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Bayfield arena

Bayfield Arena Collapses

The Lions Club under the leadership of President Elgin Porter enthusiastically jumped into the project but a violent windstorm in September 1953 almost ruined the project.

The trusses had all been erected by the Lion volunteers but the wind was so strong, nine trusses crashed to the ground 35 feet below leaving a tangled, twisted, splintered mess of lumber.

According to Charlie Scotchmer, one of the original building committee members; "Mother nature didn’t discourage those Bayfield Lions. They promptly set to work, salvaged what lumber they could and rebuilt it all, being careful to brace everything as they went, in case of another windstorm."
Everything was done with volunteer labour. As Lorna Merner said about her husband, Bayfield resident Mert Merner who spent so much time working on the project; "They talk about golf widows, I’m an arena widow!"

Building the Bayfield Arena

 

The Bayfield arena has been an ongoing project for the Lions Club.

A community Centre addition was added in 1967, with again, all volunteer labour. Ice making equipment was installed to lengthen the skating and hockey season.

Here Mert Merner on the ladder, Arnold Makins and Les Elliott, wearing the hat, are laying concrete blocks for the walls.

The arena was the centre of activity year round, and served the community for 25 years until it was condemned by government authorities and a new one erected on the same location in 1978-79.

The new arena was financed by government grants, the Lions and Lioness clubs and a house to house canvass of Bayfield residents.

The Lions raised and contributed $90,000 to this major project.”

Whenever the Arena and Community Centre needed new equipment, the Lions Club has always been there to help.