By Chris Marchand
Sometimes it takes a whole village to keep the ice nice, and perhaps a few favours from the folks down the road.
Machin’s Woodland Arena recently took possession of a new Olympia ice re-surfacer to replace their 1978 Zamboni that, while slowly failing many years beyond its expected operational lifespan, had been faithfully kept operational by volunteer mechanics like Chris Nault, Devin Golin and Jason Marion, hoping to keep the machine alive until a new one could be delivered.
About a month ago, however, the old beast gave up the ghost for good, leaving Vermilion Bay’s rink without means to flood or resurface its ice at a busy time of the year.
“Dryden very nicely volunteered their spare Zamboni,” said Woodland Arena Manager Sherri Spanjers. “Adam and Kasey Gauthier of Gauthier Trucking and TJ’s Auto delivered it out here for us. We’ve had a lot of help from the good people of the community.”
With their new resurfacer not due to be delivered until February, Spanjers says Olympia was able to arrange early delivery of the $98,000 vehicle.
Spanjers, who operates the resurfacers, says she is grateful for the opportunity to borrow Dryden’s machine — not only for bailing them out of a tight spot, but for helping her bridge a 40 year gap in the technology between old and new vehicles.
“The nice thing about having Dryden’s is that some of the features are similar to the new Olympia,” said Spanjers. “The old model was very basic, and Dryden’s machine was a little more complex. Having the practice on Dryden’s machine makes this one a piece of cake to drive.”
Spanjers and Machin councillor Joe Ruete say the community spirit of City of Dryden’s Memorial Arena staff should be recognized.
“Ed (Trist) volunteered it right away as soon as they heard we were having problems,” said Spanjers. “We’re all small communities and we need to help each other out.”
“It’s good to have a neighbouring community that’s willing to work together,” said Ruete.
Dryden’s second Zamboni needed to be returned in time for the start of outdoor ice making at Milestone Park.