An official dedication ceremony honouring Johnny Bower, former Canadian professional hockey player and four-time Stanley Cup winner, will take place on Sunday, October 28 at Meadowvale Four Rinks in Mississauga.
As the closest arena to the Bower family home, the dedication of the rink is in appreciation of Bower’s outstanding volunteer contributions to many Mississauga-based organizations, including the Meadowvale Minor Hockey Association. Rink 1 is the most prominent surface at the arena and was also the number Bower wore throughout his Maple Leafs playing career.
“It is an honour to recognize Johnny Bower at the arena where he was well known as a mentor to many young hockey players and where his grandchildren skated,” said Pat Saito, Councillor, Ward 9. “My only regret is Johnny is not here to receive this well-deserved recognition.”
Official Dedication Ceremony – Details
· Mayor Bonnie Crombie
· Pat Saito, Councillor, Ward 9 – Event MC
· Jennifer Evans, Peel Regional Police Chief
· Dale Smith, Bower Family Representative
· Richard Foote, President, Meadowvale Minor Hockey Association
Meadowvale Four Rinks (Rink 1)
2160 Torquay Mews
Sunday, October 28, 2018
1p.m. – Official Ceremony (Rink 1)
2 p.m. – Free Fun Skate (Rink 3)
2:10 p.m. – Charity Hockey Game Begins (Rink 1)
“Johnny Bower encapsulated the spirit of belonging, a value that we embrace in the City of Mississauga,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “He was, of course, a phenomenal hockey player but more than that, his work as a philanthropist, coach and mentor are qualities that will help keep his spirit alive in Mississauga and beyond.”
Attending the Official Dedication Ceremony is free but guests are asked to consider bringing a non-perishable food item for Eden Food for Change.
Limited, complimentary parking is available at Meadowvale Four Rinks. Additional parking is available at St. Jude’s Academy located adjacent to the arena at 2150 Torquay Mews.
Please note that viewing capacity at the arena is limited. The ceremony will be livestreamed on the City of Mississauga Facebook page.
Johnny Bower – A Brief History
Johnny Bower’s story is one of tenacity, determination and compassion. He was a Canadian hockey icon and one of Mississauga’s great sport philanthropists.
Johnny spent 12 years in the American Hockey League (AHL) before embarking on a 12-year career with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1958. He backstopped his professional teams to eight championships and 609 career wins and still holds the AHL record for career wins (359) more than 60 years after his last game in the league.
Johnny leaped to the Maple Leafs in 1958 at the age of 34, when most professional athletes are considering retirement. Two years later, he won the first of two Vezina Trophies as the top goaltender in the NHL. He was a member of Toronto’s four Stanley Cup championships in the 1960s and was the first player in league history to qualify for a pension while playing.
He remained with the Maple Leafs as a coach and scout until 1990 when he accepted the most significant role of his life, that of Goodwill Ambassador. He was often seen in local arenas helping young hockey players improve their skills and providing words of encouragement. Off the ice, Johnny was involved with children’s charities and those that focused on community development, health promotion and animal protection. Locally, he focused on the Children’s Safety Village, Kidney Foundation of Canada, Arthritis Society and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He was also involved with the Anishinabek Nation 7th Generation Charity and was named Honourary Grand Chief in 2010. Later that year, the Government of Ontario recognized him with an Ontario Senior Achievement Award for his community service, including a role as the only Honourary Chief of Police in the history of Peel Region.
Johnny Bower is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, AHL Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, Mississauga’s Legends Row and has a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.