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Hometown hockey: The Bullies and Bullets 1939-1941 (14 photos)

Monday, December 31, 2012   by: Staff.


Another big year, a new rink, new location, new shack and a host of new members: Johnny Gauthier, Wilfred Gauthier, Pat McMaster, Ted Roney, George Bussineau, Mitch Bussineau, Mike Renaldi, Harold Davies, Leonard Hackett.

We paid for the shack and expenses in our first week of operation.

That Saturday night was when we drew in twenty eight dollars cold cash will always be one of the biggest thrills of my life. 

The boys formed a three team league, Reds, Whites and Blues. And the Reds won the league and a free feed at the banquet.

It was the first year we had a girls team and they were named "The Bullets". They played ten games, winning eight, tieing one and losing one.

Back Row: Jean McDonald, Lola Bridge, Don McMillan (coach), Harry McMaster (manager), Eileen Renison
Front Row: Babs Corbet, Betty Thibedeau, Kay Mihill, Eva McMaster, Jessie Evans, Nerresa Thibedeau, Kay Mihill

Back: Harry McMaster (manager), Eileen Renison
Front: Eva McMaster, Jessie Evans, Nerresa Thibedeau, Kay Mihill
Back: Jean McDonald, Unidentified male, Lola Bridge, Unidentified male, Don McMillan (coach)
Front: Babs Corbet, Betty Thibedeau

The Bullies themselves played 17 games and lost four.

They won six out of seven from Bar River.

Their only loss being 1-0. The first time they were ever shut out.

They won three out of four from Bruce Hill, Malcey Hamilton scoring the first shut-out on record in the first game, 6-0.

They lost twice to Richards Landing, won one from Desbrats, one from Jerry Dorran's Eagle's, one from the Barons and one from the Swifts.

They scored 97 goals and had forty eight scored against them. 

They challenged the Thessalon Eagles but they were not accepted.

They had their second annual banquet which was attended by forty two members. 

We had our first annual "Bullies Ball" which was held in the K.C. Hall, with about 160 present.

Bullies Team

Goal: Pep Oliver, Malcolm Hamilton
Defense: Norm Mitchell, Gav McKiggan, Angus McKiggan, Wilfred Penrice, Sauce Fountain
Centre: Don MacMillan, Rube Forbes, Ted McMaster
Right Wing: Harold Kelly, Beau Holliday, Bill Weatherall
Left Wing: Ted Kelly, Alex Nelson, Harry McMaster


1940 was another big year! A new shack for visiting teams, the rink was lengthened to 200'.

Two new members joined, Bill Brounlee and Wally Webb.

The Bullets, the girls team, with three new members played nine games and won eight of them.

Members of the team were: Jessie Evans, Eva McMaster, Jean McDonald, Lenore Corbett, Doreen Reilly, Betty Thibedeau, Lola Bridge, Elleen Rennison, Joyce Donnelly, Joyce Dickinson, Neressa Thibedeau, Kay Mihell.

It was the first year of the organized midget team and the members were:

Goal: Russell Johnson
Defense: Bob Pinder, Tom Shell, Harry Blamey
Forward: Bud Weeks, Walter McMaster, Bill Forbes, Bob Mihell, Tommy Corbett, Ian Hamiltion, Jim Holliday,
Coach: Terry Corbett.

Back Row: Jim Holliday, Tom Snell, Harry Blamey, Bill Forbes, Russel Johnson
Front Row: Bob Mihell, Walter McMaster, Ian Hamilton, Bud Weeks

The Bullets had another big year making two new acquaintances, Bruce Mines and Thessalon.

Back Row: Eileen Rennison, Joyce Donnely, Ted McMaster (manager) Jean McDonald, Doreen Reilly, Joyce Dickinson, Lola Bridge
Front Row; "Babs" Corbet, Jessie Evans, Don McMillan (coach), Betty Thibedeau, Eva McMaster, Kay Mihell, Nerressa Thibedeau

Back: Joyce Dickinson, Lola Bridge
Front: Eva McMaster, Kay Mihell, Nerressa Thibedeau
Photo: "The Bullets" Jessie Evans, Don McMillan (coach), Betty Thibedeau
Back Row: Eileen Rennison, Joyce Donnely, Ted McMaster (manager)
Front Row; "Babs" Corbet, Jessie Evans
Photo: Jean McDonald, Doreen Reilly
There were lots of highlights but the two most outstanding where, our return game with the Thessalon Eagles which we won 5-2 on our own rink in front of about eight hundred fans.

And our big series with the Plant which we lost by one goal on the round.

It was the first time in the history of the Bullies that we made the headlines-- here's hoping it isn't the last.

The three team league didn't work out so well owing to the fact that quite a few of the boys were playing with the Murray Hill team over the river. 

The Bullies had the third annual banquet out in Korah and had a glorious feed.

