On January 13, 1966 at a meeting held in the Public Utilities Staff Room at 15 Bayfield St. the Barrie Minor Hockey Association was established. Representatives from the four teams that represented Barrie in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association had sat around a table in Elmvale where they had gathered with other team managers and coaches to arrange exhibition dates in the Georgian Bay area.
At the time, open tryouts for the teams were not held; players were picked from the Legion House League for tryouts. The teams themselves were a hit and miss affair, if there were no interested adults available to coach the team just did not operate. Ice time was maximum of one hour per week; if you had a game you didn’t get a practice. Arrangements were on a more or less first come first served basis. Arena Manager, Wes Allsopp really had his problems dealing with each team on an individual basis since each team manager arranged his own ice time, ran his own fundraising, arranged his own games, referees, timekeepers and insurance as well as having to collect the $.25 or $.50 from each individual player to pay for ice time.
It was obvious to everyone at that meeting that a more unified approach with one Executive was needed to arrange for better ice time allotment, to work to improve relations with the Barrie Arena Commission, to represent Barrie at the OMHA level, to arrange membership in minor hockey leagues and to insure the continuity of our hockey teams which were at that time Atom, Peewee, Bantam and Midget.
The objective of the association (as stated at this meeting) was to be the overall administration of the OMHA teams without prejudice to the existing Legion and Air Force Association Minor Hockey Leagues.
The first BMHA Hockey Night was proposed at this meeting and subsequently held on January 26, 1966. The formation of Minor or “B” teams was proposed at a meeting on January 27, 1966. A committee was also appointed to investigate the need for a new arena as it was unanimously agreed that there was an acute shortage of ice time. Bingo was to be our main source of revenue during the summer.
Our constitution and bylaws were adopted Thursday May 19, 1966 and our first annual meeting was held on May 19, 1966.
The 1967-68 season saw our “B” teams entered in the Georgian Bay Group for the first time. They all exceeded our expectations both in play and deportment. The Little NHL Tournament was held March 21 – 23rd and our Minor Hockey Night was expanded to Minor Hockey Day. The third annual meeting was held on May 13, 1968, the Ladies Auxiliary was proposed, and to alleviate the shortage of ice a contract was signed with the Thornton Arena.
BMHA accomplishments 1966 - 1969:
1) Our teams have been assured of continuity of operation
2) The ice time allotment has been increased considerably
3) Our relations with the OMHA and North York League are excellent
4) Open tryouts for our teams have been instituted
5) Individual team management has been relieved of the arduous chore of fundraising except where individual projects are concerned
6) Our fundraising has been augmented by the acquisition of the refreshment concession at the arenas
7) The introduction of the Minor and Major system by the OMHA has enabled us to demonstrate the effectiveness of our decision to develop more players through the formation of “B” teams
8) The increased number of boys entering colleges on scholarships, playing in the Major Junior “A” and other Junior leagues certainly indicates the boys are gaining substantially from their involvement in our system.
9) Training sessions for officials have been made available.
10) The formation of the Ladies Auxilliary in 1968 was a major step forward.
1974 – 1975
BMHA Midget team wins the Wrigley Canadian Midget Championship and the Co-op teams head for Russia
1976 – 1977
BMHA has 18 teams – 2 OMHA championships, 4 Zone Championships and 2 York Simcoe titles. Some games and practices were held in Lefroy due to ice shortages.
1977 – 1978
The first BMHA Power Skating School was organized.
1980 – 1981
BMHA Bantam team hosts a team from Finland and an exchange program was held with Saanick B.C.
1981 – 1982
The “Recreation Campaign” was held for a new recreational centre in Barrie and with the efforts of the BMHA and the Ladies Auxilliary the campaign was a resounding success with many families committing either financially and/or physically to the cause.
During the spring of 1985 a first step was taken when the Barrie Legion and BMHA became affiliated for the 85-86 season. In the fall of that same season the Barrie Knights of Columbus also joined the affiliation creating one Barrie Minor Hockey Association. This year also marked the 20th anniversary of the Barrie Minor Hockey Association.
1986 – 1987
The first skate exchange was held along with two BMHA dances.
From Flyers to Colts…Our Year of Transition
On a warm evening in June 2004, an overwhelming majority of our membership provided the 2004-2005 BMHA Executive team with the mandate to affiliate with the Barrie Colts OHL organization. The wheels were set in motion immediately to kick-off the transition to a new identity and usher in a new era in the history of the Barrie Minor Hockey Association.
Over the summer months the executive team worked long hours to prepare for the start of the new season. We never thought the task would be an easy one, and it definitely was not. We had many bumps in the road, and a few potholes as well, but we all survived.
The Barrie Colts have been a popular addition to the community over the past 16 years and have provided the youth of Barrie with some very solid role models. To wear the same Charlie Horse and play on the same ice as those players is a great thrill for all the boys and girls of the BMHA.