Celebrating 50 years of hockey friendship in Kensington

Organizers couldn’t ask for a better day in January for a parade to the Community Arena. The parade was a highlight of the 50th Annual Kensington, PEI-Bedford, Que., Peewee Friendship Hockey Exchange.
Hundreds of people, including players past and present, proud parents, other family members and friends and supporters, unfurled banners celebrating the world’s longest running hockey friendship exchange in mild, bracing weather. They began their march on noon, Sunday, Jan 28. Along the way many stopped to snap photos of the procession.
Participants had a friendly escort from the Kensington Police to get them to their destination safely.
Kensington players will travel to Bedford next month to complete the exchange and likely earn a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
So, obviously, a lot of fingers are crossed that the return trip wouldn’t be cancelled by weather or mechanical issues.
It was a weekend of fun, friendship and shinny. Throughout the ranks of marchers, walking behind Bedford, PEI, Quebec and Kensington flags, were former players wearing original jerseys from the first year. The are now 60 years and older and the fathers and grandfathers of new generations of hockey players.
Shortly before 2 pm Kensington players and their Quebec counterparts concluded three days of fun activities and events with a friendship game. And then, after the final whistle, hundreds of people from two provinces mingled for photos and hugs. It was the perfect end to a perfect weekend.
Photos and story by Jim Brown
Jim Brown can be reached at peijim@hotmail.com