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World's largest hockey stick up for grabs from Duncan

The Cowichan Valley Regional District is looking for someone to take the stick, after most people who responded to a survey said they weren’t interested in paying to fix it.
The world’s largest hockey stick and puck outside the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Who wants the world’s largest hockey stick?

That’s exactly what the Cowichan Valley Regional District wants to know, after a survey found residents of the area aren’t that attached to the deteriorating 62.5-metre structure.

Originally commissioned for Expo’ 86 in Vancouver, the stick later went up for grabs and 30 communities vied for it.

The massive structure ended up next to the Cowichan Community Centre after $150,000 was raised to bring it to Vancouver Island.

That’s where the stick — which weighs in at 28.12 tonnes and was deemed by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the largest hockey stick and puck in 2008 — has stayed for the past 35 years.

But the Douglas fir stick and puck have now “decayed to the point that the structure must now be replaced or removed in order to ensure public safety,” the regional district said in a statement Monday.

Replacement costs are estimated at between $1.2 million and $2 million. Consultants had earlier told the regional district that due to its poor condition, the stick should be replaced by 2025 if the decision was made to hold onto the world’s-largest title.

The regional district, which took on responsibility for the stick in 1994, turned to the public to find out how much Cowichan residents value the stick. Not much, it turned out.

Of the roughly 3,000 people who responded, 70 per cent were ready to say goodbye to the big stick, an official said.

The survey response, combined with the high replacement cost, prompted the Cowichan Core Recreation Commission to tell staff to decommission the stick next year.

But “knowing there is likely public interest in taking ownership of the World’s Largest Hockey Stick structure in its current form,” the CVRD plans to accept “proposals from community organizations or individuals wishing to take and make use of the structure, through a formal express of interest process.”

If you think the stick would suit the side of your barn or attract people to your business or organization, here’s your chance.

The request for expressions of interest will be published in the new year.

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