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Annual Christmas tradition back on for Senior Smokies

All Sr. Smoke Eaters who played in the WIHL are invited to the Christmas dinner Dec. 17
The Trail Senior Smoke Eaters Christmas meet and greet is set for Friday, Dec. 17.

Players from the Trail Senior Smoke Eaters family finally have an opportunity to meet again for their annual Christmas dinner on Friday, Dec. 17.

Everyone who has ever played a game for the Sr. Smoke Eaters in the Western International Hockey League (WIHL) is invited to attend this year’s dinner at the Trail Memorial Centre.

“After a two year hiatus because of COVID, right now the response seems very good, and maybe the lack of not being able to have it the last two years made it so people want to come out,” said organizer Wayne Florko.

The WIHL was tantamount to a professional league in the early years, having formed in 1946 and ran until 1988. The league included B.C. teams from Trail, Nelson, Rossland, Kimberley, Fernie, and Cranbrook as well as squads from Calgary, Drumheller, Portland, Spokane and Los Angeles that competed at various times throughout the league’s history.

All told, the Trail Smoke Eaters senior men’s team won the WIHL title seven times. Arguably its greatest success in the WIHL was when they won the 1960 WIHL title followed by the ‘61 World Championship, and then the ‘62 WIHL title and the Allan Cup championship by beating the Montreal Olympiques in the final at the Cominco Arena.

The Sr. Smoke Eaters most recent victories include the Savage Cup in 1979 and ‘83.

The Sr. Smoke Eaters will also attend the Trail (Junior A) Smoke Eaters game against the Cranbrook Bucks following the meal.

Players are asked to RSVP by contacting Florko at 250-368-5645. Dinner is served at 5 p.m.

Players are also reminded to bring masks and proof of vaccination required for entry into the facility.

Read: Trail Sr. Smoke Eaters tradition thrives at annual dinner

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Jim Bailey

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