September 17, 2014
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RI Reds Society unveils exhibit
Pete Fontaine
EXHIBIT A: Bill O’Connor, a member of the Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society, admires part of the display that was unveiled Sunday and will be housed in the Dunkin Donuts Center.

Another hat trick.

That’s what the Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society scored last Sunday during the unveiling and dedication of its exhibit entitled “A Tribute to Rhode Island’s First Professional Hockey Team.”

The exhibit, which actually features three different movable sections, celebrates the history of the Rhode Island Reds from former owners Louis Pieri and George Sage and includes various stages of the team’s illustrious 51-year history.

An overflow crowd jammed into a portion of the Dunkin Donuts Center lobby Sunday to watch the unveiling of the exhibit and to once again pay tribute to the days when the Reds ruled the roost in both the old Rhode Island Auditorium and American Hockey League.

“The Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society is a community treasurer for all of this state,” said Rick Scherza, son of Reds’ Hall of Famer Chuck Scherza. “With the Reds’ Society doing things like this, hockey – and the team’s legacy – will never, ever die.”

Perhaps Dick Ernst, former Cranston East hockey coach who has been involved in hockey in the state for more than half a century, said it best about Sunday’s special unveiling.

“Memories – that’s what this is all about,” Ernest said. “Today is special thanks to the Reds Heritage Society.”

Jim Bennett, another Cranston native who is Chairman of the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority, was the master of ceremonies. Buster Clegg, president of the Reds’ Society and former General Manager of the AHL franchise, also spoke during the unveiling.

The first section of the exhibit is entitled “The Arena” and is dedicated to the former owners and the R.I. Auditorium. The second section is “When the Reds Ruled the Roost” and the third is “Goalies,” which dedicated to the likes of Gil Mayer and Jim Bennett.

The exhibit will be permanently housed inside the Dunkin Donuts Center.


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