Maritime welder creates 20-foot monument for Humboldt Broncos
A Nova Scotia welder has created an eye-catching monument in honour of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team.
While Canadians have been leaving hockey sticks by their doors, the community centre in Truro has perhaps the largest tribute in the country.
“It’s made of aluminum, so it’ll weather good,” explains welder artist Wayne Smith. “So you don’t have to maintain it. It has stainless steel bolts in it so it won’t rust, and proportionately, its dimension is five times the size of a normal stick, that making that 20 feet and the blade five feet.”
Like millions of Canadians, Smith was touched by the Broncos tragedy.
When he heard about the ‘put your stick out’ campaign, Smith contacted officials at the centre in Truro to see if he could display a 20-foot stick.
The immediate answer was yes.
“Our facility is next door to our regional hospital,” says rink manager Matt Moore. “Many patients and staff and personnel come and use our facility on a regular basis, so for them to see the stick and know what it represents is, I think it appeals to everybody.”
That appeal can be seen with the steady stream of people, stopping to see the sculpture up close, take photos, or read a poem written by Smith about the tragedy.
Many hockey players who use the facility say they can identify with the victims.
“Hard to believe I was on buses my whole life,” says Andrew Barron, “growing up in junior hockey, so I know a lot about it.”
Wayne Smith says as far as he’s concerned, he’s donated the sculpture to the community.
The rink’s manager says he has an idea he thinks people might want to consider.
“I don’t want to speak for Wayne, but I’d love to extend the offer to the Humboldt community,” says Moore. “If there’s a way to get this stick out to their community, then that might be an option too, but for now, it isn’t going anywhere and we’re happy to keep it here at our facility.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh.