It is with a heavy heart that I begin the Board Chair report this evening.
This weekend, and in an instant, the tragedy in Humboldt, Saskatchewan has turned a nation upside down. The unimaginable loss to the families and communities has left a deep hole in the hearts of many Canadians. Words cannot adequately convey the sadness felt by this loss.
In my work in sports I, like many, have been on those team buses … like that group of young men and adults were on that fateful evening. Those are some of the best parts of being on a team … laughing, happy, thinking about the upcoming playoff game that night … and fulfilling their dreams … and it’s just not supposed to end that way. I’ve been in some of those Saskatchewan towns … Melfort, Tisdale, Nipawin, Humboldt … where the local ice rink is the gathering place for community and junior hockey players are kings … and I’ve been through that very same intersection of highways … as non-descript as the thousands of other highway intersections on the flat, seemingly endless prairie. But this time … it just wasn’t supposed to end that way.
Fate can be cruel and have no explanation … two intersecting rural highways … two speeding vehicles … and a one-in-a-million chance. Five seconds either way and it wouldn’t have happened. But it did … and the world of so many turned upside down.
Our hearts and thoughts are with the parents/caregivers, families, friends, teammates, classmates, billets, coaches, teachers, staff, fans, communities and countless others who have been impacted by this tragedy. Also, one must not forget the heroics of passerby’s and emergency services who were first on scene and the health services at local hospitals in caring for the injured. There are literally hundreds and hundreds who have been directly affected by this unthinkable accident … and our World, our Country, our Province and our School District are honoured to take a moment to remember.
I would ask that you all stand for a moment of silence in memory and support of the Humboldt Broncos. Thank you.