In March of 1972 Avalon Arena Association was formed by a group of people who saw the great need for more ice facilities in the St. John’s area. The group headed by Mr. David Riche, included Eric Rowe, Rosemary Marshall, Ruth Esau, Gerry March, Pauline Young and Bill Pike. On August 23, 1972 the Avalon Arena Association was incorporated as a non-profit, charitable organization.
A great deal of fundraising was required and many people from the community contributed. Many businesses in the city made financial contributions. Chester Dawe donated a new home, which was put up on tickets. A permanent record of contributors hangs in the Board Room of Twin Rinks.
A piece of land was leased from the City of St. John’s and an additional piece of land was purchased. (The Avalon Arena Association now owns all property.) In June of 1976, Twin Rinks opened the doors for business. The first events held at Twin Rinks in the summer of 1976 were Howie Meeker’s Hockey School and a Regional Figure Skating Summer School. Since then there have been many hockey and skating schools held at the facility. Regional, Provincial and Atlantic events have been hosted at Twin Rinks by both St. John’s Minor Hockey Association and Prince of Wales Skating Club. Mark Messier of the Edmonton Oilers also used this facility for his hockey school.
The Avalon Arena Association consists of a volunteer Board of Directors. David Riche was the first Chairman of the Association, a position he held from 1972 to March of 1982. From 1982 to 1992 Brian Wakelin served as Chairman and was succeeded by John O’Brien who held the position until 2007. Rick Comerford served from 2007 to 2009 and Murray Chaplin served as Chairman from 2010 to 2016. Richard Spurrell is the present Chairperson”.
Over the past 10 years, there have been upgrades to the building at a cost of over $1.5 Million. The roof now has a life span of 20 years, our ice plant has been upgraded, the parking lot was enlarged, two new Olympia Ice Machines purchased as well as a new score clock, the bleachers have been replaced and probably the most appreciated of all was the construction of new dressing rooms, giving teams twice the amount of space as before. The newest additions have been a low emissive ceiling, and a dehumidifier.
For the past 40 years, Avalon Arena Association has strived to provide our user groups with safe, clean and user-friendly facilities. The staff is known for their friendliness and helpfulness. It has been a pleasure serving the people of St. John’s for the past 40 years and hopes to continue doing so for another 40 years.