Rarely does the Trail Times past or present dedicate the entire front page to one story. But that’s what happened on Friday April 22, 1938, when the city welcomed home 14 “dashing gentlemen of the steel blades,” who won the Allan Cup.
At noon that day, over 7,000 people gathered at the train station and lined city streets to give a rousing old cheer, says the writer, “that used to shake the very rafters of the Trail Rink when the boys were only a home town hockey team, determinedly on their way to national hockey fame.”
When the local boys set off for the Allan Cup on the Prairie, devout followers gathered around the radio to follow their fortunes.
“Men working on shift at night, drove their cars equipped with radios into the plants, beside the humming wheels of industry to follow closely the triumphant march of the Smelter City puckmen throughout the West,” wrote the Times.
The Trail Daily Times writer noted the citizens of Trail and sporting fans throughout the Dominion were proud of the Smoke Eaters, not just for their long list of hockey victories, but also for their gentlemanly conduct and sportsmanlike conduct both on and off the ice.
“Yes, Trail is certainly very proud of her hockey boys. Hail, the Smoke Eaters!” was certainly the feeling of the day.
Other stories of the day were relegated to Page 2. Those headlines include, “What it takes to be a young man’s darling,” which was penned by Ruth Millett, and opens with “Young men – that is, twenty two or so, want girls to be beautiful, sophisticated and reasonably intelligent.”
Another focuses on an earthquake in Western Asia that claimed 800 lives, and interestingly, the “Grey Owl” controversy is described in detail.
The story which is about an English man by the name of Archibald Belaney, who became famous as an author and lecturer, and “apostle of the wilderness” after he took on a First Nations identity when he immigrated to Canada in the early 1900s.
Following his April 13, 1938 death, the truth about his identity became known and a focus of media exposés, including the Trail Daily Times. In 1999, English actor Pierce Brosnan took on the role in the movie “Grey Owl.”