By Darren Lum
A legacy of Haliburton hockey history carries forward with next generation
There’s a certain kind of symmetry to it all for the Dart family, who saw three generations of representation in the hockey tournament named for Glen Dart, the Glen Dart Memorial Hockey Tournament held last month.
Glen, who will be inducted in to the Haliburton Highlands Sports Hall of Fame later this year, is akin to hockey royalty for Haliburton, with his legendary hockey skills, which include his booming shot and a smooth skating style, but, more importantly, his love for hockey, which he shared.
Roger, Glen’s son, appreciated watching from the stands his adult son Devon coaching the Highland Storm initiation one team at the tournament, which included his two grandsons, Felix, five and Sebastian, six playing.
From what he’s been told of his dad, who died before he was born, he said Glen would have been surprised the tournament ever started at all and that it has continued long enough to have three generations of Darts to have played: his son, his grandson and now his great grandsons. From Lenny Salvatori, a long-time resident, who was instrumental in sport in this community and who knew Glen, told Roger his dad was always looking to help.
“He was the recreation director, and he wanted them to participate. So, this tournament is still that way. It’s taking the kids and getting them to participate. A lot of these kids that otherwise wouldn’t be in a tournament or anything like that,” he said.
Devon, who can remember playing in the tournament close to the same age as his boys said there is a sense of pride about the coming together.
“My grandfather would have been proud of us coming out to this tournament and seeing dad and the boys and everyone just enjoying the game of hockey,” he said.
He remembers the trophy he received, which was puck, screwed into a log with the Glen Dart name on it.
After 18 years living in Edmonton, Devon came back home to Haliburton this past summer with his wife and boys.
Its full circle in some ways for the 2000 HHSS graduate, who moved into a house just steps from his childhood home.
Before the Highland Storm, there was just the Haliburton Huskies (and Minden Monarchs). Devon played for the Huskies from about four until he was 18. Subsequently, he played for a few other teams, but up until his son, Sebastian played last year in Edmonton, he hadn’t been on skates for years.
He said being part of the hockey community, with him coaching and his boys playing this season, helped the family to adjust and feel more at home because of how the Storm family is a community that exists within the community.
Just like his grandfather, Devon has worked at inspiring the next generation of hockey players.
“That’s what I’m try to do as well is carry forward that legacy. He was encouraging for everyone to be involved in sports. No matter what your age or your ability, or whether you had equipment or not, he wanted everyone to be involved in sports. And that’s the stories that I’ve sort of held closer to my heart from my dad and from the old timers [as my dad] calls them,” he said.
Separate from the Glen Dart tournament, but equally fitting for how the grandson is looking to continue what his grandfather is known for, was at an end of season ceremony when the players received their participation medals at their final practice.
“It was like they won the Stanley Cup. They were pretty, pretty stoked. They all skated around and clapped their sticks on the ice and wore their medals and waved to their parents in the stands. It was pretty nice,” he said.
Devon said his boys may not have fully grasped the historical significance of their participation in the tournament, but were aware their sur names matched the tournament namesake.
At 41, he recognizes and appreciates the effort put forth by parents like his dad, who was out there looking to help him.
“It is coming full circle. I’m starting to … appreciate the development of the kids. You see them out there and you can sort of appreciate what your parents were going through. They’re out there … but they’re doing it because they want to see the kids enjoying themselves and improving. So, it is a special feeling because I can now relate as an adult to where my dad would have been at 35 years ago or so,” he said.