“It could anybody’s community, anybody’s family.”
These were the thoughts shared by Meadow Lake Mayor Gary Vidal talking about Meadow Lake’s sister city of Humboldt in mourning and reeling from the news of a fatal bus collision where 15 people died and 14 were injured on Friday, April 6. The incident occured 30 kilometres outside of Tisdale as members and associates of the Humboldt Broncos hockey organization were travelling to a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game in Nipawin.
Vidal along with city councillors and administration donned Meadow Lake Sr. Broncos jerseys as a symbolic gesture of dedication, solidarity and support during Monday’s regular council meeting.
“We find ourselves watching from a distance as a small city pretty similar to us has suffered a significant tragedy in their community,” Vidal said. “You find that this has become very personal for a number of people across communities, the country, the province and even the world. The amazing personal stories and connection you hear is quite moving.”
He said the jerseys were one small way to reach out.
“It just seems like a little thing we can do to remember and lift those folks up,” Vidal said. “I did have communication with the mayor of Humboldt on Saturday night, and just wished them our best and offer that our prayers are with their community.”
A moment of silence was also observed before the meeting commenced.
Angela Ellis, the vice principal at Gateway Elementary School said the students and staff had some discussions on the incident, and many students wanted to show unity.
“Meadow Lake is also big hockey and sports community,” she said. “I think it’s important for them to be given a chance to show to support to the organization. It opened up conversations. They weren’t afraid to talk about it, they handled it pretty well. We’re going to have a jersey day on Thursday too.”
Ellis added the staff was proud of the students for showing compassion in sad times.
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