Sask. park opens Johnny Bower sport court

Johnny Bower sport court opens in Waskesiu.

Visitors to Waskesiu this summer will see a new addition to the community: the Johnny Bower Sport Court.

Generations of Saskatchewan families have enjoyed the short Saskatchewan summers at Waskesiu. Just steps from the lakeshore, the unveiling of the new Johnny Bower Sport Court is a way to remember his love of sports, of Saskatchewan, and especially, Waskesiu.

Jim Kerby, director of the Waskesiu Foundation says the community remembers Bower for many things outside of his hockey career.

“(He had) lots of involvement here in Waskesiu," Kerby said. "(He) owned a business. (He) owned a cottage. He participated in sport, loved fishing up here and golfing with his really good friend Gordie Howe,” said Kerby.

Bower’s family members were in attendance to celebrate the new sport court, including his son John.

“My dad had a couple of businesses here and we’d spend our summers here,” said John. “We couldn’t wait for school to get out and come up here and get in the water or do whatever we did in the summer.”

He said Waskesiu is a special glimpse back in time compared to other, more commercialized national parks.

“It’s an amazing park, and it’s a bit of a time capsule here because so much of it hasn’t changed in 70 years. So it’s quite a unique spot.”

Gordie Howe famously said Waskesiu was his favourite place on earth, and Kerby says it’s not just one thing that makes this place special.

“Just like everything else, it’s a combination of great beauty, with great people.”

Also new for this summer are the Stanley Thompson lawn bowling green and a new picnic shelter.

Waskesiu is two hours and 15 minutes north of Saskatoon.