Ladysmith looks to reclaim Guinness record for largest street hockey tourney

A decade ago the 49th Parallel Grocery’s Pat Battie, sporting a pair of dark rimmed Hanson Brothers glasses, walked into city hall and pitched council the idea of Ladysmith establishing a Guinness World Record for the largest single day street hockey tournament – the rest became history.

Now the old organizing gang is back together again on what is an anniversary year for not only Canada, but also the local grocer which first opened its doors back in 1977.

“Forty years is huge in the grocery retail industry especially for independent stores so it’s a big year for us,” Battie, promotions manager for 49th Parallel told the Chronicle.

The advent of social media since the original Guinness record could mean this year’s event set for Sunday, June 4 surpasses the 2010 participants from last time – entries were symbolically capped because of the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games which had recently been announced.

“Last time around there was pretty amazing results off the bat so we’re not sure what’s going to hit us this year as far as participation goes,” Battie said, recalling how the morning after his Hanson Brothers appearance at city hall news spread quickly to local media.

“The best thing about ten years ago was there were no issues that came up. It was a beautiful day, everybody had a lot of fun and the whole day went really smoothly.”

Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On event currently holds the record for the largest street hockey tournament with 35,970 players but it was achieved over a six month period.

Organizers in Ladysmith have already been in contact with the UK-based Guinness World Records and confirmed their local hockey tournament could once again set the benchmark for the largest single day event of its kind.

“It’s time, it’s our record to set and we want the world to witness it,” Battie said.

The main drag will be closed from Symonds Street to White Street with four team category options ranging from Just for Fun to NHL Wannabes. The tournament will follow a single game knockout format and teams will start four forwards and a goalie.

One of the original organizers Kelly Greville, formerly with PepsiCo and now Paradise Islands Foods, has a 20-year working relationship with 49th Parallel and said there isn’t a better place to hold the one-day event.

“Just the optics of the town and the fact that they already know how to do this because of Light Up,” she said. “Light Up lends a huge piece to this puzzle. To make it a legit street hockey tournament Ladysmith just fits the bill.”

Also new for this year’s event will be a skills competition as well as plenty of food and music. There’s also talk of a hopefully adding a beer garden where players can kick back and enjoy a cold brew.

But the record attempt, which will shut down 1st Avenue, goes far beyond simply the action out on the pavement.

The event is a fundraiser for Wounded Warriors and for local sports programs.

“Yes it’s a hockey tournament and hopefully a Guinness record but it’s also really a fundraiser, being ten years ago we raised $10,000 for youth sports,” Battie said.

There will be memorabilia from the NHL, AHL, BCJHL, VIJHL, plus unique and fascinating pieces of hockey history as Aggie Hall is transformed into Ladysmith’s own Hockey Hall of Fame.

Sharing the spotlight will be the very special and moving collection of Dudley “Red” Garrett, the first NHL player killed in action in the Second World War.

The memorabilia, valued at $35,000, is being donated to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and will be flanked by an honour guard that includes RCMP, local firefighters, PTSD therapy dogs and their handlers, veterans as well as cadets.

Garrett was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942 and traded to the New York Rangers for which he played only 23 games before being called up. He was killed was serving on the HMCS Shawinigan off the coast of Newfoundland in the Battle of the St. Lawrence.

For the last 70 years the American Hockey League has handed out the Dudley ‘Red’ Garrett Memorial Award to the best rookie in each season.

King Richard Brodeur will have his own exhibit and be on hand to sign autographs, talk about Game 7’s and his passion as a newfound passion as world famous painter. As well Richard will be adjudicator for the Guinness folks in London.

To sign up your team, visit to register.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Pat Battie at 49th or Kelly Greville at


Just Posted

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

Waterfront Gallery ends 2019 with Christmas themed members show

Over 70 artists are on display for the Christmas exhibiton at Davis Road School

Paul Manly votes against first Liberal confidence vote ‘based on principle’

Manly was the only opposition party member outside the Conservative party to vote against Bill C-2

ILWU Local 508 organized toy drive to support families impacted by WFP strike

The toy drive raised over $2,500 in cash, over $1,000 in gift cards, and a big pile of toys

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Trudeau sets 2025 deadline to remove B.C. fish farms

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Sentencing for B.C. father who murdered two young daughters starts Monday

The bodies of Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6, were found in Oak Bay father’s apartment Dec. 25, 2017

B.C. vet talks tips for winter travel with pets

Going to see the vet the day before a trip is never a good idea

Most Read