History of Black hockey showcased by Black History Ottawa

The teams pose for group with Black History Ottawa President June Girvan, centre, kneeling

The teams pose for group with Black History Ottawa President June Girvan, centre, kneeling. Photo copyright Black Ottawa Scene


12. 15 & 16 December 2017
Black History Ottawa (BHO) made its own history in December when it organised and hosted three events commemorating the contribution of people of African descent to Canada’s national sport, under the theme: The Road to Canada 150 and Black Hockey.  On Tuesday 12 December, at the Ottawa Public Library Main branch on Metcalfe Street, BHO hosted a presentation by renowned hockey historian, Bob Dawson, titled: History of the Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes. This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by CBC anchor Adrian Harewood. This was followed on Friday 15 December by a screening of the ground-breaking movie: “Soul on Ice”, a documentary on the contribution of African Canadians to the national game. This occasion was graced by the presence of Canada’s first Black National Hockey League player, Willie O’Ree. The proverbial icing on the cake came on Saturday 16 December when a commemorative hockey game was held at the Elizabeth Scott arena on Torquay Street. Among the VIP’s in attendance were Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre and Ontario’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Bob Dawson hockey historian and sports writer, Chandra Arya (MP for Nepean) and June Girvan, President, Black History Ottawa.
Kudos to Black History Ottawa for a great job and a special shout out to Jean Marie Guerrier, BHO Treasurer, who led and coordinated the planning of all three events.
 Hockey flyer
Below are comments from hockey sportswriter Bob Dawson, Jean Marie Guerrier (BHO Treasurer & Event organiser) and Sarah Onyango (BHO Community Outreach Officer) on these historic events.

Bob Dawson

Greetings everyone. Roch Carrier, a noted Canadian writer, once said “Hockey is the history of Canadians”. Well, on 

Saturday, December 16th, you made a bit of hockey history by participating in the first ever Commemorative 
Hockey Game outside of Nova Scotia and in Ottawa to honour the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes
As the organizer of the Commemorative Hockey Game and on behalf of Black History Ottawa, I’d like to extend a
special thanks to the following people for their contributions in making the game a big success. 
–  Sarah Onyango, PR and Communications Officer for Black History Ottawa – Words of Welcome and Introduction
    of Special Guests
–  Lisa Gaye-Pryce – Canadian National Anthem
–  Chandra Arya (MP for Nepean), June Girvan (President, Black History Ottawa), Hazel Lucas (descendant of
   former player in the CHLM),  and Yasir Naqvi (MPP for Ottawa Centre, and Attorney General for Ontario) –
   “Ceremonial Puck Drop”
–  Jean-Marie Guerrier,  Treasurer of Black History Ottawa
–  Frankie Geddes, Events Videographer
–  Darrell Maxwell, Honorary Coach of the Dartmouth Jubilees
–  Sean Foyn, Assistant Honorary Coach of the Halifax Eurekas

–  Players of the Dartmouth Jubilees –  Paul Blackmore, Northrop Blackmore, Kasai Major-Browne, Vianney Calixte, Rob 

Hagarty, Graham Longair, David Perras, Nick Semanyk, Harley Shaw, Ian Sprott
–  Players of the  Halifax Eurekas  – Anthony Bailey, George Blackmore, Kwesi Bourne, Jaedon Major-Browne, Jacquie Dixon,
David Giannini, Garth Gittens, Gary Masson, Nick Ngwafusi, Owen Semanyk, Kevin Williams

The game featured (a) the first female (Jacquie Dixon) to play in the game, (b) great sportsmanship (no penalties???), (c) no 

body checking, although there was a lot of incidental contact 
 on the ice, and (d) a lot of scoring with the Halifax Eurekas 
winning 7 to 5 over the Dartmouth Jubilees. Looking back in history, these 2 teams played in the CHLM’s first league game on 
February 27, 1895. They played to a 1-1 dram.
Based on the game reports, below is a list of the “point getters” in Saturday’s game.

–  Kwesi Bourne, Halifax Eurekas, 5 – goals, 2 – assists (Ponts – 7)
–  Nick Ngwafusi, Halifax Eurekas, 2 – goals, 2 – assists, (Points – 4)
–  Nick Semanyk, Dartmouth Jubilees, 4 – goals, 0 – assists (Points – 4)

–  Owen Semanyk, Halifax Eurekas, 0 – goals, 3 – assists (Points – 3)

–  Kevin Williams,  Halifax Eurekas, 0 – goals, 3 – assists, (Points – 3)
– Northrop Blackmore,  Dartmouth Jubilees, 0 – goals, 2 – assists, (Points – 2)
–  Kasai Major-Browne,  Dartmouth Jubilees, 0 – goals, 2 – assists, (Points – 2)
–  David Perras, Dartmouth Jubilees, 0 – goals, 2 – assists, (Points – 2)
–  Ian Sprott, Dartmouth Jubilees, 0 – goals, 2 – assists, (Points – 2)
–  Paul Blackmore, Dartmouth Jubilees, 0 – goals, 1 – assist, (Point – 1)
–  Jacquie Dixon, Halifax Eurekas, 0 – goals, 1 – assist, (Point – 1)
–  Garth Gittens, Halifax Eurekas, 0 – goals, 1 – assist, (Point – 1)

