Saint Andrews – The Charlotte County Archives will be presenting the world premiere of “Hockey in Saint Andrews 1900-1980”, a movie by resident Franklin Cardy based on the films of the late W.C. ”Bill” O’Neill.
The hour-long movie will show rarely seen footage from Saint Andrews history and the men, women, and children who played a part in the realization of their hockey dreams.
It will be screened at the W.C. O’Neill Arena April 28 at 3 p.m., and is a fundraiser for the Archives. The arena is named after Bill O’Neill, who played a leading role in the building and management of the town’s facilities.
Cardy, who spent the winter compiling the movie, said O’Neill began taking films of the hockey in the town in 1938. His niece Carmelita Thompson-O’Neill had them digitized, and put them on a flash drive for him.
He then began asking around about other movies and was provided with some taken in the 1960s and 70s by “Teddy” Rooney who lived on Pagan Street.
“I sorted them into subject areas, and there were quite a lot about building arenas and hockey stuff. I mixed it in with a bunch of arena photos from the Archives and got a lot of people to make comments on it and describe what it was and who it was.
“I spent the winter basically mixing it all together. I had a couple of previews to make sure things were right, and to do the best we can to get them accurate. Quite a few of the older people in town remember many of these hockey guys.”
Cardy said the Saint Andrews Senators were a big deal both before and after the Second World War and went to the provincial championships in 1950.
“We have film of them going to Bathurst by train for the final event and have identified them all. There is not a lot of live hockey but there is film showing O’Neill and the MacNichols – Henry, Allison (Pickle) and Tommy – who were local stars.”
The movie has been made for the Archives, said Cardy, who are starting up an audio-visual archive, and it is hoped the April 28 showing will raise the profile of the organization.
“I have always been interested in film, and have made films in the past on the side. When I saw this wonderful stuff in the Archives I said why haven’t you got any movies? People must have been taking movies.”
Cardy said there are now about a dozen home movies from Saint Andrews available on YouTube listed under Historic Home Movies of Saint Andrews.
The mandate of the Archives is to collect, preserve and conserve significant historical documents relating to the history and culture of Charlotte County and make it available to the public.
“As the guardian of the memories of Charlotte County, our board and membership are very excited to be showing this film where a community audience will have an opportunity to engage with one another and have a very dynamic experience both during and after the film.
“The filmmaker and his collaborators, including local historians, will be on hand to discuss the film after the movies,” said Archives chair Peggy Fothergill.