Joan Padmore was our registrar and a member of our Board for 13 years and continued as a volunteer for a number of years after that. For most of that time Joan, more than anyone else, was the Leaside Girls Hockey League for many people.
Registrations for house league went to the Padmore home. Joan was the one who answered the phone. She greeted and helped new players and families with warmth, enthusiasm and caring.
We were one such family and I can tell you it was very special. You weren’t just signing up for an activity for your daughter. You were joining something special. It was welcoming and inclusive. You were encouraged to get involved and help. Joan was an amazing recruiter and supporter of volunteers.
Joan knew almost everyone in the league. If she saw you at the arena she would greet you and ask about your daughter by name. She knew what division you were in and often what team you were on. Always friendly. Always positive. Never a bad word for anyone.
Joan stepped down as registrar going into my first season as VP of House League. After such commitment and dedication for such a long time you wouldn’t expect more. Most people would leave it at that but not Joan. A few months after retiring, she learned I was short a convenor, volunteered for the position and did a fantastic job. She also continued to organize our clinics and pitch in wherever we needed help even after her youngest daughter Clare joined the Aeros and Joan volunteered as their treasurer.
The great part about having Joan as a volunteer was that it was a package deal. You got the whole Padmore family. And when it was time to get something done, the Padmores are a formidable bunch. We are very lucky to have this family in our community.
One of Joan’s greatest hockey legacies was the creation of our Senior Recreation division. I am proud to say it has grown over the years and is now the place to play in the downtown east. Limited only by the availability of ice, the division has over a hundred players on seven teams. Every year there is a long waiting list of players wanting to join.
Since Joan left a couple of years ago we have tried to maintain the atmosphere and spirit she created and follow her example. And in so doing I think our league continues to be a very special place for girls of all ages to play hockey.
Joan was a wonderful person. She will be missed.
In Joan’s honour, the board of directors have passed the following motions:
1) The Senior Recreation Division be renamed the Joan Padmore Memorial Division.
2) The Leaside Expansion donations being received in house league registration be dedicated to Joan’s memory.