The Humboldt Broncos are the 2018 inductees into the Horizon School Division’s Wall of Fame.
The club was officially inducted during Horizon’s annual Celebration Day on Aug. 29.
“Thank you for honouring the 2017-18 Humboldt Broncos junior A hockey team by adding them to the Wall of Fame,” said Carol Brons, whose daughter Dayna was one of 16 lives lost in the accident.
“As I look back on the days following the Humboldt Broncos tragedy… I am filled with emotion and gratitude for the outpouring of support from this area and beyond. From acts of kindness and charity to donating time and money. Humanity has shown solidarity in so many creative ways,” she added in her speech on behalf of the Broncos families.
The families were strengthened by people of all ages who sent prayers and love from around the world.
“During this time Horizon School Division played a very vital role responding to this exceptionally traumatic event. Of the 29 on the bus that day, 11 were either graduates or current students of Horizon School Division,” said Brons.
“Thank you to all that worked so hard to support the students, the staff and family throughout the division. A tremendous amount of support was also provided through other school divisions and the province of Saskatchewan. The support is ongoing and for that we are grateful.”
The April 6 accident and its aftermath sent waves of grief, shock and pain across the division, province, country and world, said Wall of Fame Chair and Subdivision 9 trustee Jolene Koopman.
“Over the past several months the Humboldt Broncos players, families and personnel have been beacons of grace in the midst of unthinkable sorrow. Those members of the Humboldt Broncos, who we hold in our memories have inspired people throughout Canada and the world through the lives that lived and this had truly made our world a better place.”
While the club has come to mean a lot to people in the months since the accident, Koopman noted that the club was also extremely important to the community beforehand.
“The Humboldt Broncos have always made us proud. They were, are, and always will be the embodiment of what we hope to celebrate with our Horizon School Division Wall of Fame. It is an incredible honour to display their photograph on our wall, to inspire our students, staff, and visitors for many years to come.”
There are many stories out there that the families do not know, and Brons encourages everyone to share those.
“Dayna and the Brons family is one of 1,000 stories that have resulted from this tragedy. Almost every day I hear another story of how someone’s impacted by this. It’s almost overwhelming to know how many people have been touched but I still need and want to hear their stories.”
If you have a Brody Hinz, or Glen Doerksen, or Stephen Wack story, share it, said Brons.
“But also share the stories of those who survived with their families and friends. They need to hear this. Finding ways to carry the legacy of our loved ones for years to come has been important for all of us. This team was built on characters. Words such as ‘hope’ and ‘believe’ have become part of our daily mantras,” she said.
“Everyone on that bus has a story to tell. Some stories will have more chapters, some will need to be told by those who know and loved them. Adding the 2017-2018 Humboldt Broncos junior A hockey team to the Horizon School Division Wall of Fame ensures that none of these stories end here. As one of the parents stated: ‘the crash is part of the Broncos history. But it does not define the team.’”
The Broncos are a small part in what was a difficult year for Horizon School Division, with colleagues, friends, classmates and family members passing away throughout the year.
“The 2017-18 school year was marred by tragedy,” said Koopman.
“On countless occasions our communities and staff have risen to meet unimaginable challenges. Finding strength in one another, offering support and knowing that support is there for you when you need it. In such a difficult year, the Humboldt Broncos have been emblematic of the qualities we strive for in times of hardship. We have seen what it means to Humboldt Strong, to be Horizon Strong, and we will carry these memories forever.”