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How the Kangaroos got their name

Paul Guathier, first manager of the Quesnel Millionaires Hockey Club writes the following article:

"Nobody seems to know the story of the Kangaroo Hockey Team’s name, so I am going to tell you how it came to be.

I had just bought the Rex Theatre in 1947 and was still doing house wiring at the Quesnel Hotel. It was quitting time and I went into the beer parlour and met a well-known hockey player Norm Gronski. We talked about new uniforms for the Millionaires Hockey Team (this was the name of the team prior to the Kangaroos). The owner of the hotel, Arnie Hasselgren shows up and joined us. We mentioned that we needed new uniforms. He said nothing for about 5 minutes and left. He showed up again and said he had won $50,000 in Amsterdam, Australia and that he had to spend the money in Australia, but if it is OK with the players, we could call the team “Kangaroos”. Norm Gronski and I went to see Ray Commons, who was at the bank manager and secretary treasurer of the Millionaires and told him the news that Arnie Hasselgren, the hotel owner, would buy the uniforms in Amsterdam if we could call the hockey team the Kangaroos. Ray Commons replied, I don’t give a sh*t what you call the team as long as you get new uniforms.

Three weeks later, I went for a drink and I saw a large bag on the counter that said Kangaroo Hockey Team, Cananda from Arnie Hasselgren. I went to the bank with three hockey players Jed Campbell, Norm Gronski and Leo Delbucchia with the bag that said Kangaroo Hockey Team, Canada which contained the new uniforms.

Our first game was in Prince George, I made two dozen small hockey sticks that we banged on the wood fence and about three dozen people from Quesnel came to watch the New Kangaroo Team. We won the game 5-4. At that time we charged 50 cents for adults and no charge for seniors or children.

I used to close the Rex Theatre on Wednesdays; we all went to see the Kangaroos play in Williams Lake, Wells and Prince George. After two years of managing the Kangaroo Hockey Team I had to quit as I was re-doing the Rex Theatre. Richard Marsh was one of my best defenseman.

I will be 100 years young Sept 19, 2012. I was the manager of the Kangaroo Hockey Team in 1947 and 1948."

 

Roo Pride!Roo Pride!

If ever the words Hockey Dynasty applied to a team, it applied to the Quesnel Kangaroos.

The statistics speak for themselves. In the 1940’s, for much of the 1960’s, 1970’s, and throughout the 1980’s The Roos could skate with the best of them. And they did. 

What made the latter stages of the dynasty so special was that they did it largely with home grown talent, and they did much of it by packing an entire season into a few weeks of sudden death playoff hockey.

“Roo Pride”, is what they called it. Never say die. It was hockey as it was meant to be played. With heart.

Had The Roos of the 1980’s been able to skate a full regular schedule in a competitive league, the Kangaroo story might well have been complete.

A national title. 

In the 1990’s the team was on again off again taking a few years off in the middle. The Roo’s hosted the Allan Cup in 1993 and lost in the finals. They put a team back together with Win Winofsky as coach for the 1997-1998 season, in which they won their final Coy Cup. With a history as rich as this and the unfortunate sale of the Quesnel Millionaires the Quesnel Kangaroos are excited to be back on the ice again and are very excited for the tradition to continue.........

 

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