Statement made on 12 May 2010 by Senator Frank Mahovlich (retired)
Hon. Francis William Mahovlich:
Honourable senators, I rise today to talk about an issue that is close to my heart and that of many Canadians. It is one about which many people across the country, especially Montrealers, are very excited. I am, of course, referring to the Stanley Cup.
This magnificent trophy has been idolized and, I dare say, worshiped by hockey fans for well over 100 years. The decorative silver bowl was donated by then Governor General, Lord Stanley of Preston, who himself became a great fan of the game when he was introduced to it at the 1889 Winter Carnival in Montreal. He thought there should be a trophy awarded to the top amateur hockey team in Canada which would symbolize Canadian amateur hockey supremacy. Over the years, a number of leagues competed to obtain the cup, but it was only in 1927 that the NHL took over and made the Stanley Cup its championship trophy.
With such magnificent and quintessential Canadian history, it is important to recognize the significance of the cup and to share it with the millions of visitors who come to our nation's capital every year.
That is why I support the idea of a monument to commemorate this symbolic gift from Lord Stanley.
First proposed by Ottawa historian Paul Kitchen, the project has now received the support of Hockey Canada, the NHL, the National Capital Commission in Ottawa, and countless enthusiastic hockey fans. Various sites around Ottawa have been suggested for the home of the monument, which organizers have suggested would be colossal in size, inspiring and historically significant. They want the statue to depict Lord Stanley as well as the original punch bowl he donated. If all goes according to plan, they hope to have the monument in place by the fall of 2012.
Having had the great fortune of hoisting the cup several times, I believe that it is tremendously important to honour the man who gave all hockey fans across this great country a reason to come together annually to celebrate the spirit of Canada and our mutual love of Canada's game.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!