IN THE BEGINNING
BY Bob Westphal
In 1956 a group of enthusiastic teenagers informally gathered their talent, or lack of it,
and sought to enlist themselves in the Junior Division of the new defunct Buffalo Municipal Amateur Hockey League. Because it appeared that I could stand up on skates they asked me to guide their destinies. Enthusiasm and persistence were of necessity because in a municipality, baseball, football and basketball were the primary sports. Much hardship had to be endured to participate in hockey, such as 4:00 a.m. jaunts on foot to desolate Fort Erie were commonplace. Under the improbable name of the Scorpions, these erstwhile neophytes finished a predicted last. In the following year, after much thought, we decided to displace the name of the Scorpions With that of the Regals, The Regal name was not borrowed, since we were interested in perpetuating our own name and reputation. Historically in the fall of 1957, the birth of the Regals Hockey Club took place.
Our persistence paid off in the 1959-1960 season as we won the Junior Division title in the league. Our growth closely paralleled the expansion of hockey interest in the area. In the succeeding seasons we added teams in different age groups as interest grew. In 1965 The REgals Hockey Booster Club was chartered and became an integral part of our Club. Its purpose was to aid in the financial fundraising part and the social functions of our Club.
As the years went by we became consistent winners in the Buffalo Municipal Amateur Hockey League. Probably the biggest milestone we reached is when we finally were able to put our hockey program in a permanent home. In years past we were transient guests of many southern Ontario rinks. In December 1973 we moved to our present home in Holiday Twin Rinks. We became innovation in the area of amateur Hockey first creating a "beginner hockey program (6 and 8 year old mites) first in this area to adapt the minor-major concept modeling after the Canadian team structure, first to field an all Girls team.
The Regals have been active participants in all the leagues that have been in existence in the area over the years. We have experienced many accomplishments including League and State Championships, by virtue of winning State Championships the Regals have been to National Tournaments to which we are humbly proud of. Currently we are considered one of the strongest independent Hockey Clubs in the eastern United States and Canada.
Our present organization encompasses a fun oriented beginner/cross-rink program, a burgeoning instructional house league, as well as travel teams in the Major, Minor and Tier II Divisions. Our Regals are members of the Empire West League, and of 6 organizations designated as "A" Centers, representing the finest caliber in amateur hockey played in this area.
While our current program bears no semblance to what we had in the beginning our characteristics and traditions have not changed. In essence we have the same persistence and enthusiasm we had in the early days. We are extremely proud of everyone of all our players from our 4 year olds enjoying their first year on skates to the skilled Midget players about to embark on college participation and education.