History (Part 6)

When the Association was first organized, there is no doubt that the prime purpose was for the administration and promotion of Senior Hockey and the establishment of a National championship in this division.

Introduction of the OHA Memorial Cup in 1919 stimulated interest in junior hockey and this has continued throughout the years. But, undoubtedly, in recent years, the greatest expansion within the Association has been on the Minor Hockey level. The development of Provincial and Regional playoffs, and many other promotional programs developed by the Association and its branches has, in the modern era, brought thousands of Canadian boys into organized hockey.

A major promotional project was instituted in 1958, and Minor Hockey Week in Canada, held annually in January, is now an important feature in Canada's Minor Hockey program.

Through the financial support and interest of the National Hockey League, Canadian National Exhibition, and the City of Toronto, our National game received a permanent home in the Canadian National Exhibition grounds on August 26, 1961, when John F. Diefenbaker, then Prime Minister of Canada, opened the new Hockey Hall of Fame. Over the years our Association has had a particular interest in the Hall of Fame, and representatives of the CHA have acted on both the Governing Committee and the Selection Committee since its inception. The Association has also been responsible, financially and otherwise, for providing the amateur hockey displays. Today the National Trophies of the Association are on view in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and there are individual displays featuring all of the teams which have won the Allan Cup, the Hardy Cup, the OHA Memorial Cup, and who have represented Canada in Olympic and World Hockey Championship competition. A CHA meritorious award was instituted in 1962, to honor those "who have for many years served amateur hockey faithfully as players, coaches and Association members, and made outstanding contributions to Canadian Amateur hockey". The newest CHA display in the Hockey Hall of Fame is one which commemorates the winners of this special award.

It is not possible in such a short account to make mention of the many changes which have taken place in the rules of games since the inception of this Association. When the Association was formed in 1914, a team consisted of seven players and no substitutes were allowed. Today a team is composed of six players, and thirteen substitutes. There was no such thing as a forward pass, offside play being strictly prohibited as was kicking the puck or touching it with the hand. Introduction of the forward pass and many other innovations, which have taken place over the years, have resulted in greatly accelerating the tempo of play, and it would appear that this trend meets with general public approval, judging from the recent support the game receives not only here in Canada, but in many other countries of the world.

The history of the CHA is a comparatively short one, but since that Inaugural Meeting in Ottawa on December 4, 1914, it has had to meet the impact of two World Wars, and to live through periods of both depression and prosperity.

Its continued growth and progress is evidence of the capable leadership which the Association, and its branches, have received over the years, and of the high regard with which our National game is held by the people, and especially the young people, of Canada.