[Congressional Record Volume 160, Number 25 (Tuesday, February 11, 2014)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E191]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                          ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION


                          HON. PATRICK MEEHAN

                            of pennsylvania

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and congratulate 
the skaters and families, current and past, of the Wissahickon Skating 
Club in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania and the Merritton Athletic 
Association in St. Catherines, Ontario. This third weekend in February 
marks the 50th anniversary of the Wissahickon Skating Club--Merritton 
Athletic Association Hockey Exchange. For five decades without 
interruption, the organizations have taken turns hosting players and 
even entire families in their homes for a long weekend of festivities. 
The exchange culminates in a youth hockey tournament for which trophies 
are awarded to the victorious teams. It is understood to be the longest 
uninterrupted exchange of its type in international competition.
   This tournament would not be possible without the vision of former 
Wissahickon hockey coach Walter Jewell and Merritton Athletic 
Association President, Walter Baum. Walter Jewell had been taking 
hockey teams to Canada since 1962. Looking to start his own tournament 
with a team from Canada, the Merritton Athletic Association was 
recommended to him. In November of 1964, the Merritton Athletic 
Association and Walter Baum received a letter written by Walter Jewell 
from the Wissahickon Skating Club seeking to arrange an exchange trip 
between the two organizations.
  In March 1965 two teams from the Wissahickon Skating Club arrived as 
guests of the Merritton Athletic Association. The first games were a 
Pee Wee-Bantam double-header, taking place at the Thorold Arena in St. 
Catharines, Ontario, the home of the Merritton Athletic Association. 
The tournament trophies for this exchange were donated by the 
Wissahickon Skating Club for the Bantam level and the Kaupp Electric 
Trophy for the pee wee level. Each organization was victorious that 
weekend with the Merritton Pee Wees accepting the Kaupp Electric Trophy 
and the Wissahickon Bantams taking home the Bantam Trophy. No one had 
any idea at the time that 49 exchanges were to occur without ever 
missing a single year.
  Mr. Speaker, this tournament brings back special memories for me. As 
an 11-year-old I can recall the adventurous bus ride, for the first of 
numerous visits to Canada, and the warm hospitality of the Greenough 
and Isherwood families who welcomed my older brother Mike and me into 
their homes. We visited Niagara Falls, learned how a cargo ship 
navigates a river lock and walked the floor of a paper mill, all the 
while growing closer to the same boys we would be skating against that 
evening. Lifetime bonds were formed. It was then and still remains so 
much more than a hockey game. It represents the warm and genuine 
affection Americans and Canadians have for each other and it is 
expressed through the rich tradition of friendly competition and the 
great game of ice hockey. The friendship endures through generations as 
fathers are reunited watching their sons skate on the same ice they 
remember playing on as children.
  The 50th anniversary of this very special engagement of camaraderie 
and sportsmanship will be celebrated the weekend of February 13-15, 
2014 in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. The two ``Walters'' would be proud 
of their legacy. I hope that this wonderful tradition can continue for 
the children of the children who will compete on this special 50th