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Community members sign book of condolences for victims of Humboldt Broncos tragedy

Margie Seeley signs a book of condolences, organized by the Windsor Hockey Heritage Society, that will be sent to the community of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, following a horrific tragedy that claimed the lives of 16 people traveling with the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team.
Margie Seeley signs a book of condolences, organized by the Windsor Hockey Heritage Society, that will be sent to the community of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, following a horrific tragedy that claimed the lives of 16 people traveling with the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team. - Colin Chisholm

“We’re hockey, I don’t know how else to put it”

WINDSOR, N.S. – Margie Seeley, a resident of Windsor, came to offer a simple thing for the victims of the Humboldt tragedy: a signature.

The Windsor Hockey Heritage Society gave community members the chance to add their name to a book of condolences at the Haliburton House Museum that will be sent to the community of Humboldt, after a horrific crash claimed the lives of 16 people in rural Saskatchewan.

For Seeley, and dozens of other signatories, it’s a symbol, a sign that says ‘we’re here and we’re grieving with you.’

“I have feelings for the team and what they’ve gone through and the community of Humboldt,” Seeley said after she signed the book on April 15. “I’ve raised boys that were on the road in the winter time for sports.”

Seeley also said her son’s partner travels in a northern community frequently while coaching a volleyball team, saying she’s been on some of the same roads as the Humboldt Broncos were.   

“I was just really touched by what happened,” she said. “It’s rather emotional.”

She said she was grateful that the Windsor Hockey Heritage Society was putting this on.

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Phillip Scott, museum director with the Windsor Hockey Heritage Society, said he got the idea for the book of condolences after corresponding with fellow society members who wanted to do something in the wake of the tragedy.

“It’s been great, because everybody comes in and thanks us for doing it, and we thank them for signing,” Scott said.

But for Scott, there was a really simple reason why he and members of the society wanted to do this.

“We’re hockey. I don’t know how else to put it.”

Tragedy resonates

Krista Lloy, a fellow board member of the Windsor Hockey Heritage Society, said people who were coming in to sign the book have felt impacted by the tragedy and wanted to do something.

“We’re such a hockey country and such a hockey community, we all are connected to it one way or another,” Lloy said. “Many of our own kids who have gone on these bus trips, and it’s really been felt close to home. This could have happened anywhere.”

Lloy said the tragedy in Humboldt was every parent’s worst nightmare, come true.

“I have a son that played hockey, he’s in university now, but we sent him off on the bus many times and I have a daughter that’s playing hockey now, and have sent her off on the bus,” she said.

“When you send them off, you think they’re safe, but then when you hear something like (Humboldt) it all just comes crashing down.”

Windsor Mayor Anna Allen commended the society for taking the initiative to show support for the community.

“What the Hockey Heritage Society is doing is an example of the support this community is known for giving, for those who need our help,” Allen said. “Being from the birthplace of hockey, this organization is a very dedicated part of the wider hockey family.”

Allen said she’s a ‘hockey grandmother’ and said the book of condolences will be significant for that community.

“It shows them that all of us around the world are supporting them, thinking of them,” she said. “God forbid, if any one of us were in that position, we would expect Canadians to do the same thing for us.”

Allen said the town also sent an official letter of condolence from Windsor council to Humboldt council.

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