The Mayor of Steinbach sported a Winkler Flyers jersey at Tuesday night's city council meeting. 

Steinbach Mayor Earl Funk and Winkler Mayor Henry Siemens started a tradition last year where every time the Pistons and the Flyers meet each other in the playoffs, the losing mayor has to wear the winning team's jersey. 

If the Pistons were to win, like they did last year, Siemens would wear Funk's Pistons jersey at his next council meeting, and if Winkler won, like they did this year in the MJHL championship series, Funk would wear Siemens' Flyers jersey at his next council meeting.    

He explains it all started at an AMM meeting. 

“We started to banter each other with our teams, and out of that it came to 'put your money where your mouth is, wear my jersey if the Pistons win, and he did.” 

Funk says this fun tradition has led to the two Mayors building a great friendship. 

"First Winkler Council came over here, then me and Lori went out there, and we spent the evening with Henry and his wife Corrine, and we just had a wonderful time.” 

Now when the two mayors see each other at meetings or events, there is a sense of comradery. 

"It's really great to see two communities in our province, in many ways we compete for the same tax dollar, but yet we work together to help each other so we can get the maximum, and it's changed how we do business with Winkler.” 

He says it’s incredible to see what something as simple as a wager on a hockey team can turn into when you let it. 

"You start to bring personality into it and relationship into it, and you find out that they're wonderful people and they have challenges just like us. They need to supply water, they need to get rid of the water, they need to supply roads, amenities, and parks,” he says. "They're in the same boat we're in, and there's so many similarities we get to talk about with them, and we get to strategize with each other when we're going to the province for money.” 

Funk looks forward to seeing Siemens wear the Pistons jersey next time.

The Winkler Flyers bid for the 2024 Centennial Cup begins today (May 9th) with a game against the SIJHL champion Sioux Lookout Bombers. The Flyers are back on the ice Saturday taking on the Melfort Mustangs, then Monday night against the Oakville Blades, with their final preliminary round game May 14th against the Miramichi Timberwolves.