Monday, May 25, 2020

Dresden arena officially re-named after Ken Houston

(Rogers Hometown Hockey)

The Dresden arena has officially been re-named the Ken Houston Memorial Agricultural Centre.

A ceremony was held on Saturday in Dresden as part of the Rogers Hometown Hockey celebrations.

Social media was buzzing, as hundreds of people flocked to the arena for the official unveiling:

The festivities got started in Dresden on Friday night as well, as sportscasters Ron McLean and Tara Slone made appearances at the Dresden game:

The community of Dresden had “a full menu” in store for the Rogers Hometown Hockey weekend.

The festivities kick-started on Friday night with the Dresden Kings game at 7:30 p.m., followed by the ‘A Pocket Full of Memories’ event.

On Saturday, there was 14 hours of hockey with Ken Houston’s two grandsons playing, Ethan & Braydon.

At 12 p.m., the unveiling of the Ken Houston Memorial Agricultural Centre name change took place.

The celebration continued on Saturday night at the arena, with a dinner and dance, featuring: live auctions for sports memorabilia and stories shared by NHL Alumni who played with ‘Doc’.

The new ‘Doc’s Lager’ created by Son’s of Kent was also available during the weekend.

Former Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope entered a successful unanimous motion for the aren’s name change back in September.

“Ken Houston provided inspiration to local youngsters and was a source of pride for all local residents throughout his National Hockey League career,” Hope said.

“I was approached by a large number Dresden and area residents during the recent Dresden Exhibition seeking a permanent and public acknowledgement of the legacy of Mr. Houston.”

Community leaders in Dresden came out in droves at the September 10 Council meeting to show support for the motion, with many making deputations to Council to emphasize their position.

“Ken was a hero to everyone in Dresden and Kent County,” said Dave Cameron, president of the Dresden Junior Kings.

“He was a local boy who went on to do great things,” said Lucille Laprise, president of the Dresden Agricultural Society.

“He really inspired people,” said Dave Depencier, a local Dresden resident who played pick-up hockey with Houston.

“He was a great family man, not just a great player,” said Don Vitek, a long-time friend of Houston.

Members of the Dresden Kinsmen, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 113, Dresden Minor Hockey and others also announced their support of changing the arena’s name.

“It would be a great honour,” said Houston’s wife Susan, during a deputation.

Houston, who played nine seasons in the National Hockey League, died peacefully at home on Saturday, March 10, with his family by his side after a battle with cancer.

He was 64.

Houston played junior hockey with both the Dresden Kings and the Chatham Maroons.

His professional hockey career started after he was drafted by the Atlanta Flames in the 1973 NHL Entry Draft.

He played seven seasons for the Flames, including two after the team relocated to Calgary.

He was traded to the Washington Capitals in the 1981–82 NHL season.

He played there until October 1983 when he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings.

He retired at the end of the 1983–84 NHL season.

In 570 career NHL games Houston scored 161 goals and had 167 assists for 328 points.

He also recorded 624 penalty minutes.

In 35 career NHL playoff games Houston scored 10 goals and added 9 assists for 19 career playoff points. He also had 66 penalty minutes in those 35 games.

In 1997, Houston was inducted as an inaugural member of the Dresden Sports Hall of Fame.

- Advertisment -