Hull techs take to the ice to honour fallen colleague

A portrait painting of CPO1 Mike Howlett who died of cancer in 2010.

A portrait painting of CPO1 Mike Howlett who died of cancer in 2010.

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Hull technicians past and present will lace up their skates to honour a departed colleague who loved hockey.

The naval tradespeople who work out of Galiano, Colwood’s damage control building, will line up on their respective blue lines for the third annual Mike Howlett Memorial Hockey Game on Dec. 8, 1 p.m. at the Wurtele Arena.

CPO1 Howlett succumbed to pancreatic cancer in March 2010.

Organizers LS Keelan Cook and PO2 Mark Lavoie say the annual hockey game began five years ago as a buildup to their annual year-end holiday party.

“It began as an excellent way to get some exercise, blow off some steam, and build camaraderie and friendship,” said PO2 Mark Lavoie.

When Chief Howlett died, they decided to play the game in his memory.

“The more recent editions of the game gets all the Hull Techs together for an afternoon of fun, playing a game they love while remembering a man we loved,” says LS Cook.

CPO1 Howlett, of Stephenville, NFLD., was a loyal Edmonton Oilers fan and loved hockey so much he once had a ball hockey court built at their unit.

Proceeds from each hockey game participant’s $10 registration fee will be donated to cancer research.

Both PO2 Lavoie and LS Cook have competitive hockey experience. Prior to his military career, PO2 Lavoie played for Les Gaillards de Jonquière of the Quebec Collegial AAA Hockey League, while LS Cook is the team Captain and coach for the CFB Esquimalt Mens Tritons, and also played with the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Neepewa Natives and Portage Terriers, and the Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

CPO2 (Ret’d) Butch Boucher, 69, a former co-worker of CPO1 Howlett and experienced senior recreational league goaltender, will be the oldest player on the ice. Boucher worked with CPO1 Howlett in the early 1990s when the two were Hull Tech instructors at Fleet School, and like PO2 Lavoie and LS Cook, had the utmost respect for him because he was “a hard-working sailor who rose through the ranks” to become the unit’s West Coast trade advisor prior to his death.

“A true sailor and a friend, Mike was an extremely popular individual, heavily into sports and very well-liked and respected by his peers,” says Boucher. “His commitment to the trade was always foremost in his mind and he was always striving to ensure the Hull Tech community came first.”

Spectators are welcome to watch the game.

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  1. Wayne Howlett says:

    So inspiring to read this article, please accept my deepest respect for your efforts to remember my brother, truly humbling.He would be so honoured to read this yet he would defer the honour to the team I’m sure. Thank you.
    Wayne Howlett

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