ARSON MEANS THE SAD DEMISE OF THE ARROWHEAD ARENA

(by Trish Conforth)

Trisha Cornforth, was a German news reporter for "Der Kanadier" newspaper as well as for CFN/RFC  radio and television  from the end of 1978 to the end of May 1994. The original "Der Kanadier " was the weekly newspaper for the Canadian Forces stationed in Europe. It was published in Lahr in the Black Forest, Germany, from 1 July 1970 until 25 May 1994, i.e. until just before Canadian Forces Base Lahr closed down in mid-August 1994. Trisha has stayed in Lahr as a self-employed English teacher (VHS adult education classes and local companies) and as a translator (e.g. for Burda sewing and needlework magazines). She is president of the Lahr German-Canadian Friendship Club, the Lahr Canada-Haus Association (founded in 1994) and the "Schwarzwald Tänzer" square dance club (founded in 1967).

Alas, the Arrowhead Arena Arena in the Kaserne burned to the ground at the end of July 2005! There hadn’t been any electric power in the building for 11 years and the whole of that derelict area in the Kaserne is now completely surrounded by a security fence, so the fire must have been deliberately started by vandals who got through the fence.

It was one of the first structures built by the Canadians. The wooden frame had asbestos roofing and asbestos siding plates which split and exploded in the flames. The blaze continued for a long time because the Kaserne hydrants no longer worked, so water was pumped from the Schutter River next door. Because asbestos particles can be dangerous for the lungs of fire-fighters, local patients in the nearby “Baden Heart Centre” (former Canadian Forces Hospital) as well as other neighbours, the firemen continued spraying water on the ruins for days afterwards.

It was a sorrowful end for the Arrowhead but most Canadians who lived in Lahr will still continue to preserve fond memories of playing hockey (leaving teeth or tears), broomball, etc. or performing figure-skating pirouettes there … The Lahr newspapers reported at length on the fire and recalled “the good old Canadian days” when local Germans were permitted to go skating, make friends and have fun in the Arrowhead Arena …