–  Graham Longair, Dartmouth Jubilees, 1 – goal, 0 – assists, (Point – 1)

Surprising news! Unbeknownst to us, CBC showed up at the arena and videotaped the “ceremonial puck drop” and part of the game.
Ron MacLean of Hockey Night in Canada’s Hometown Hockey, during one of the intermissions of the Hockey Classic here in Ottawa,

spoke about the black hockey events; click on https://players.brightcove.net/2217916490001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5688582348001.

Once  photos of the hockey game become available, they’ll be forwarded to you. Based on the success of this year’s game, Black History Ottawa may make the Commemorative Hockey Game an annual event.

As a former hockey player, sports writer and black hockey historian, I thought that you might be interested in the 2 articles (see titles

and links below) I wrote that have been posted on Boxscore World Sportswire. Please feel free to share the links with others.
Best regards to everyone and thanks again for making the Commemorative Hockey Game a big success.

Here’s to wishing you a Merry Christmas and may good health, joy and prosperity follow you throughout the New Year.


Bob Dawson, BA, MSW
Sports Writer, Diversity Management Consultant
and Black Hockey Historian
Ottawa, ON
Jean Marie Guerrier
December 17
Thank you all for making time to help with this project. I believe that we did an amazing job at “Educating the public about this great  contribution to Canadian History.”
Everyone that participated had a great time.
Besides the 3 events that were organised, Black History Ottawa was able to reach the wider Ottawa community and Canadians everywhere through the following activities.
– E-mail and Social Media
-Email blast
-Black Ottawa Scene
-Facebook Page
-Facebook shares
-Twitter (Willie O’ree- Kwame Mason and Ron MacLean)
Radio interviews:
-CHUO (Jean-Marie and Bob)
-CKCU (Jean-Marie and Bob)
-Team1200 (Jean-Marie and Bob)
And we know that Sarah and other hosts at CHUO promoted the events to the max
-Bob Dawson with Adrian Harewood
-Willie O’ree on CBC
-And a nice feature by Ron MacLean during the second intermission of the game between Ottawa and Montreal last night ( with probably millions watching).
Ron MacLean even tweeted PK Subban during the event on Friday night and read PK’s response to the audience.
Sarah Onyango
Dec  12
Thank you to the folks who came to the first of our three Black History Ottawa events celebrating contributions of Blacks to ice hockey. I appreciate you braving bad roads and cold weather to hear Bob Dawson’s excellent presentation on the Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes. Big up Natalie Domey for our display table, Joanne Robinson for your help and JM for coordinating everything! Looking forward to the next event this Friday!
Dec 15
Oh my, my, my!!! Did that just happen? ?? Did Black History Ottawa just put on an unforgettable evening celebrating our Black hockey heroes past, present and future? ??! Just….wow! Many thanks to hockey historian Bob Dawson for partnering with us to screen Kwame Mason’s documentary
” Soul on Ice”! Much gratitude to Ottawa CBC news anchor Adrian Harewood for moderating the post screening panel discussion as only a real hockey connoisseur could! “Big up” to our amazing panelists Bob Dawson, the legendary Willie O’Ree, the talented filmmaker Kwame Mason, the incredible Darrell Maxwell and super hockey Dad Godlove Ngwafusi! And what a treat to have Ottawa spokenword artist The Nth Digri close the event with his classic” Black Hockey Player” poem. ..and to have “Hockey Night in Canada” host Ron MacLean join the audience AND read a text message sent by PK Subban towards the end of the event!! Those of you who didn’t attend really missed out! Come join us for the commemorative game tomorrow (Dec 16) honouring the Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes!
 December 16
This afternoon’s commemorative game in in tribute to the Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes was simply outstanding! What a way for our Ottawa Black community to close out the year-long #Canada150 commemoration in our Nation’s Capital! The excitement was palpable as soon as the players skated on the ice and the energy level was high throughout the game!any many thanks to BHO board members Jm Jay Guerrier and Joanne Robinson who worked with hockey historian and player Bob Dawson on the logistics and did most of the heavy lifting (literally!). Gratitude also to BHO president June Girvan, Ottawa-Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi, Nepean MP Arya Chandaria, and CHLM descendent Hazel Lucas for participating in the puck drop, Lisa-Gaye Pryce for singing the national anthem, filmmaker Kwame Mason for coming out to support, as well as all the fabulous players who gave us much to cheer about in the stands! We not only made history today but also honoured our Canadian Black History! Well done, everyone!
All photos copyright Black History Ottawa
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