Suspended since Jan. 23, the directors of the Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association were restored to their positions late last week after accepting a decision made by the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association regarding the appointment of a new president last month.
Six of the suspended directors were also coaches, whose teams were left without their leadership at a crucial time of year.
"They’re all back," VIAHA president Jim Humphrey said. "All the coaches are back coaching."
Five officers from VIAHA met with the members of the CVMHA executive to present the decision, which found that the appointment of the new president did not follow CVMHA bylaws and rendered the appointment null and void. After learning of the decision, the directors talked for "a solid hour," according to Humphrey. The VIAHA representatives were called back in after a vote, which was 8-4 in favour of accepting the decision.
The VIAHA reps then sat with the CVMHA executive and discussed the best way to move forward.
"It’s no secret the board is divided," Humphrey said. "But it’s not normal to be divided on everything. There has to be some common ground."
VIAHA is willing to assist the CVMHA in whatever ways are necessary, Humphrey added.
"We’ve offered all our resources to help them," he said. "We’ll do whatever we can to help them."
Among the decisions the CVMHA will have to make is how to select a new president. According to the bylaws, they can wait until the next annual general meeting and have the membership elect a president, or they can appoint a new president from the executive based on the required one year of experience.
If no one on the current board has the necessary experience, they can canvass the membership for someone who does and wants to serve as president. If no one who qualified can be found, then a motion can be made for extenuating circumstances. "The ball’s in their court," Humphrey said.
There is just one more executive meeting scheduled before the AGM, Humphrey pointed out, and the Island minor hockey season ends on March 14.
Humphrey is hopeful that the CVMHA can move ahead.
"The bottom line is that you can’t have a program like this without volunteers," he said. "And they have to work together for the benefit of everybody, and to an extent that wasn’t happening."