End of an era for Grafton Hockey Association

STALWART RESIGNS: Bruce Carle is stepping down as executive officer of Grafton Hockey Association. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN
STALWART RESIGNS: Bruce Carle is stepping down as executive officer of Grafton Hockey Association. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN

MAN OF VISION: The construction of the Bunkhouse was one of Bruce Carle's many achievements for Grafton Hockey Association.

YOU can bet when someone says they'll put their house on a sure thing, they're speaking figuratively.

But such has been Bruce Carle's dedication to hockey, several years ago he did just that to ensure the completion of one of Grafton's artificial playing surfaces.

Determined to see through a vision to make Grafton Hockey home to some of the state's finest facilities, he put a mortgage on his house to help fund the project.

Since 1998 the name Bruce Carle has been synonymous with men's hockey, as the Grafton Hockey Association's executive officer. That will end on November 19.

In a letter to the GHA he stated he had given his time and life to develop hockey in Grafton and heaped praise on the efforts of treasurer Rod Gould, past secretary Janet Gould and Chris Blanchard among others.

But he apologised that "my heart is just not with Grafton Hockey anymore".

Speaking to the Daily Examiner last week, Carle was confident he was leaving GHA in financially sound hands and in a good position for the future.

"We're in the process of locking in the amalgamation with the women's association," Carle said.

"We held our first successful, meaningful meeting recently and I've always said I'd leave when the women amalgamated.

"That should happen in the next 12 months and the National Party has promised funding to complete the upstairs area of the bunkhouse. I feel we're that close, and I don't have the energy to push it.

"I've struggled to handle a change in culture. I just feel we need someone fresher and younger."

Carle put the bunkhouse at the top of the list of his achievements.

Janet Gould said Carle was the guiding light for Grafton Hockey for a long time. "It was his idea to build the bunkhouse to offset costs to run hockey," she said. "He'll be sorely missed and whoever fills the position will have huge shoes to fill."

Acting publicity officer Steve McIlveen said Carle had given everything he had until he had nothing left.

Carle might have difficulty ensuring his successors obey his final command.

"We have a Legends Board for everyone who has done well,'' he said. "But I don't want my name on it. Just a chair at the bar upstairs, and I'd be happy with that."

Topics:  grafton hockey association

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