NHL referee Brad Meier spends summers in Prince Albert National Park with his wife Colleen and three children. In August 2019, he chatted with Curator Chris Arnstead about his career and what it's like living at his cabin in the summer time. He recognizes the importance of family time at the lake. His experience reflects that of so many others who make special memories here and love PANP.
Although born in the States, Brad attended high school in Saskatoon and played hockey there. He started refereeing almost by accident when there was no ref for a game he was watching and he had his skates along. On average, he refs about 90 NHL games a year, always hoping to be selected to continue into the playoffs from the regular season. As personal highlights from his career, he mentions his first NHL game in Pittsburg, the 2017 Stanley Cup final, and working at the Olympics in Russia. He enjoys golfing the Waskesiu course and maintains his fitness level by biking, mentioning the Red Deer Trail as a favourite.
Brad owns a small cabin on the streets along Waskesiu Drive know as the "bird streets" because of their avian names. He enjoys the sense of community here and knowing all his neighbours. His family are regular volunteers setting up weekly bingo for the Waskesiu Heritage Museum.
When asked why there has always been a connection between hockey and Waskesiu, Brad credits the golf course. Historically it drew hockey players like Gordie Howe and Johnny Bower here as seasonal pros and groundskeepers. Still today, word of mouth brings players, coaches, and others with hockey connections to Waskesiu for recreational golf or tournaments.
Brad recounted a special memory of introducing his son Josh to Gordie Howe at the Waskesiu Golf Course. Gordie had worked on the Waskesiu Golf Course in the 1950s and treasured his time here. Gordie's son Murray and grandson also Gordie accompanied him here in 2012 wanting to see this area that Gordie said was his favourite place in the world. Watch the short video below.
Brad and son Josh met Gordie Howe at the Waskesiu Golf Course during his last visit to PANP in 2012. Gordie said Waskesiu was his "favourite place in the world".
Brad chats about what it's like to spend summers at his Waskesiu cabin
Brad's family helps set up the weekly Bingo fundraiser for the museum.
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