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A storied piece of Queen’s hockey history

A storied piece of Queen’s hockey history

Older than the Stanley Cup and retained by Queen’s in perpetuity, a storied piece of the University’s sports history traveled to Ottawa this winter to be showcased at the Ottawa City Hall Gallery as a featured component of an exhibit entitled “125 Years of Hockey History in Ottawa”.

Paul BanfieldQueen’s archivist Paul Banfield
displays the Cosby Cup, an historic
Canadian hockey trophy that
predates the Stanley

Photo by Ken Cuthbertson

In the years between 1891 and 1899 Queen’s won the Cosby Cup four times. The trophy, emblematic of hockey ­supremacy in Ontario, was put up for ­competition by the first president of the Ontario Hockey Association, Lt.-Col. A.M. Cosby. With the arrival of Lord Stanley’s contribution to the Canadian hockey scene, the Cosby Cup was retired. As was the practice at the time, it was then presented to the team, to be held in perpetuity, with its name most often engraved on its goblet sides – Queen’s University.

Over the years, this trophy has sat proudly in one of the Phys Ed Centre’s prime showcases, among trophies, cups, and bowls, twice or three times its size, but only half its stature. With the names of ­legend emblazoned below the three crossed sticks supporting the bowl – Guy Curtis, R.F. Carmichael, L.C. Newlands, R.R. Carr-Harris, Jock Harty, J.W. Merrill, G.F. ­Dalton, Knox Walkem, and T.V. Curtin, the “Conquerors of Yale” were a formidable force on the shinny scene, at both the collegiate and senior hockey level, at the dawn of the 20th century.

When approached by Acting City of ­Ottawa Archivist Paul Henry, Artsci’92, the staff at Queen’s Archives, working in conjunction with colleagues at Athletics and Recreation, were pleased to assist in helping the national capital celebrate 125 years of hockey history. “It’s not every day that we’re able to showcase the sporting heritage and tradition of the University on an international stage,” says Queen’s University Archivist Paul Banfield, MA’85. “The Cosby Cup was featured in conjunction with the 2008 International Hockey Federation’s World Junior Hockey Championship tournament, which was held in Ottawa.

The Cosby Cup is now back in its permanent home in the environmentally secure vaults at the Archives. When the new Queen’s Centre is completed and a display area is ready, this treasured artifact of the University’s sports legacy will once again be put on public display.

[Queen's Alumni Review 2009-2 cover]