STADPLEX doors officially closed after 75 years
By Ryan Melanson,
It was the end of an era for fitness and sports at CFB Halifax on October 31, as the STADPLEX gym, open on the base since 1943, officially ceased operations.
To mark the bittersweet moment, a small group of PSP employees, base leadership, and others who had special connections to the building gathered in the lobby for cake and to say goodbye to the facility.
“This building has supported the fleet and supported Army, Navy, and Air Force men and women, as well as the civilian community and veterans, and served us well for 75 years,” said Base Commander Capt(N) David Mazur, who also explained the efforts being made in the short term to mitigate the impact on CAF members until a permanent replacement for the gym is in place. These include extended hours at the Dockyard and in Shearwater, hotel-style gyms in Juno and Tribute Towers, and more. Complete information on the short and long-term plans for the future of fitness and sports at the base can be found at http://cafconnection.ca/halifax.
“It’s not going to suit everyone’s needs while we go without a purpose-built facility like we’ve always had, but there is a future ahead of us and we’re moving on to the next steps right away,” Capt(N) Mazur said.
PSP Halifax Senior Manager Joni Sawler thanked the patrons who made such good use of the facility, the PSP staff members who’ve provided services there for the last two decades, and others who supported events or gave back to the gym in other ways. A special mention was made for CPO1 (Ret’d) Doug Wright, who worked to establish the Niobe trophy room and get other historical photos and artifacts on display throughout the building.
“We appreciate everything he and others have done, because it’s not just about lifting weights and running around the track; this building has had an impact on people’s lives over the years,” Sawler said.
While a new, permanent fitness facility for CFB Halifax is years away, CPO1 (Ret’d) Wright hoped that the old photos, memorabilia and information will be preserved, and that the tradition of excellence in sports for Navy and CAF members in Halifax continues into the future.
“We need to make sure the legacy goes on that we honour those who came before us, because it was a very important part of our history,” he said.