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Welcome to Our Game Vancouver Canucks 40th celebration Vancouver Canucks

Reginald and the chocolate factory

Wednesday, 13.04.2011 / 1:00 PM / Features - 40th Anniversary
By Derek Jory
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Reginald and the chocolate factory

All Reginald Argue wanted was some chocolate. He walked away with something a lot sweeter.

In 1971 Reginald and his father made a trip to Charlie's Chocolate Factory in Burnaby as word of mouth had spread about the new family-owned and operated business and they just had to check it out for themselves.

A lighter wallet and two full bellies and the pair where on their way, stopping only to enter a draw for a pair of tickets to see the Vancouver Canucks, the new NHL team fresh off its maiden voyage.

Father and son didn’t win the tickets; there was no seeing Orland Kurtenbach and company take on Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, Bobby Hull, Jean Beliveau or Jacques Plante. No, the tickets went to someone else, and Reginald was stuck with a hockey stick.

It wasn’t until he was much older that Reginald realized the stick he and his father won was in fact a Canucks team-signed stick, one with 25 autographs from the players that ushered NHL hockey into British Columbia.

Making the stick even more unique are the signatures on the back of the stick by Canucks of the late ‘80s, including Stan Smyl, which were acquired by Reginald's father.

Recognizing this is as one-of-a-kind as memorabilia gets, Reginald’s father, who passed away in 2008, always intended on watching one last Canucks game and upon his visit, donating the stick back to the team.

That happened, thanks to Reginald, on April 2nd when the Canucks hosted the Edmonton Oilers.

Reginald, who served honorably in the Canadian Military from 1986 to 1995, fulfilled his father’s wish of returning the stick to the Canucks and it has since been inducted into Forever Canucks, the interactive exhibit unveiled earlier this season adjacent to section 121 at Rogers Arena.

Saying goodbye to the stick, which had been in the Argue family for 40 years and only recently brought out of storage, wasn’t as difficult for Reginald as you might have imagined.

“This is my way of bringing my dad’s spirit back and allowing him to see one last hockey game,” said Reginald, who was on hand with wife Lisa.

“I always knew that one day the stick was going to the Canucks. It had to go to the fans. It’s true that We Are All Canucks and I love the people more than I love the stick. I want to watch parents sharing it with their children. That’s what it’s all about.”

As a gesture to Reginald for his kindness, Orland Kurtenbach, captain of the inaugural Canucks, was on hand to receive the stick and reminisce about the good old days.

“Holding that stick reminds me of my old plastic radio with the tubes in it, that thing used to take about 10 minutes to warm up before I could listen to Canucks games,” Reginald told Orland. “Those are great memories.”

Remaining with the theme of great memories: the 2010 Olympics exhibit, located in section 317A at Rogers Arena, also received a new item of late with a replica of Shannon Szabados’ goalie mask.

Szabados, who entered the 2010 Games as the third goalie for Team Canada but earned the starting role after a string of spectacular performances, blanked the United States 2-0 to capture gold for the women.

To commemorate Szabados’ sensational play, which included a pair of shutouts, a nod as Top Goaltender and a spot on the Tournamet All-Star team, artist Sylvie Poitras recreated Szabados’ original mask for all to admire.

As you can see in a behind the scenes photo gallery of how Poitras made the mask, it began with a white basecoat paint after it had been sanded. Next the drawings she created, which were approved by Szabados, were placed on the mask giving it a design.

A splash of colour was then added to the mask; in this case Poitras began with the red, followed by black and gold with all colour shades added in successive coats. The mask’s white areas were then treated to add lighting effects and shading to provide a 3D feel. The lines of tribal design were also introduced at this time.

All in all, there were two shades of red, black, white and yellow and one metallic gold used for the mask, which took Poitras, who has created masks for Martin Brodeur, Mathieu Garon and Kim St-Pierre, among others, roughly 20 hours to colour and varnish.

How pleased was Szabados with the end result? Let’s just say the mask, with 'Canada' front and centre in gold, goes well with her gold medal.