By FRED KILNER
Fuller Lake Arena is a 1967 Centennial arena. The building was finished in 1968 at a cost of $ 430,000 with the official opening July 1, 1968 and first use was Sept 1968.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the arena. The first ice use was busy, early morning ice started as early as 5:30 am and the night time ice ended late, well into the early hours of the next morning. The Fuller Lake Skating club, Fuller Lake Minor Hockey now called Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey, Fuller Lake Flyers Jr. B team and the Chemainus Blues senior men’s hockey team were the drawing cards for people to come to the arena.
As one of the first arenas in the area the user groups and skaters came from Mill Bay, Lake Cowichan, Duncan, Chemainus, Saltair, Ladysmith and north. There was no ice resurfacer to clean the ice at first, open hose floods happened at night and arena staff with kids helping at times, would push the snow off the ice in between hockey periods with wide metal snow scoops. The kids that helped out would be let in for free to watch the Hockey games.
For figure skating there was a large barrel on wheels filled with water that was used to flood parts of the ice during their skates or shows. Minor hockey and Figure skating clubs are still going strong as well as adult men’s hockey, women’s hockey on week nights and weekends. Over 55 hockey and drop in hockey happen twice a week during the day, along with school use and our public skates.