By Rhonda Massad
The West Island is a tight-knit community that stands as one when tragedy strikes. This week it has chosen to show their support to the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team with heart, compassion, and love for those fallen.
West Islanders are honouring the victims by leaving hockey sticks on front porches, Clearpoint Elementary school in Pointe Claire started a wave of Jersey Days that have spread to the entire Lester B. Pearson School Board and social media pages have erupted with the symbolism of the compassion shared by the entire country.
“I believe every parent in the nation feels the pain of the families in Humboldt,” said Beacon Hill Home and School President Gabrielle Cloutier. “How can we not when our kids climb on buses every day to go to school or go to sports events? We can’t do much more than showing our support, honouring the Broncos and paying tributes to the community to show them that they are not alone.”
Members of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team were headed to the town of Nipawin for a playoff game Friday night when the crash happened north of Tisdale.
“As a mother, I haven’t been able to stop crying when I think of the lives that are forever changed due to this unthinkable event,” said Beaconsfield resident and teacher, Stacey Monk. “Parents should never have to go through the grief of having to bury their child. This is not the natural order of things. These acts of solidarity in our schools are to show the families affected by this horrific act that our communities are thinking of them at this terrible time.”
The 15 people who died after the bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team collided with a semi-trailer unit include 10 players, the bus driver, two coaches, a volunteer statistician and a broadcaster.
“We have all put our children on a bus to go play the game they love,” said member of National Assembly of Quebec for the riding of Jacques-Cartier, Geoffrey Kelley. “I think that is why we are all profoundly touched by what happened in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. It just breaks your heart.”
RCMP say 10 players died in the crash. Adam Herold, Connor Lukan, Evan Thomas, Jacob Leicht, Jaxon Joseph, Logan Boulet, Logan Hunter, Logan Schatz, Stephen Wack and Parker Tobin were all killed. The players were all from Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Broncos personnel Brody Hinz, Darcy Haugen, Glen Doerksen, Mark Cross and Tyler Bieber also died in the crash.
“The solidarity being expressed by the country through these initiatives shows that the entire country is grieving,” said Member of Parliament for the riding of Lac-Saint-Louis, Francis Scarpaleggia. “To see our children do something tangible at this time is reassuring and comforting to all of us. It will be a source of comfort to the families of the victims to know the country has come together in so many ways.”