Hundreds gathered at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre on Wednesday evening, to pay tribute to those who died and were injured in the Humboldt bus crash.
The event was hosted by the Chilliwack Chiefs, and included a presentation of candles by 29 young members of the Chilliwack Minor Hockey Association. Players took part in the ceremony, sitting on the visitors’ bench, and after a moment of silence they each skated a candle out to centre ice.
The candles were placed in a circle, and the skaters silently skated back to the bench. Each candle represented somone who was injured or killed in the crash.
The event also included a welcome song by First Nations drummers, with the beats of the drums echoing through Prospera Centre. Chief David Jimmie welcomed the community, and said a prayer.
Prayers were also given by Mayor Sharon Gaetz, who was overcome with emotion during her speech, and by the Chief’s team chaplain, Graham McMahon. There was a video tribute, with images and video of the Humboldt players, their friends and family, set to a version of Tom Cochrane’s emotional hit, Big League.
The Chiefs took donations on behalf of the HumboldtStrong Community Foundation, and are encouraging fans to book an appointment to donate blood, and become an organ donor.
The crash in Humboldt took the lives of 16 people, including players and team staff, and even a volunteer statistician. Many more are injured and recovering from the crash at home and in hospital.
For video from the event, visit the Chilliwack Progress Facebook page.