Full page: An aerial view of the F.H. Sherman
Recreation and Learning Centre, 2011.
Inset: Treasured mementos of the “Rec Park”,
including team photos, the “C.W. Sherman Golf Cup
for Annual Competition among Employees” from the
s, a bowling award and a commemorative bat
made from one of the ash trees on the facility’s site.
The F.H. Sherman Recreation and Learning
Centre was not a case of “build it and they
will come.” On the contrary, employees
had been coming out in droves to various
city locations in order to compete,
play, exercise and socialize with fellow
employees for some 50 years before phase
one of the 100-acre complex was opened
in 1978.
In the 1920s, it was varsity programs. In
the 1940s, it was recreational programs.
By the 1960s, the programs had grown so
popular that the company leased a 20-acre
parcel of land from the City of Hamilton and
developed it as a recreation park. Located
near company headquarters, the park
featured baseball diamonds, a touch football
field, lit tennis courts, horseshoe pitches and
a playground.
By the 1970s, when the recreation
programs were bursting at the seams,
the company planned for an extensive
recreation complex on Hamilton Mountain.
The centre’s phase one opened in 1978 to
great applause, and with that the original
leased land, Globe Park, was turned back to
the City. In 1981 phase two, including the
arenas, opened while the twin gymnasiums
were added in 1990.
Over the years, thousands of employees,
their family members and friends, as well
as members of the community, have
been welcomed to the Recreation and
Learning Centre, whether to attend a
special event, play minor hockey, compete
in one of the summer baseball leagues,
attend a conference or just reconnect with
old friends.
The centre is also the site of the company’s
annual Canada Day celebration complete
with a fireworks show. In 2010, the
company’s storied Family Christmas Party
was first hosted at the park, a homecoming
of sorts for the annual affair.
A grand slam