MONTREAL, QC – The year was 1964.
Two Olympic games were held that year: the Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck.
It was the same year that folk musician Bob Dylan popularity rose with songs that touched a nerve with political activists.
This was als0 the year The Beatles dominated the music charts and Beatlemania hit North America when they made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The most popular movies in 1964 were Dr. Strangelove, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins and Zorba the Greek. Ernest Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast” was a top seller.
Lester B. Pearson was the Prime Minister of Canada.
It was also the year that Thomas Mulcair saw his first hockey game with his dad, Harry Donnelly Mulcair.
Tom had turned ten years old on October 24, 1964 and was thrilled that he had this opportunity to spend time with his father. Being the second child of ten, it was a real treat.
Here is Mulcair’s story, in his own words:
This would have been 1964 ( I was in Grade 4.)
I remember seeing thousands of rubber shoe coverings being thrown on the ice and swept and shovelled off after a goal.
I especially remember a huge six camera contraption being lowered.
We were told it was for a movie for Expo 67.
Lo! and behold, when Expo rolled around, there was a 360-degree cinema that included footage of our Habs-Leafs game.”
Imagine what it was like for ten-year-old Tom. Sitting in the Montreal Forum with his dad, watching Jean Béliveau, Yvan Cournoyer and Henri Richard do the magic they do so well.
Little did he know at the time, that the team he was watching would eventually win the Stanley Cup that season beating the Chicago Blackhawks four games to three and that Jean Béliveau would win the Conn Smythe Trophy! It was the first time the trophy was awarded to the most valuable player of the playoffs!
Little did he know that the team he was watching and was coached by Toe Blake would generate several Hockey Hall of Fame inductees, namely Coach Toe Blake, Jean Béliveau, Yvan Cournoyer, Dick Duff, Henri Richard and Gump Worsley.
But it didn’t matter. He was watching a Habs game with his dad as Nos Glorieux took on their biggest rival, the Toronto Maple Leafs. They were the two powerhouse teams of that decade. An intense rivalry that is still going on strong some forty years later.
Just go to a Canadiens-Maple Leafs game and you will understand!
They come from all walks of life, and from all backgrounds.
They love their team.
They bleed Bleu, Blanc, Rouge.
The best fans in the entire NHL!
Do you have a favorite Canadiens memory? Email me your story: effie[at]allhabs.net
Thomas Mulcair , a lawyer, of French-Canadian and Irish-Canadian descent, the second oldest of ten children, was selected as the leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) on March 24, 2012 and is the Leader of the Official Opposition in Canada. He is married to Catherine Pinhas since 1976; the couple has two sons. Although Tom spends most of his time in Ottawa living at Stornoway, the official residence of the Leader of the Opposition in Canada, he is and will always remain a loyal Habs fan.
Category: Fan Focus