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The Society for International Hockey Research (SIHR), a network of writers, statisticians, collectors, broadcasters, academics and ice hockey buffs, was formed in 1991. A group of 17 members attending the Canadian Association of Sports Heritage meeting at Kingston, Ontario, met in a special session with the aim of founding an organization dedicated to promoting, developing and encouraging the study of hockey, to establish an accurate historical account of the game, and to assist in the dissemination of the findings and studies derived from member research.

Under the leadership of founding president Bill Fitsell, a retired journalist with the Kingston Whig-Standard, SIHR’s general objectives were: "To encourage and cultivate the study of ice hockey as an important athletic and social institution in Canada and other countries in which it was played."

Among the charter members, also known as the "Kingston 17," were representatives from three provinces (New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario) and two states (Illinois and New York). In its fledgling year, the society membership grew to 29 and in its second year the roster of 52 could be typed on one page. Today it stands at more than 400, with members in all ten Canadian provinces and 28 U.S. states, plus Austria, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales.

A six-page, 25-article Constitution, written by secretary Ed Grenda, was adopted at Montreal on May 22, 1993.

The organization holds two formal meetings a year. The 2009 AGM will be held in Brandon, Manitoba, while the fall session will be in Etobicoke, Ontario.

SIHR counts among its members the current Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper.


Brian McFarlane Award

In 1995 the society created the Brian McFarlane Award, named in honour of its honorary president in appreciation of his support for SIHR and his ongoing contribution to the preservation of hockey history. The award recognizes outstanding research and writing by SIHR members. It is presented at the annual general membership meeting each spring.

Year Recipient
1995 Glen Goodhand
1996 Michel Vigneault
1997 Ernie Fitzsimmons
1998 Roger Godin
1999 Lenard Kotylo
2000 Paul Kitchen
2001 Don Reddick
2002 Bill Martin
2003 John Paton
2004 Joseph Nieforth
2005 Eric Zweig
2006 J.W. (Bill) Fitsell
2007 Martin Harris
2008 Paul Patskou
2009 Paul Kitchen

Origins of Hockey Report

At its 2001 annual meeting, SIHR struck a committee to examine the claim of Windsor, Nova Scotia, to be the birthplace of ice hockey. The committee's report, released in May 2002, that the Windsor proponents had not offered credible evidence that the town was the birthplace of hockey. The report expressed no opinion on when or where hockey originated.

Creighton Monument

In 2008-09, the Society launched a campaign to raise funds to erect a monument to hockey pioneer James George Aylwin Creighton, whose grave in Ottawa's Beechwood Cemetery remained unmarked. On October 24, 2009, a grave marker was unveiled, as was a biographical plaque near the gravesite.




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