On Sunday, March 3, the Bangor-Brewer hockey community suffered a terrible loss with the passing of George Bishop, who, with his wife Linda, was the owner of the Penobscot Ice Arena in Brewer.

The Bishops purchased the Penobscot Ice Arena in September 2013. The facility opened in 1996 as the H.O. Bouchard Arena and changed its name in 2009 to the TJ Ryan Ice Arena.

To say that the facility was dirty and in poor condition when the Bishops purchased it is an understatement. My son Collin used to play hockey, and I would want him to wear socks or flip-flops in the locker room it was so dirty. There was trash under the bleachers constantly, and the building was as cold inside, as it was outside in the middle of the winter. Often, there were no concessions for fans watching the games.

According to a story that appeared in The Weekly, and on the City of Brewer's website, some of the improvements the Bishops immediately made upon purchase included

  • Fully renovated locker rooms, with all ceiling tiles and benches replaced and the showers cleaned and re-tiled;
  • Construction of a new girls’ locker room and a new girls’ bathroom;
  • Full insulation of the north wall behind the locker rooms;
  • Electrical and plumbing systems updated to meet Brewer construction codes;
  • Emergency exits and lighting updated to meet Brewer fire codes

With a lack of ice time in the area, the Bishop's purchase of the rink allowed the Brewer Witches and Hampden Broncos Ice Hockey Teams to flourish, as both of those rinks called the Penobscot Ice Arena as home ice. The creation of the Penobscot Pioneers Girl's Ice Hockey Team was made possible by the Bishop's decision to allow them to play there.

Our hearts go out to George's family, Janessa and Linda,  friends, and all who knew him

More From 92.9 The Ticket