This statue of Timothy Eaton stands in the concourse of the MTS Centre. I remember this statue well from my childhood because it was located on the main floor in the old Eaton’s Store which used to stand where the MTS Centre is now.
The former Eatons Store on Portage Avenue
When my family was shopping at Eaton’s, we would often rendezvous at Mr Eaton’s statue. The Eaton’s store went bankrupt in 1999. Later the statue was officially designated a part of Manitoba’s history and a decision made to display it in the MTS Centre. Timothy Eaton came to Canada from Ireland and built a retail empire with department stores in Toronto and Winnipeg. Mr Eaton also had a nationwide mail-order business. I remember how excited I was as a little girl when the Eatons’ catalogue came out, especially the Christmas edition. I looked through it many times picking out things I dreamt about getting for Christmas. My mother remembers during her childhood in the 1930s longing for an Eaton’s Beauty Doll for Christmas.
This statue was a gift to the Eaton family from the Eatons’ employees. It was presented in December of 1919 on the store’s 50th anniversary. The employees wanted to express gratitude for the company’s generosity during World War I. Eatons’ employees who enlisted were promised their jobs back after the war and continued to receive a salary while they served overseas. Military employees received care packages of store products during the war.
Although I am sure some Eaton’s workers did appreciate their employer enough to donate money for this massive statue, I am somewhat sceptical if they all did, because during the Winnipeg Labor Strike in June of 1919, just six months before the presentation of the statue, Eatons tried to bribe their workers with a $4.00 a week raise so they wouldn’t go on strike. Despite this five hundred walked off the job. Eatons also supplied horses and baseball bats for the police force dealing with the strikers.
The 3,500-pound statue was made by Ivor Lewis, a Welshman who worked in the Eaton’s advertising department. A replica was placed in the Eaton’s Store in Toronto. It is now in the Royal Ontario Museum.
I’ve learned recently it is good luck to rub the left foot of the Timothy Eaton statue. I’ll have try that the next time I walk by the statue of Mr Eaton at the MTS Centre.
Walking to the MTS Centre for the game
Dave said he had a surprise for me when I got home from a meeting at the art gallery yesterday. “We’re going to the Jets game.” Since the Jets are out of playoff contention it was a little easier than it usually is, to access a pair of tickets and so he’d gone online and bought some in the very back row in section 315.
Looking up a the team banners as we head up the escalator
This was my first game of the season and since there is just one more, it will also be my last.
I have to say the game against the Minnesota Wild wasn’t that exciting. A Facebook friend actually called it ‘dull.’ The Jets lost. Only one goal was scored and the most exciting thing for the fans in our section seemed to be the gentleman who’d had way too much to drink and was screaming rather crude descriptions of the refs’ and goalies’ actions. But attending a Jets game is always an experience that includes…….
Buying our 50/50 ticket. Will we win the jackpot?
Listening to Stacey Nattress singing the anthems
Reading the game program this one featuring team mates who share houses
Looking around for folks we know. We spot our friends Bonny and Jim enjoying the game just a couple sections down from us
Shopping at the Jets Store
Dave’s new hat fits.
Discovering we didn’t win the 50/50.
Other posts about professional sports events……
My First NFL Game
My First Winnipeg Jets Game
The Detroit Tigers In The Pink
I went to my first Winnipeg Jets game tonight at the MTS Centre. The Jets were playing the Buffalo Sabres. It was certainly a unique experience to be part of the hockey crazy crowd. Winnipeg is known for having the loudest, most passionate fans in the National Hockey League.
It isn’t easy to get a ticket to see the Jets. The games are sold out for the next three years, but we were fortunate enough to be at the MTS Centre as the guest of Buffalo Sabre player Robyn Regehr.
We received the tickets from Robyn through a family connection. I felt badly that the Buffalo Sabres lost the game, since Robyn had been kind enough to get us tickets. But it sure was exciting to see the crowd go wild when the Jets scored their three goals. Buffalo only scored one.
Our seats were excellent and I really felt like I was part of the action on the ice. The game went by very quickly. They show all kinds of special features on the huge screen above the ice between periods. I enjoyed one about two Winnipeg Jets going to a public school to read books to kids during I Love To Read week and another where forward Jim Slater goes to work with a French horn player from the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and gets a chance to conduct the orchestra. The crowd applauded long and loud when the screen revealed that former Winnipeg Jet Dale Hawerchuk was in the stands.
I was glad Dave was at the game with me to explain things like….. the reason the crowd shouts out the words TRUE NORTH during the singing of Canada’s national anthem. This is because the True North corporation owns the Winnipeg Jets. At one point during the game everyone was chanting GST. In Canada this stands for Goods and Services Tax but at a Jets’ game it refers to three players Glass, Slater and Thorburn who form a powerful goal scoring line for the team. After Winnipeg scored a goal the crowd was shouting in a sing-song sort of way MILLER over and over. Dave explained Miller was the name of the Sabres goalie and the fans were taunting him for letting in a Jets’ goal. Well known fan Dancing Gabe was there and that was one thing Dave didn’t have to explain. I’d met Gabe when I went to the premiere of a movie about the Jets called White Noise. Our son wrote and performed the music for the movie.
The Jets are the ‘talk of the town’ in Winnipeg. I’m glad I got to experience Jets’ mania for one evening. Thanks Robyn and Ben and Marlie too for arranging it.
Filed under Sports, Winnipeg