The Haliburton County Huskies have gone international thanks to a local grandmother.
Davis Lake resident Dorothy McIntyre was on the hunt for Christmas gift for her grandchildren just before the holidays.
As they live in Busan, South Korea she always has a hard time finding things small and light enough to ship.
With two boys, five-year-old Owen and nine-year-old Liam, to buy for, she wanted to get them something that would remind them of home.
Exhausting options, McIntyre was at her wit’s end when, while buying groceries at Dollo’s Foodland in Minden, she saw the answer staring her in the face.
“Haliburton County Huskies sweaters!” McIntyre exclaimed. “We had to think of something that wasn’t too heavy and could be easily packaged, and I just thought a gift from home, of a new hometown team would be perfect. Something that helps us keep a connection with them” she said.
McIntyre has become a huge Huskies’ fan since they relocated to the Highlands ahead of this season.
While she hasn’t been able to attend a game in-person due to health concerns, she has kept up with their progress online and through The Highlander’s coverage.
“I think it’s great that we have a hockey team in the community again. The players all seem like great kids, and the team is doing well too,” McIntyre said. “They’ve been a wonderful addition.”
She explained as much in a letter accompanying the sweaters, telling Owen and Liam about the team.
The gift, she said, provided the pair with three links to Canada.
“First, there is the link to Haliburton County, the part of Canada they know best.
“The second is hockey, our national game.
“And the third is the dog, the Husky.
Huskies were dogs raised to pull sleds for the Inuit, people who live in Canada’s far north,” McIntyre said.
“I wrote all of that in my note, giving them a bit of history and my thoughts behind the gift.”
Hockey isn’t popular in South Korea, McIntyre noted. Her grandsons are more interested in baseball, but were happy when they opened their gifts Christmas morning. They immediately put on their new sweaters and took photos to send to grandma.
“They were happy and smiling. I think it’s actually the first bit of hockey merchandise they’ve ever gotten,” McIntyre said. “This gives them the chance to spread the word about hockey. I’m sure their friends will ask about the sweaters, now they’ll know what to tell them.”
McIntyre hopes the boys will make it back to Canada this year.
They usually visit every other summer with dad, Colin, but had to cancel last year due to the pandemic.
With the Huskies’ pre-season typically kicking off in August, she hopes to take Owen and Liam to their first ever hockey game.
“That really would be quite something. For the boys to get out and see the Huskies play, and maybe meet some of the players. That would be an amazing experience for them,” she said.