I can remember traveling back and forth from Lloydminster to Nipawin with my fiancé at the time. She was from Nipawin and always talked about how good the local hockey team was. I enjoy a good hockey game. Lloydminster had many teams to follow, which I did, with my nephews and my oldest daughter who all loved the game. I can remember traveling on the buses and having a great time bonding with the players and other parents.
Now, we moved to Nipawin the year after we were married, 6 years ago, to embark on new careers within Nipawin. Once moving here, I too became a new Nipawin Hawks fan. I went to many games wondering why the fans did not come out and support their local SJHL hockey team, like I thought they should. I will admit, they did show great support once they were in the league playoffs but I felt there could have been more during the regular season.
This local SJHL team was trying to do all they can to get community involvement by running a fishing tournament, summer and winter, both which are one of the towns most thriving activities. And also many other activities organized by the organization.
Now we have been here in Nipawin for the last 6 years and I have just witnessed something so very tragic and do not wish to ever witness again.
The Nipawin Hawks were going to be playing game 5 against the Humboldt Broncos in Nipawin. We are up 3-1 in the series. That evening, April 6/2018, the Humboldt Bus was struck by a semi and 15 lives were lost that night. That night I watched a community come together in support of their local hockey team and for the Humboldt Broncos as well.
I witnessed a community rushing out to help them all, the local RCMP, EMS, First Responders, and the Fire Department spent hours on scene that day and night. I also witnessed the people coming together when asked on social media, for the help of food, water, and blankets. Without any questions asked my wife and I, along with her parents, gathered blankets that we could spare and rushed out the door to go buy food for the people in need.
At the store while gathering what we thought they would use and need, I witnessed the whole town was rushing to the only store open at that time of evening. As we were leaving people were rushing in. We loaded up what we purchased and drove to the local Apostolic Church to drop off the blankets and food and water. I was amazed at the vehicles parked all around the Church. Even more so amazed when I walked inside and seen the people!!
It was a moment I will never forget. The SUPPORT that this town was showing during this time of need was so overwhelming.
Now I know the Humboldt people are grieving over the injuries and the loss of the victims in the crash. They are asking for the support of the community.
Please, I ask you, the community of Nipawin, to support your local SJHL Hockey Team the NIPAWIN HAWKS. These young men need us to show them that we are here for them also.
Not just that one evening or during the rest of this season. These young men and the ones to follow need to see and hear our support. They need to have someone to talk to, someone give them a hug when needed, and someone to look at them, with a smile on their face, showing them that we are proud of who they are, win or lose.
These guys had friends and former team mates, that were on that bus. And them and their families, birth and billet, are affected by this tragic accident. The coaching staff, and the members of the Hawks organization need us now more then ever!!
This town has the people to support them, I’ve witnessed it…. so PLEASE come out and support them on and off the ice. Especially at the rink, when they make the hard decision to continue playing the sport they love.
Submitted by; A Nipawin Hawks Supporter
Editor’s note: I have chosen to omit the name of the reader who submitted their letter because it is their message that is relevant, not who wrote it.
All letters to the editor and reader’s opinions are their own. Publication in Nipawin News does not constitute and endorsement.