge and promote the lost history of the black ice hockey leagues," said Calvin Barton of the Black Ice Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame Society, which organizes the game each year. 

The Black Ice society, a non-profit educational organization, was formed in 2009 "as a means to promote and educate interested persons on the history of the coloured hockey league," says Barton. 

The Coloured Hockey League existed in the Maritimes from 1895 to 1930. It was organized and led through churches across the Atlantic provinces, and had teams from Saint John to Charlottetown. 

Barton says racism and segregation during that era led to the formation of the league. 

"Back in that era, black hockey players were not allowed to play in the arenas, so they became very skilled and as a result they created their own league and they played on the ponds and lakes in the vicinity," he said in an interview with NEWS 95.7's Sheldon MacLeod. 

Barton says the changes black players made to the game were even later adopted by the National Hockey League. 

Things like the slap shot, goal-tending techniques, and the ability for the goalie to handle the puck were all pioneered through black hockey leagues, says Barton.  

The event takes place each year in February during Black History month. 

"It's part of our history that we can be proud of, that we can continue to make aware that hockey wasn't for just the white people to play, that black people also played hockey and enhanced the game as a result," said Barton. 

"By putting on this coloured hockey league commemorative hockey game, it's all about keeping that memory alive and promoting the existence of such a league." 

The game will take place at the Cole Harbour arena this Saturday at 9 PM, where the Dartmouth Jubilees will take on the Africville Seasides.

Tickets are $5, and proceeds will go toward the Black Ice Society's black youth hockey program. 
 



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Danielle McCreadie

About the Author: Danielle McCreadie

Danielle spent a year freelancing for various publications in Halifax and did a brief stint at HalifaxToday.ca before making the move to radio.
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