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Mission Statement - This building was erected for the prime purpose of providing for youth of this City, Twin Rinks, for playing our national game of Ice Hockey and Figure Skating. It is to be forever used as such.
Our History - In March of 1972 Avalon Arena Association was formed by a group of people who saw the great need for more ice facilities in the St. Johnís area. The group headed by Mr. David Riche, included Eric Rowe, Rosemary Marshall, Ruth Esau, Gerry March, Pauline Young and Bill Pike. On August 23, 1972 the Avalon Arena Association was incorporated as a non-profit, charitable organization.
A great deal of fundraising was required and many people from the community contributed. Many businesses in the city made financial contributions. Chester Dawe donated a new home, which was put up on tickets. A permanent record of contributors hangs in the Board Room of Twin Rinks.
A piece of land was leased from the City of St. Johnís and an additional piece of land was purchased. (The Avalon Arena Association now owns all property.) In June of 1976, Twin Rinks opened the doors for business. The first events held at Twin Rinks in the summer of 1976 were Howie Meekerís Hockey School and a Regional Figure Skating Summer School. Since then there have been many hockey and skating schools held at the facility. Regional, Provincial and Atlantic events have been hosted at Twin Rinks by both St. Johnís Minor Hockey Association and Prince of Wales Skating Club. Mark Messier of the Edmonton Oilers also used this facility for his hockey school. The City of St. Johnís has been very helpful to Twin Rinks over the years and their support has been very much appreciated.
The Avalon Arena Association consists of a volunteer Board of Directors. David Riche was the first Chairman of the Association, a position he held from 1972 to March of 1982. From 1982 to 1992 Brian Wakelin served as Chairman and was succeeded by John OíBrien who held the position until 2007. Rick Comerford served from 2007 to 2009. Murray Chaplin is the present Chairperson"
St. Johnís Minor Hockey Association and Prince of Wales Skating Club are the two main users of the facility, enabling many of our youth to participate in the sport of their choice. The population in the 1970ís was much higher than today and Twin Rinks was the answer to the lack of ice facilities. Today, with a declining population we are faced with the same need as we faced 36 years ago, but for a different reason. Today there is much more emphasis on athlete development. Fewer numbers require more ice time to help our athletes reach their potential. As well, many of our user groups are long time patrons, who use the ice for adult recreational and team hockey. During the weekdays we have groups who are retired and use Twin Rinks to continue playing the sport into their senior years.
Over the past 10 years, there have been upgrades to the building at a cost of over $1.5 Million. The roof now has a life span of 20 years, our ice plant has been upgraded, the parking lot was enlarged, two new Olympia Ice Machines purchased as well as a new score clock, the bleachers have been replaced and probably the most appreciated of all was the construction of new dressing rooms, giving teams twice the amount of space as before. The newest additions have been a low emissive ceiling, and a dehumidifier.
Today, Twin Rinks is comprised of a staff of seven employees. Bonnie Evans is the Arena Manager; Wayne Downton is Chief of Operations with Refrigeration B Operators, Steve Porter and Barry White, and Kevin Lambe; Part Time employee. Robert Hannaford and Curtis Adams are part of our maintenance staff. Robert Hannaford has been employed by Twin Rinks since we opened 32 years ago. Together the staff of Twin Rinks has a combined total of over 130 years experience in the rink business.
For the past 32 years, Avalon Arena Association- Twin Rinks have strived to provide our user groups with a safe, clean and user- friendly facility. The staff is known for their friendliness and helpfulness. It has been a pleasure serving the people of St. Johnís for the past 32 years and hopes to continue doing so for another 32 years.
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