Physical activity and sports play
an important role in the life of a community and,
for many people, their involvement in team sports is
the source of many wonderful memories. Some of the
sports equipment and memorabilia at Onoway Museum
may bring a smile to your face but also might cause
you to shake your head in amazement.
Take the baseball equipment from
the infamous Onoway Orioles ball team. Although no
formal league existed, the Orioles played highly
competitive ball from the late 1940s to early 1960s
competing in tournaments in Edmonton and west. Their
winnings (and passing the hat) helped pay for their
Cliff Branting's uniform, glove,
and cleats are definitely well used. Imagine playing
in that wool tunic and pants on a hot summer day!
(The label says, "Dry clean only".) A catcher's
mask is a wide grid of heavy wire; the padding
around this grid is made of rolled-up fabric tied in
place. Makes it all the more admirable to think of
these baseball enthusiasts.
Track meets were an annual event
where local schools gathered together when students
would run as fast as they could, jump as far or as
high as they could and throw as far as they could.
Although Onoway Museum has no
evidence of women's organized sports, try to
visualize how Dorothea Dales used her Indian clubs
for exercise. (They had come from England where they
were an exercise fad in the early 1900s.) These
21-inch wooden clubs would be swung around and
juggled resulting in a good workout. Any observers
would have to be standing well back in case one of
these clubs got loose!
During summer, sports events
provided entertainment for the whole family and a
good workout for the participants. They were a good
excuse for community members to come together and
relax for a short while.