Cornwall Donates Zamboni to Nunavut's Pond Inlet
The City of Cornwall is donating a surplus Zamboni to Pond Inlet, a community of 1,600 people on the northeastern tip of Baffin Island in the Territory of Nunavut.
The Zamboni will be used in Pond Inlet's new arena, and it will go a long way towards creating better ice - and more ice time - for the youth of the community to play hockey.
As it stands now, the ice in Pond Inlet is manually cleaned with shovels and brooms throughout the day and flooded at the end of each day, a process that takes over an hour to complete. In addition, by having the Zamboni, Pond Inlet will be able to host various territorial events and tournaments in their community.
"This donation will make it easier for residents of Pond Inlet to get involved in organized sports like hockey," said Mayor Bob Kilger. "This Zamboni has served us well for many years, and it will certainly be put to good use in Pond Inlet."
It was a family connection that got the ball rolling on the donation. A First Air employee in Pond Inlet learned from a family member in Cornwall that the City had a dormant Zamboni in its possession. The piece of equipment was purchased in 1987, and it was scheduled to be disposed of through a surplus equipment tender later this year. Soon after, a formal request was sent to Mayor Kilger from Robert Kavanaugh, an RCMP officer and community volunteer in Pond Inlet. Cornwall City Council approved the donation request at its regular meeting on Monday, July 9th, much to the delight of Mr. Kavanaugh.
"It will be a huge improvement," said Mr. Kavanaugh. "Not only just the time saved (on cleaning the ice), but it will create a better playing surface and everything."
Mr. Kavanaugh said he and his RCMP colleagues in Pond Inlet have been working on a number of projects to benefit the community, and the acquisition of a Zamboni - a first for Pond Inlet - represents a big improvement. The police officer has been working with other community members to organize a structured hockey program, and their latest effort resulted in over 100 Pond Inlet youth being registered with Hockey Canada. Mr. Kavanaugh said it's important to provide sports and recreation opportunities for youth, especially in a northern community like Pond Inlet where there is limited exposure to organized sports.
"We're just trying to do what we can to give back to the community," he added.
Nearly all supplies for Pond Inlet arrive by ship, and the Zamboni will be loaded on to the next shipment from Montreal later this month. The Pond Inlet delegation is covering the costs of transporting the Zamboni from Cornwall to their community - a distance of over 3,000 kilometres.
"It will be a great day when I look out at the ship this August and see a Zamboni on it," Mr. Kavanaugh said.