Ship repair shop unites to create tribute to Humboldt Broncos

Carmen Collins and Chris Roy with their tribute to Humboldt.

Carmen Collins and Chris Roy with their tribute to Humboldt.

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

A sheet metal worker from the Fleet Maintenance Facility did some quick stickhandling to create a unique tribute to the Humboldt Broncos.

Chris Roy, sheet metal journeyman, says he and his co-workers, like countless Canadians, were grief stricken by the fatal bus crash that killed 16 and injured 13 Humboldt Broncos hockey team members.

“I thought FMF should do something unique to show our support and solidarity with the people of Humboldt,” said Roy. “The hockey community has always supported Canada’s defence team, so it was a small gesture to show Humboldt that we are thinking about them.”

Roy, a lifelong recreational hockey player and skilled tradesman, created a symbolic hockey stick holder as a monument to the outpouring of support.

“The idea came to me because of the social media coverage showing people leaving their sticks out on their porch for Humboldt.”

After getting approval from his supervisor, Roy moved from concept to finished project within 24 hours. He worked on his own time, after hours, to have it ready in time for Jersey Day on April 12, the day employees at the base wore their hockey jerseys to work.

His creation is made of 16-gauge stainless steel and other scrap metal parts he found in waste bins in his shop, and his own personal hockey stick.  A giant laser cutter in the metal shop did the lion’s share of the work and was used to fabricate the dominant feature of the stick holder, a giant Humboldt Broncos logo as its base. Roy says he then affixed a black metallic backing to the bottom of the base to help make the silver-coloured logo stand out.

He received assistance from FMF’s graphics shop for the logo design, while nightshift powder coaters painted the backing black. Also essential to the project, says Roy, was the technical assistance of FMF metal shop journeyman Carmen Collins. Collins, a recent graduate of FMF’s Apprenticeship Program, got the chance to refine her skills on the shop’s laser cutter to help create the logo.

Their handiwork is now displayed outside the main entrance of FMF near the cafeteria. 

“A lot of people have approached us and said they liked it and it was a really cool idea,” said Roy. “But we are not doing it to get attention, but instead to bring attention to what the people of Humboldt are going through.”

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