Brandon, MB – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup Host Committee officially opened the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup at Canadian Forces Base Shilo just outside of Brandon, Manitoba, on Thursday afternoon.
More than 500 spectators and dignitaries were in attendance in addition to the 100-person Honour Guard to welcome the arrival of the Memorial Cup and celebrate the rededication of one of hockey’s most prestigious trophies.
“Today, it is our privilege on behalf of the President of the Canadian Hockey League, Mr. David Branch, to participate in today’s re-dedication ceremony as the Memorial Cup arrives in the Province of Manitoba enroute to the great City of Brandon, hosts of the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup,” recited CHL Vice-President and WHL Commissioner Ron Robison along with fellow Vice-President and QMJHL Commissioner Gilles Courteau.
“We chose to hold this special re-dedication here at CFB Shilo in recognition of the strong association Canada’s military personnel has with the Memorial Cup.”
“Originally donated by the Ontario Hockey Association in 1919 to honour the national champions of junior hockey in Canada, the Memorial Cup trophy was dedicated in memory of all Canadians killed in World War One. Canadians hope, at that time that “the War to end all Wars” would result in the end of conflict. Sadly, we all know Canada has found itself at war many times since that time. Many thousands more Canadians have fallen in wars and peacekeeping efforts since the First World War ended. It is fitting to remember their sacrifices as we celebrate our national game, because these brave men and women allowed us to live in peace and security to enjoy sports such as the Memorial Cup hockey championship in our great country.”
“It is the sacrifice of these Canadians that has allowed our nation to prosper in freedom and security. It is time that we remind ourselves to whom the Cup is dedicated. I can think of no more fitting place to do this than here at CFB Shilo, surrounded by the men and women who are being called upon today to risk their lives for their country.”
“Therefore, on behalf of the CHL Board of Directors and our 60 member Clubs, it is with great respect and gratitude that we rededicate the Memorial Cup to the memory of all fallen Canadian Military Personnel.”
Canadian Forces Brigadier General K.L Woiden accepted the Cup on behalf of the Canadian Forces.
The Honourable Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba, and the Mayor of Brandon His Worship Dave Burgess were both in attendance for the ceremony, along with Hockey Hall of Fame Chairman and CEO Mr. Bill Hay. The ceremony also included greetings from Lieutenant-Governor Philip S. Lee, and a fly-past featuring Canada’s Snowbirds.
On the ice, the host Brandon Wheat Kings take on the OHL Champion Windsor Spitfires Friday night at 7:00 pm. The Wheat Kings will be wearing specially designed jerseys in honour of the Canadian Army, specifically the men and women past, present, and future of CFB Shilo. An online auction to bid on the jerseys begins at puck drop, with proceeds from the auction to benefit the Dominion Command Poppy Trust Fund. Information on the event and online auction are available at www.mastercardmemorialcup.com.
The 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup also includes the WHL Champion Calgary Hitmen, and the QMJHL Champion Moncton Wildcats. The event takes place May 14-23 with all games broadcast live on Rogers Sportsnet and the NHL Network US. RDS will carry all games featuring the Wildcats.
Click here to watch a video highlights of the ceremony
Photo by Aaron Bell/CHL Images