The Weeks Hockey Organization is well known regionally and nationally as a respected group of hockey enthusiasts and community volunteers who have since 1986 made a real difference for young hockey players and the broader Pictou County Community. Weeks Construction Limited has been the presenting sponsor of the hockey program since its inception. Without their support and the commitment of Scott Weeks we would not have been able to accomplish the things we have and be looking forward to a bright future. Even today, the Management, Audrey Weeks and the rest of the Weeks family are great fans and supporters of the Weeks Major Midgets and Crushers Junior A Hockey Clubs.
There was a time when young players within Pictou County capable of playing Midget hockey at the highest level would have to leave the County and play for other programs. Scott Weeks, a hockey fan and supporter of youth, recognized the need for an elite Midget program and approached the Pictou County Minor Hockey Association. They came to an agreement to take the Midget A Program out of the Minor Hockey Association and enter a team into what became known as the Nova Scotia AAA Midget League. At that time, players were drawn from Pictou County and the broader Truro and Amherst areas. Initially it was difficult to compete, but the Weeks team became increasingly competitive and developed a reputation as one of the best franchises in the League, in respect of our caliber of play and team operations. With the withdrawal of Antigonish from the League, the Weeks franchise added Antigonish to its territory from which players could be exclusively recruited.
A few years ago, the Weeks AAA Midgets were renamed the “Weeks Major Midgets” because of a reorganization of minor hockey by Hockey Nova Scotia. However, we continue to compete in the renamed Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League. We have a rich and stellar history, having won five provincial championships, one Atlantic Championship and competed in the 1997 National Championship. We have been hosts to the 1996 Atlantic Regional Championship, the 1997 National Air Canada Cup Championship and the 2001 Under 17 World Hockey Challenge. Our Organization continues to operate the Scott Weeks Celebrity Golf Tournament which this year celebrates its 12th year and has earned the reputation as one of Atlantic Canada’s premier golf events.
In our case, it is especially difficult to single out certain program coaches, managers, directors, volunteers and leaders who have made exceptional contributions because we have been blessed with so many individuals who have given so much. However, Gerry Holle in the early years certainly left his mark on the Midgets as Team Manager and as a League Director. Past Presidents Brian Ostroski and John Keizer helped to further develop our program. Head Coaches Hugh Sim and Kevin Rogers won our five (5) championships and Jamie Murphy and Wayne Thompson have always been there to contribute as either the Team Manager or as Board Directors. And how could we have done it without the countless hours put in by Murray Lim as he enticed our fans to buy 50/50tickets “for the kids”. There have of course been many other significant contributors, some of whom have been elected as members of the “Weeks Builders Foundation”. We thank them all.
It was the strength of the Midget program which allowed us to purchase the Halifax franchise of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League and move it to Pictou County in the summer of 2004. Over the last two (2) years, headway has been made as the team progressed in the playoffs, while we hosted the 2005 MJAHL All Star game and the 2006 MJAHL Entry Draft. Pictou County has earned a reputation as an excellent place to play junior hockey, where young men can develop further hockey and life skills that will benefit them throughout their life. We believe our Junior program will continue to move forward.
The responsibility of operating two franchises is very significant and has required that we broaden our volunteer base and strengthen our Board of Directors. The operation, management and financial responsibilities of the Weeks Hockey Organization are very challenging as we are the only hockey organization in Atlantic Canada that operates a Major Midget and Junior A hockey program. We believe we have two (2) good, young Head Coaches in Troy Ryan and Dave Ritcey and we are looking forward to both teams performing even better this year. Wade Taylor has agreed this year to step up and assume the President’s role and he and his team are committed to excellence for both programs and the further strengthening of the overall Organization. This year, Stirling MacLean and Karl Vokey have joined Ed MacLaren, Brian Haines, Art Kennedy, Frank DeMont, Marty Malcolm, Wayne Thompson, Howie Anderson, Murray Lim, Peter Bennett and Terry Curley as members of the Board. Each has specific Committee responsibilities and together form a strong group of volunteer leaders committed to the development of both programs and service to their community. As anyone who has been in a community leadership roles know, it is not always easy, so we are grateful to these individuals and our many other volunteers who have agreed to provide their much needed support.
Our programs have graduated many players to Major Junior, College, and Professional hockey with four alumni having played at the highest level, the National Hockey League. We are proud of the graduates of our programs and what they are accomplishing in all walks of life. We expect that trend to continue in the future. It is our hope that we will be able to bring further regional and national events to Pictou County for the benefit of our fans and community while providing a stable diet of exciting midget and junior hockey in the years ahead. The future is bright and in good hands.