The Watson and District Heritage Museum is widely known for its location in an historic bank building and for its extensive collection of memorabilia chronicling the town’s development. This summer, residents and visitors to the Museum can enjoy a special display celebrating the town’s accomplishments in sports. 

Emery Sobchyshyn, a summer employee of the Museum, has put together an impressive and comprehensive display outlining those important individuals and accomplishments. She poured through historical records, newspapers, school records and photographs to uncover the town’s history. Then she contacted some of those individuals she’d uncovered to secure a great display of artifacts and documents covering the span of Watson’s sporting history.  

“Sports have been a big part of Watson forever,” Emery revealed. “I’ve been so involved in sports over the last few years, and so I thought it would be cool to do a history display going back to the 1930s to see a then and now of how everything has progressed.”  

Some of the hockey jackets and articles were already housed in the Museum, Sobchyshyn explains, but others had to be collected from other sources. 

“With the help of my lovely friends at the arena, I borrowed some hockey jerseys, some baseball jerseys, helmets and pucks for the summer.” 

The display pays homage to Watson School and its long sporting involvement.  

“We’ve got a lot of pictures from all the old year books and some little plaques from volleyball because volleyball teams were very successful for quite a few years.” 

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Sobchyshyn herself has a place in the history and display as part of the medal winning provincial curling team a couple seasons ago. Her team jacket is among those on view honouring a squad of young women who climbed the ranks of provincial curling despite Watson’s lack of a curling facility. The team practiced and curled in the Muenster and Humboldt Curling Clubs 

“The first curling rink was torn down in the 1970s, and they built a new one which came down in the early 2000s. I have an old curling scoreboard from the old rink along with some jackets from the 1940s. Greg Harcourt loaned me some of his Brier jackets, and I have my own for a very ‘then and now’ feeling.” 

Of course, the collection wouldn’t be complete without a jersey from hometown NHL hero Dustin Tokarski. Tokarski started his NHL career in the 2009-10 season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, later playing for the Canadiens and several other NHL squads.  

“I know that (Watson) History Book inside and out, which is something I never thought I would say,” Sobchyshyn laughed. “It's been really fun researching, and I’ve learned a lot as well.” 

Her knowledge of the display and its components is nothing short of impressive, and she’s happy to guide both residents, returning ex-pats and visitors through the display. The installation is up until the end of August, so make sure the Watson and District Heritage Museum is one of your summer stops.