Bullies Team

Goal: Johnny  Toombs, Don Davidson
Defense: Norm Mihell, Gav. McKiggan, Bill Brownlee, Mitch Bussineau, Joe Parkinson,
Forwards: Harold Kelly, Ted Kelly, Don MacMillan, Harry McMaster, Ted McMaster, Bill Wetherall, Alex Neilson, Beau Holliday: Rube Forbes,
Coach: Willard Armstrong

Additions for Steel Plant Series: Mac Dickinson, Roy Brodie (Bar River), Donnie Adams (Richards Landing), Freddie Gjos (Desbrats) Shorty Levassur

Last but not least was the final wind-up.

The second annual Bullies Banquet held in the Columbia Hall to the music of Merry Makers Orchestra. 

It was attended by at least one hundred and seventy couples and was a huge success all 'round.

The Bullies feel that much of the success is the result of your splendid efforts in looking after that important item, lunch.

And we wish to thank you again now that you've heard all and seen all maybe you can understand just a little meaning of that little verse on the front page.

--The End--

* * * *

Editors notes.

The Bullies Ball May 10 1940 booklet will be gifted to the Sault Ste. Marie museum archival collection in the new year. will bring you the story when that happens.

If you would like to print the three-part series, click on the "print" icon (located at the bottom of each story)  for a print-friendly version.

* * *
As a special holiday gift to our viewers, if you would like a large, high resolution digital copy of one of the photos seen below (or both) email and we will email them to you.

* * *

Story Archive

Part 1: The Pim Hill Bullies 1930-1937

Part 2: Reds. Whites, Blues 1938-1939

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
That Figures 12/28/2012 2:02:44 PM Report

Another great episode of Home-town hockey. The pictures are excellent and it's nice to read that the 'Bullies Ball' book will be gifted to the Sault Ste. Marie archives.

Does anyone know the location of the new rink constructed in 1939 (first picture in the 3rd part)? Is it the same location as the original which was thought to be on Laird St. according to an earlier posting?

JustMe1234567 12/28/2012 4:24:06 PM Report

Wow so cool! All 3 parts were so interesting. The Bullets are awesome!

They even built a shack for visiting teams, now that is progress!

I bet when they went to Bruce Mines to play it took all day to get there back in the 30s! Glad to hear the book will be going to the museum, it should be preserved for future generations to see.

I'll be emailing in for the bigger photos you are offering, would make an excellent computer wallpaper!

Thanks sootoday.
stiJJy 12/28/2012 4:58:05 PM Report

I would absolutely love to read a book with all of these stories, detailing the Sault during those times and whatnot.
SooTodayer 12/28/2012 7:48:31 PM Report

@stiJJy - you just did. (read a book with all these stories I mean)

Has anyone confirmed where this new rink was yet?

Part 1 was good, part 2 was better, part 3 was the best! I love the jacket "Babs" Corbet is wearing in the bullets photo, a nice double breasted bolero short jacket with zippers, very chic!! Impressive for 1940!!
engineguy 12/28/2012 8:37:20 PM Report

In the first photo, look at the size of that rink!! Amazing.

I also had to chuckle when they called the US "over the river". Guess it's always been called that to us Soo people.

And a reminder to all, when you say "I'm going over the river" to someone that doesn't live in the Soo, you sound crazy. ha.
Ultra 12/28/2012 8:38:39 PM Report

Thank you so much for a terrific article. I could read this stuff all day. Great job and thanks again.
kitarm 12/28/2012 8:59:00 PM Report

there were no photos of my Dad, Willard Armstrong, the coach in the 3rd series. However, I think I see Wally Webb, my uncle in one picture.
He was quite tall and had a high head of
hair. My sister remembers the rink and
said it was between Laird St and Gladstone
Ave. on an empty lot. She remembers the big rink, nice shack and the music always playing. Quite a few players lived the the area.
I am glad to see these articles will be at the local museum. thank you for the
great stories.
SooToday Moderator 12/28/2012 9:46:10 PM Report

@kitarm -Good news! Your father is in the last photo that says "Hail! Hail! The Gangs All Here 1940"

Willard Armstrong is listed as one of the guys in the bottom grouping of that photo.

Exactly where he is in the photo we couldn't decipher.
stiJJy 12/29/2012 10:12:14 AM Report


You know what I mean though. I would pay to buy a book with stories like this, and others, detailing the Sault as it progressed throughout the years.
JustMe1234567 12/29/2012 12:06:47 PM Report

There are some books from Sault authors, one guy I can think of is Frank Paci, he has written 13 novels with growing up in the Sault's west end as the backdrop. I'm sure there are many more.
Hatch 12/30/2012 11:47:14 AM Report

It was a very enjoyable series and I look forward to any future historical journys of this nature.
JCam 1/1/2013 2:01:19 PM Report

I did not grow up here but i am enjoying the pictures and stories that go along with them. I came to the Soo in 1971. These pictures remind me of where i grew up and played my hockey. Very interesting and i look foreword to seeing more.
Mandysmom 1/1/2013 4:54:38 PM Report

Very awesome as one of the bullets was my mother-in-law, Nerresa Thibedeau (Cameron). She passed away July 26, 2003 but she use to talk about playing hockey. She also was in the Canadian Ice Capades and she was the first female to pump gas. She was amazing and she is loved and missed dearly by her family.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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