Over the years the Association has become a truly national governing body with other areas of Canada becoming members. The Quebec Amateur Hockey Association joined the CHA in 1919, and in 1920 the Ottawa and District AHA also became a member. In 1928 the Maritime Association, embracing the provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, was admitted to membership. Newfoundland made the Association truly Canada-wide in 1966, when the Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association applied for and was welcomed into membership in the CHA.
In 1968, New Brunswick and in 1974, Nova Scotia requested permission to withdraw from the Maritime branch and become separate members of the CHA. These requests were granted and brought the total number of branches within the CHA to twelve. In 1998, the Northwest Territories Amateur Hockey Association was accepted as a member of the CHA setting the current number of branches to thirteen.
The first annual meeting of the Association was held in Winnipeg on December 10th, 1915. At this meeting it was decided that Allan Cup competition would be conducted on a basis of eliminations in Eastern and Western Canada with the winners of each section meeting in a final series, instead of the challenge system of the Allan Cup trustees in vogue up to that time.
Captain James T. Sutherland of Kingston was elected as President. Shortly thereafter the President enlisted in the Canadian Forces and was absent from Canada for the duration of the war and during his absence, J.F. Paston of Whitby, Ontario acted in his place.
On account of the conditions brought about by the war, no meeting was held in the years 1916, 1917, or 1918.
The minutes indicate that the meeting of 1919 which was held in the City of Toronto was a notable one. The Ontario Hockey Association had conceived of an idea of a Junior Dominion championship along the same lines as the Allan Cup competition and it provided a trophy for such competition to be known as the Ontario Hockey Association Memorial Cup.
Uniformity of playing rules was provided for, the rules of the Ontario Hockey Association being adopted, and it was thought sufficient that 500 copies of these rules be printed. It is interesting to note that today, over 100,000 copies of the CHA Rule Book are distributed annually.
The age limit for junior hockey was established at the 1919 meeting when the OHA Memorial Cup was presented. Although the ìdeadlineî moved back and forth a number of months, over the years, the age limit of 20 was maintained until 1974 when the regulation was changed to make this class of hockey open to all players who are under 21 on December 31.
There was considerable discussion at the 1920 Annual Meeting with regard to the financing of the Association, and discussions took place with the Allan Cup Trustees so that funds might be available from the playoff games conducted by the Trustees for the financing of the Association. This arrangement continued until 1928 when control of the games was vested completely in the Association itself.
Also at the 1920 meeting, the matter of branch-to-branch transfers was a matter of concern, and this has continued to be so throughout the years.
In 1921 the Association decided to appoint a National Registrar, and the late W.A. Hewitt of Toronto, then Secretary of the OHA was selected to fill the post. In 1925 this office was combined with that of Treasurer, and Mr. Hewitt continued to serve in the dual capacity until his retirement in 1960. Mr. Hewitt also served the Association for many years as a member of the Rules Committee and, in his various capacities, the Association benefited greatly over the years from his outstanding knowledge of the game.
F.H. Marples of Toronto became Secretary of the Association in 1922 and held this office, although not continuously, until his death in 1945. At that time the Association named George S. Dudley of Midland, Ontario, to the position. In 1947 Mr. Dudley became Secretary-Manager of the Association and continued in that position until his death in 1960.
Following the death of Mr. Dudley, the office of the Association was moved from Midland to Melville, Saskatchewan, with Gordon W. Juckes filling the posts of Registrar, Treasurer, and Secretary-Manager. The Association took a major step forward in 1967 when a National Office was set up for the first time. Winnipeg, Manitoba was selected and remained the location for the National Office until September 1970, when the Association moved to the new Sport Administration Centre in Ottawa where much of the administrative affairs of the Association are still conducted by a full time staff today.