Renfrew County dons jerseys for Humboldt
On April 12, Canadians from coast to coast sported hockey jerseys to honour the Humboldt Broncos and offer a show of support to the players and families affected. Pictured, Renfrew County elected officials paid tribute to the Broncos Thursday morning. From left to right are Laurentian Valley Reeve Debbie Robinson, Laurentian Hills Mayor Jed Reinwald, Renfrew Reeve Peter Emon, Warden Jennifer Murphy, Pembroke councillor Les Scott and Brudenell-Lyndoch-Raglan Mayor Sheldon Keller.
Canadians in Renfrew County and across the country traded in their week-day outfits for sports jerseys to show support for the victims of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.
The night of April 6, news begin to break about the horrific bus crash in Saskatchewan involving the Humboldt Broncos junior A hockey team. The tragedy quickly claimed 15 lives – including players, the head coach, a statistician and a radio broadcaster – and by April 11 that number climbed to 16 as Broncos’ athletic therapist Dayna Brons succumbed to her critical injuries.
Ever since that horrific night, Canadians from coast to coast have continued to offer prayers, honour the memories of the fallen and pay stirring tributes to the Saskatchewan Jr. A hockey team.
By April 12, the Humboldt Broncos GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $9 million – far surpassing their $4 million goal – propelling it into GoFundMe’s top five largest global campaigns, with funds to go directly to the players and families affected by the tragedy.
After TSN broadcaster Brian Munz launched the touching #SticksOutForHumboldt and #PutYourSticksOut tribute by placing his hockey stick on his front porch, fellow Canadians followed suite.
Outside of the Renfrew County’s administration building, a green and yellow #HumboldtStrong banner was hung beneath the county’s crest, along with several hockey sticks placed on either side for the cross-Canada #SticksOutForHumboldt campaign.
In similar fashion to #SticksOutForHumboldt, it was on April 12 that Canadians across the country donned sports jerseys in support of the Humboldt Broncos, with the hashtag #JerseysforHumboldt.
Started by two hockey moms in British Columbia, the campaign asked Canadians to wear a hockey jersey or green and gold in a show of support for the Humboldt Broncos and to stand in solidarity with all of those who were affected by the tragedy, reminding them that they are not alone and all of Canada stands with them.
In Pembroke and across the County of Renfrew, people of all ages donned jerseys at school or at work as they proudly shared their support across social media.
At the County of Renfrew’s Social Services and Housing Committee meeting, Warden Jennifer Murphy and many other elected officials were seen sporting Toronto Maple Leafs jerseys, while others donned jerseys for the Ottawa Senators and various other NHL teams.
“Our hearts across Canada go out to the families after this tragic event and I think in order to show our support for them, wearing the jerseys today was a lovely idea,” said Murphy. “Many of the staff and elected officials are wearing jerseys as a sign of respect.”
Whether a Leafs fan or a Senators fan, everyone set their rivalries aside as they wrapped one another in hugs and became one united Canadian team in support of the Humboldt Broncos.
“I think the incident resonates with a lot of the smaller communities right across Canada in terms of hockey and what it means to people and their families,” said Bruce Beakley, director human of resources with the County of Renfrew. “I know internally with our own employees who have a number of children that are in hockey and do a lot of travelling on buses, everybody's been shaken up by this particular event.”
Joining the campaign with their fellow Canadians, Canadian Armed Forces authorized its members to honour the Humboldt Broncos by wearing their jerseys over their uniforms for Jersey Day.
“Because of the work we do, many of us in uniform have experienced the same emotional burden tragedies like this inflict,” wrote Canadian Armed Forces chief of defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance, in an online statement. “Canadians regularly show outpourings of support for us in our time of need. Now it’s time for us to give back.”