Bill Barber pleased with Callander’s rink upgrades

Callander’s hometown hero, Bill Barber, was in town this past Saturday to officially launch the upgraded outdoor rink, named in honour of the former NHL player. Born in Callander, Bill Barber played 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers and helped win two Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975.

“It’s an honour to have your name on a structure, and I couldn’t be happier to see what’s going on here,” Barber mentioned to BayToday reporter, Chris Dawson.

The Noah Strong Ball Hockey Tournament was held that day as well, and Barber felt “it’s an honour to be here for a great cause.”

See: NoahStrong Ball Hockey Day honours Turcotte family

The town dedicated its outdoor rink to Barber, and in recent years, the Bill Barber Rink has undergone some major upgrades. A roof was built, a thick concrete pad was laid to replace the old asphalt, and most recently, boards were installed.

An outdoor rink is fitting, because “we all grew up on an outdoor rink in the day,” Barber said, adding that he’s happy to see the rink getting so much use. “I couldn’t be any happier to see what’s happening here with this complex.”

“Hockey is a great sport, I’ve done it all my life,” he said.

“It is great to have Bill Barber here,” Mayor Robb Noon said. “He is our community hero as a two-time Stanley Cup champion.”

See: Callander boarding in the Bill Barber Rink

Mayor Noon also acknowledged the help Callander received from the Northern Ontario Heritage Funding Corporation, which provided funding to help make the rink improvements. He also thanked MPP Vic Fedeli for his help getting the projects off the ground.

“Without their help small municipalities cannot do these large capitol projects so we really look to them to help our municipality," said Noon. Overall, the new upgrades “are a great addition to our community centre.”

(With files from Chris Dawson.)

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca