Cowichan Valley residents to weigh in on future of world’s largest hockey stick

Cowichan Valley residents to weigh in on future of world's largest hockey stick

People governed by the Cowichan Valley Regional District may soon be able to weigh in on the future of the world’s largest hockey stick.

The Cowichan Community Centre Commission has recommended people be polled as to whether the hockey stick should be replaced and extended.

As the coach of the Cowichan Capitals gives a tour to a prospective player Tuesday, not only did they talk about the world’s largest hockey stick, but there was the must-have picture with it.

“It’s something the community has always been proud of,” said Mike Vandekamp.

“I think it’s something where we say we have the world’s largest hockey stick, and it’s something everybody knows about the town of Duncan that we have it.”

Last year, the stick made headlines after a woodpecker decided to make the Douglas fir home. The little bird unveiled a big problem. Consultants determined the stick was in a state of decay and recommended that the Cowichan Valley Regional District prepare for significant renovations or replacement by 2025.

The estimated cost to build a new stick is between $1.5 to $2 million, and the stories didn’t stop there.

Lockport, Illinois, announced plans to build an even larger hockey stick a few months back.

Between the repairs and the threat of Duncan losing its title to the U.S., the pressure is on for the Cowichan Valley to make some decisions.

“What we’re doing is getting public input on whether we should be repairing the stick, replacing it with something else or see what the community has an appetite to do,” said Tom Duncan, chair of the Cowichan Community Centre Commission.

The 10-question survey, outlined in a report in May, asks about the importance of replacing the stick, how it should be funded and whether it should be extended.

“The record always has been one of the things that made it an attraction for our community, so that’s one of the questions we will be asking on the survey if maintaining the actual record with Guinness is an important point for the community,” said Duncan.

People CHEK News spoke with Tuesday supported a restoration.

“I think to restore it, maybe extend it but find a more cost-effective way to do so,” said Tessa Grasdale, a Cowichan Valley resident.

“I’d like to see it stay myself. It’s a lot of money, I agree, but if you want people to come, you’ve got to offer these sorts of things to them,” said Paul Farrow, a North Cowichan resident.

“It would be great if we could find a way to build onto it and make sure that we hold those bragging rights,” said Vandekamp.

There’s also a question about a public fundraising campaign to help pay for its restoration, replacement, or extension.

It’s recommended the survey be just for those living within the Cowichan Valley Regional District, and it still needs to be approved by the CVRD board before being distributed to the public.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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