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Windsor’s Doctor O.B. Keddy –
Scored For Acadia Axemen
by Dr. Garth Vaughan

Acadia Axemen 1902 Acadia Axemen 1902

As a youth growing up in Windsor, I had not yet developed an interest in either surgery or Ice Hockey History! However, I did know that the town surgeon was Dr. Owen B. Keddy who was also Mayor of the town for 13 years, the last six by acclamation. When I came to join the medical ranks as a young surgeon in Windsor in 1960, the highly respected Dr. Keddy had retired and I considered myself fortunate to become his attending doctor in the last two years of his life. During home visits, our conversations centred mainly around the hospital and modern surgery. It was then that I learned that he had practiced in Windsor from 1908, and had also been Superintendant of Payzant Memorial Hospital. Not until last year, while attending a game at Acadia Arena did I learn that he had been a hockey and football player for Acadia. For there in the Arena Hockey Program, I spied a small photo of the 1902 Acadia Hockey Team and recognized his face as the Centreman for the team. I also noted that his name was burned into the handle of his stick as was the custom in those times. The fact that none of the players wore gloves was not really a surprise to me because I realized that Hockey Gauntlets had not been invented for another two years, in 1904.

Research at the "Vaughan Library" at Acadia University proved that he had done his basic science studies at Acadia before studying Medicine at McGill University and that he had later become Vice-Chairman of the Board of Governors of Acadia University from 1930- 1957. A photo of the 1901 football team revealed that he was a member of that squad as well.

As seen in the accompanying hockey photo, Maroon and Blue striped jersies were the outfit of the day and central parts of the hair were the custom. The only player in the photo with shin pads was the Goal Tender. His skates have a "Puck Stop" invented by Starr Mfg. Co.Ltd. of Dartmouth which also invented ‘Hockey Skates’, used by players all across the nation as Nova Scotia’s Ice Hockey developed into Canada’s great winter game. Over the knee jodphurs were the trousers of choice then, as short pants only became necessary to accommodate "shin guards" which gained popularity in the next few years as the game got rougher. The hand-made one-piece hard wood sticks, carved from hornbeam trees, were made locally by the Pirate Hockey Stick Company of Wolfville which employed Mi’Kmaq carvers and was situated near the Wolfville DAR Railway Station which is now the town Library. Absence of all protective equipment tells the story of the difference in the nature of Ice Hockey in 1901-02 season compared with the present 2001-02 season. My, what a difference a hundred years can make!

 

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All text contained in the birthplaceofhockey.com website © by Garth Vaughan 2001. All rights reserved. All images contained in the birthplaceofhockey.com website © Windsor Hockey Heritage Society Archives 2001. All rights reserved. No part of the contents of this site may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system without written permission from Garth Vaughan, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.
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