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Grand Falls-Windsor author pens book on Jones Shield

Grand Falls-Windsor author Roy Oldford recently released his new book ‘The Jones Shield 1934-1998.’ It chronicles the highly touted hockey showdown between schools in Grand Falls-Windsor.
Grand Falls-Windsor author Roy Oldford recently released his new book ‘The Jones Shield 1934-1998.’ It chronicles the highly touted hockey showdown between schools in Grand Falls-Windsor. - Nicholas Mercer

Roy Oldford is sitting in the living room of his Grand Falls-Windsor home when the doorbell rings. 
The shrill of the bell caused a momentary pause in his conversation with the Central Voice. At the door is someone looking to pick up Oldford’s latest book, ‘The Jones Shield 1934-1998.’ 
Grabbing one from the stack sitting on the table in front of him, Oldford opens the cover and scribbles his signature on the first page and hands it to his wife to give to the person at the door. 
This momentary exchange is something that has been happening to Oldford ever since he announced the release of the book over social media. 
People come to the door looking for a copy and he is happy to oblige. There have also been people from Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and other parts of the mainland looking for their copy of an integral part of Grand Falls-Windsor's sporting history. 
The Jones Shield was intended as a healthy exercise in hockey between Notre Dame Academy and Grand Falls Academy when the initial shield was given by Sir Vincent Jones in 1934. 
Jones was the manager of the paper mill in Grand Falls-Windsor and was known as a proponent of sports in the community. 
From 1934 to 1998, the Jones Shield became a staple on the sporting calendar for the community. The series was played between Grand Falls Academy and Notre Dame Academy until 1957. 
That is when Notre Dame became St. Michael’s. 
Oldford’s book is a complete chronicle of the history of the Shield and the thousands of players who competed for it over the course of six decades. 
He spent months combing through old copies of The Advertiser newspaper, as well as old series booklets and other sources for any information they had on the Shield series. 
There were interviews with players and coaches like Cec Thomas, Bill Wall, Al Dwyer, Ray Lewis, Ray Keough and Robert Goulding, all done to help present a clear and complete picture of the series until it stopped being played in 1998 with the combination of the high schools. 
The Grand Falls-Windsor Historical Society helped him with pictures of the winning teams. 
“The Shield was a very important part of sports in Grand Falls-Windsor,” said Oldford. 
Oldford didn’t get a chance to play for the Jones Shield. 
Growing up in Windsor, Oldford’s high school didn’t compete in the series between Grand Falls schools. 
That doesn’t mean he wasn’t involved in the Shield at different stages during his life. 
First, Oldford remembers walking into what is now the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium as a fan and marvelling at the atmosphere created when the rival schools came on the ice. 
Routinely, 1,500 fans would fill the arena and Oldford remembers having to find seating wherever he could to enjoy the contest. They banged drums, blew on horns and leaned over the boards every game. 
Later, he became a linesman. He had the best seat in the house watching the likes of Terry Ryan Sr., Terry French, Don Howse and others test themselves against each other.
In the Shield series, they would have to play against each other. 
“It was tremendous hockey,” said Oldford. “Getting the chance to see them play up close was something else.” 
Then, he went on to become a teacher sponsor for Grand Falls Academy and stood on the bench for the Shield. 
Oldford wrote the book as a way to present a piece of sporting history that might be overlooked by the casual fan as its been 20 years since the Shield has been competed for. 
In that time, senior hockey has gained a lot of attention when it comes to hockey casuals, and rightfully so. 
“If someone doesn’t write it down or do something with it, it is going to be all forgotten,” said Oldford. 

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