It’s a title the Cowichan Valley has claimed for decades: the official home of the world’s largest hockey stick. But the community is facing off with a new contender looking to take that title away.
Lockport, Illinois is planning to build a new rink with an even bigger stick — a whopping 250 feet. If it goes ahead, it would be a new Guinness record, easily beating Duncan’s 205-foot landmark.
“I think in a bit of a jokey way it’s been like we’re not going to take this lying down, right?” said Justis Doucet, a radio host with 89.7 Juice FM.
“Maybe if we make it a friendly competition or something it becomes something, as long as I’ve been around they’ve called it the big stick and the world’s largest hockey stick, so maybe we battle to keep it that way or maybe we don’t.”
The stick, paid for by the federal government for Expo ’86, was moved to its new home at the Cowichan Recreation Centre in 1988 with much fanfare.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District says while it can’t comment on any plans being put together by Lockport, it admits the stick “has been a factor in the regions’ overall economic development over the years.” It adds that any decision on its future will be up to CVRD-elected officials and the broader community.
Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples says she has some ideas with what to do when the hockey stick eventually needs to be refurbished.
“We could potentially decide to compete with the size of Lockport’s new stick, simply be happy with having the largest hockey stick in Canada or invite a little healthy competition and call for a game between us to settle it on the ice,” she said.
“If we win, they have to build their first stick one foot smaller than ours. Then every five years we have a rematch and the winner gets to add a foot – see where that goes over a few decades.”
There’s no word on when Lockport plans to start construction on its new facility and if it will officially go ahead with plans for the new 250-foot stick and pick.