Hundreds of friends, family members and supporters turn out to Joan Harding’s benefit

Story and photos by Jim Brown

You are truly blessed in life if you have many friends. And that’s certainly the case in spades for Joan Harding.

It was turn away crowd at the New London Community Complex on April 6 for a benefit thrown by an army of volunteers, many of whom were friends and family of Joan, to help cover her health care related expenses. Cars jammed the parking lot and were parked on the road on both sides of the complex.

So many people attended several had to be turned away, including parents who brought their young children with them, since children under 19 were not allowed inside. It was difficult finding a chair to sit on to enjoy an impressive lineup of musical entertainers or to take a break from looking at long tables filled with scores of donated auction items.

Joan was unable to attend, since she was in Charlottetown receiving treatment for cancer.

Audrey Paynter and Dick MacDonald donated more than $500 in winnings from the evening’s 50/50 draw to their dear friend, Joan Harding.

Among the 300 or so people who attended was a couple soon to be married, who travelled all the way from Cornwall. Dick MacDonald and Audrey Paynter donated 50/50 winnings of $520 from the evening’s draw to their dear friend. The two are longtime friends with Joan, who helped Audrey through her own battle with cancer.
“She came to see me when I was fighting cancer, so we have to come and do these things for her now when it’s her turn,” said Audrey, who sang at the benefit.

“We donated it to a great friend. Joan’s been a buddy of mine and Dick’s for many, many years,” she said.

“She is a good friend of many, many people, that’s why this place is overfilled tonight,” said Audrey.

Joan Harding is employed at the New London recycling facility and is the treasurer of the Stanley Memorial Society, which has operated a farmer’s market at the Stanley Bridge Centre for the past several summers, as well as hosting history circles, musical shows and other events.


Welcome dinner celebrating 50th anniversary of hockey exchange draws sell out crowd

Tickets were sold out weeks before the doors opened at the New London Community Complex to alumni, current players, parents, friends and others involved in the longest running friendly hockey exchange in the world.

More than 280 tickets were sold to the Jan 26 Kensington, PEI-Bedford, Que., Peewee Friendship Hockey Exchange welcome banquet. Included in their number were members of the very first exchange, some wearing their jerseys. Events later in the weekend included alumni breakfasts, official photos and ceremonies, hockey games, entertainment and a social at the Kensington Legion and a march on Sunday from the Kensington Town Hall to the Community Gardens for the closing friendship game.
Story and photos by Jim Brown
Jim Brown can be reached at

Some of the items on display at the New London Community Complex, where a sold-out banquet was held celebrating the Bedford-Kensington hockey exchange’s 50th anniversary.

Every ticket was sold weeks in advance to a special Bedford-Kensington hockey exchange benefit, held at the New London Community Complex. Close to 300 people attended.

Bedford-Kensington hockey jerseys were on display at the New London Community Complex banquet in honor of the world’s longest running friendship tournament.

The bonds of friendship spanned 50 years for two former members of the Bedford-Kensington hockey change, now 60. From left Dean Dennis, who played with the Kensington team in the friendly tournament’s first year, and Bedford pal Richard Callaghan, were on hand to help cut first slice of the 50th anniversary cake at the New London Community Complex.

Anne Clark, with her son Alex, at the New London Community Complex banquet honoring participants in the 50-year-old Bedford-Kensington hockey exchange. Alex is a player on the Kensington team.

From left, Genevieve Raymond, from Bedford, the mother of tournament player Justin, and Kensington residents Trevor and Trudy Moase, whose son Brandan plays for the home team. Trevor is the assistant coach of the Kensington team.

Kensington and Bedford players, young and old, lined up to slice the 50th anniversary cake at a banquet celebrating the world’s longest-running hockey exchange.


Spring in the air in January?

Watching the snow fall from your window, already braced for a long and difficult winter? Maybe this will lift your spirits. The Stanley Bridge Centre (SBC) is hosting a number concerts in the spring and summer.

Concerts begin May 28 with the acclaimed gospel group, Men of the Harvest, performing at the SBC at 3 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and five dollars for children.

On Sunday, June 11 a concert featuring Gordon Belsher, Richard Wood and Brad Fremlin will be held at the SBC. Tickets are $15 for adults, $7.50 for children. Hope to see you there!