Originally published January 22, 1975
Everywhere he went, large crowds were on hand to greet Bobby Hull as he made a whirlwind tour of four centres in the West-Man area.
The Winnipeg Jets hockey Star was in the area to officially open the Pepsi-Cola sponsored MAHA Rural Bantam Hockey Tournament held over the week-end. Virden was host, with Oak Lake, Elkhorn and Reston being co-host towns.
Mr. Hull arrived Friday evening and started his tour to the four centres at Oak Lake. He told the players on the ice that “we cannot all be winners, and urged them to win graciously and lose the same way.” Mr. Hull officially dropped the puck, assisted by Frank McKinnon, president of Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association and A. Sigurdson, Mayor of Oak Lake. Following the official ceremony, Mr. Hull shook hands with all the players on the ice, as he did in all the centres visited.
With a police escort, it was off to Elkhorn, where an estimated 400 adults and children were awaiting his arrival. Master of Ceremonies was Jim Coughlan, who welcomed the large crowd. Mayor Bill Bartley said that Bobby Hull is one of the best hockey players playing the game today, as he welcomed him to Elkhorn, and the crowd gave Mr. Hull three cheers. Mr. McKinnon wished all the teams in the tournament success now and through the year. He expressed his appreciation to Mr. Hull for his support of minor hockey in Manitoba.
Roy Swindells, representative of the sponsoring group, Pepsi-Cola, expressed his appreciation to MAHA and to all the people who made the tournament possible, and “for allowing us to be part of this great event.”
Bobby Hull told the players at Elkhorn that there is a good future in professional hockey, “but you must realize that it takes a lot of sweat, tears and hard work,” he said.
Mrs. Mary Milroy who is an ardent hickey fan and watches all games in Elkhorn, presented the guest of honor with a pair of hand-knitted socks, which, she explained in a note, she knits during the hockey games.
The official dropping of the puck was done by Mr. Hull and Mrs. Milroy.
At Reston, the master of ceremonies was Ed Gulas, who welcomed the visitors to the first Pepsi-Cola MAHA Bantam Hockey Tournament held outside Winnipeg.
“I have played hockey all my life, and I started playing organized hockey when I was 10 years old. Hockey has made me financially sound, but besides that, hockey builds character, and you have got an opportunity to reach professional status, because we need hockey players in both professional leagues,” Mr. Hull told the Reston audience.
He urged the hockey players to accept what people in authority, parents, teachers, coaches, tell them, because they are trying to help you.