Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Galt Museum unveils “Lethbridge Vets” hockey sweater

A donation to the Galt Museum has opened another chapter in Lethbridge’s military history.

Last year the Galt received a a vintage sweater, which was worn many many years ago by a hockey team known as the Lethbridge Vets.

Soldiers returning from deployments in the First World War formed the team. The Vets went on to play twice in the Alberta Senior Playoffs, winning once.

Collections Technician Kevin MacLean says the complexity and importance of this story are enhanced when you add that these were veterans of the First World War playing hockey and bonding as a team, as soon as they returned home.

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Collections Assistant Kirstan Schamuhn was tasked with cataloguing and researching the sweater, but it remained a mystery. “The oral history Kevin MacLean conducted with the donor, Harold Palmer, presented a lot of what we consider circumstantial evidence,” said Schamuhn.

“There was evidence that tied the sweater to southern Alberta, but not a lot of first-hand accounts or documentation to connect it to Lethbridge. Harold Palmer didn’t have memories of the sweater, and he wasn’t able to shed light on the sentimental ties or proof his father, the original owner, had to the sweater. There were no photos of Palmer’s father wearing the sweater or of him playing hockey.”

The Galt continues to seek information on the Lethbridge Vets hockey team and say they’d appreciate any knowledge of the team that may be shared by the public.

(Files from Galt Museum and Archives)

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