Hubert (Hubie) Petersen, left, with wife Susan, has long been a fixture in Vernon hockey circles. Petersen celebrates his 80th birthday Saturday, Jan. 7. (Family photo)

Hubert (Hubie) Petersen, left, with wife Susan, has long been a fixture in Vernon hockey circles. Petersen celebrates his 80th birthday Saturday, Jan. 7. (Family photo)

Vernon hockey timekeeper strikes 80

Hubert (Hubie) Petersen has been involved with minor, junior, or adult hockey since arriving in 1976

For most of his adult life, Hubert Petersen has been a fixture in the penalty boxes of Vernon’s arenas.

It’s not that the self-described, once-“150-pound bruising defenceman” was a dirty hockey player.

Bloody, perhaps. But not dirty.

“I used to be a butcher in High River, Alta. and after slaughtering beef, I’d go play hockey and sometimes I’d shower before getting to the rink,” laughed the man affectionately known around Vernon as Hubie, who celebrates his 80th birthday Saturday, Jan. 7.

Petersen has been a mainstay in Vernon hockey since arriving from High River in 1976, joining older brother Bill in the lumber wholesale business, something Petersen still does as he “services a client or two.”

He’s been a minor hockey coach. A division manager. A referee (though he jokingly says he was the worst referee). But Petersen has seen a lot of great hockey up close as a scorekeeper of Junior A games, starting with the late Sam Young and late Rienie Holland with the Vernon Lakers teams of the 1980s.

He worked the last two Vernon Vipers home games, Dec. 30 and Jan. 1.

“I’m the third or fourth man of a four-man crew,” joked Petersen, who has also been scorekeeper and timekeeper in the local men’s recreation hockey leagues.

He attended his first Vernon Minor Hockey annual general meeting in 1976 and signed up to be a coach with Holland, the division manager, serving as his hockey boss.

Petersen coached his son, Curtis, through his minor hockey years and stayed on after his son aged out.

“The last team I coached was the bantam reps in 1989-90,” said Petersen, who also coached the Vernon Watkin Motors Mustangs to each of the four event titles of the Vernon Winter Carnival Coca Cola Classic Pee Wee Hockey Tournament.

Petersen was behind the bench of the 1980 team that won the title with a 6-3 victory over St. Albert, Alta. The Vernon team included four players selected in the 1986 NHL Draft – Brent Gilchrist, Jeff Finley, Bruce Major and Jay Stark.

In his own playing days, Petersen was the captain of the High River Flyers, which lost the 1969 Alberta Intermediate B title to Fort Saskatchewan.

Still waiting for his favourite NHL team, the Vancouver Canucks, to win the Stanley Cup, Petersen was asked why he stays involved with the sport as he’s set to become an octogenarian.

“I’m a hockey nut, I guess,” he said.

Away from the rink, Petersen loves to golf. He was captain at the Spallumcheen Golf and Country Club. In a 13-year span, he never missed one Tuesday night of Men’s League action, which is about 28 nights per golf year.

“It takes a pretty good wife to allow me to do something like that,” said Petersen of his bride, Susan.

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@VernonNews
roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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