You know what they say: when life gives you really cold weather, make ice.
That’s exactly what Ken Tracker was thinking on Jan. 23, when temperatures dipped to -25 C (-31 C with the wind chill) and most residents holed up inside rather than face the frosty outdoors.
Tasker instead pulled on a heavy parka, snowpants, heavy duty winter boots and a furry trapper’s hat and headed down to the Greely Community Centre to flood the rink.
He had noticed the week before that the rink wasn’t being maintained, despite it being the middle of winter.
“I couldn’t understand why,” Tasker said. “It’s such a beautiful facility.”
When he realized it was only iceless because no one had volunteered, he took on the job. He was hoping to have a solid base in place before the Greely Winter Carnival’s biggest days on Saturday, Jan. 26 and Sunday, Jan. 27.
Tasker knows the importance of a community rink; like many, he grew up playing hockey and for 10 years competed in several minor pro leagues, including the American Hockey League. With that in mind, Tasker said the fact that he has never actually built or maintained a rink doesn’t matter much.
“I’ve never made ice, but I know good ice from bad ice,” he said.
Once the ice is in, Tasker said he’ll need a team of dedicated volunteers to help him flood and clear the rink throughout the season.
Tasker, who moved to Greely about a year ago, said he has “such aspirations for the rink.”
One day he wants to have proper snow removal equipment and a real garage for maintenance. His own son is only nine months old and Tasker said it will be a few years before he is really able to enjoy the ice.
To volunteer on Tasker’s team, call the city’s outdoor rink program at 613-580-2590.