Annual Fred Grimes tournament honours tireless volunteer
© Submitted photo
From left, the late Fred Grimes' great-grandson Tyler Anthony, son Dave, and player Matthew Stuckless from the St. John's Icemen participated in the ceremonial puck drop to kick off the annual Fred Grimes Memorial Bantam Tournament on the weekend. Three generations of Grimes' were involved in this year's tournament, honouring the memory of long-time volunteer Fred Grimes.
At two decades running, the Fred Grimes Memorial Bantam Tournament in Grand Falls-Windsor has been around almost as long as its namesake volunteered with minor hockey.
Each year hundreds of players from across the province come to the central town to participate in what's become a very well-known invitational event. This year saw 300 players and 17 teams from Springdale to St. John's compete for top honours in the A and B divisions.
This year's tournament co-chair Mark Anthony has a connection to Fred Grimes. He is Grimes' grandson and this was his first year as a chair for the tournament.
Anthony said he felt his involvement was a great opportunity to highlight some achievements of his grandfather and this year, more than ever, he felt the opening ceremonies paid due homage to a great man.
"My grandfather was heavily involved in sports when he was a child, and when he could no longer participate he focused his attention on the youth, especially minor hockey," Anthony said.
For more than 25 years Grimes worked tirelessly as a volunteer, and for his hard work and dedication he received much recognition and respect, Anthony said.
"For his service to minor hockey he was made a life member of the Grand Falls-Windsor Minor Hockey Association years ago. He also got awards from the Canadian Amateur Hockey association. Grimes was also named the very first Grand Falls citizen of the year in 1976.
"I was proud of it because it's my grandfathers tournament, my focus was as much on the opening ceremonies as I did on anything else for the weekend," Anthony said, adding there were a number of great speeches from fellow volunteers and various representatives at the ceremony.
"We had Ken Dicks on behalf of Grand Falls-Windsor Minor Hockey, he had a real nice speech at the opening ceremonies," Anthony said. "Ken has memories from when he was a kid of my grandfather helping out at the stadium with the jerseys and stuff like that each and every Saturday morning."
Anthony said volunteerism runs in the family, Grimes' son Dave has also been a volunteer with minor hockey for almost two decades.
"Pop Grimes lived in the stadium.... just like Uncle Dave does now," Anthony said.
Dave, as well as Grimes' great-grandson who played in the tournament with Grand Falls-Windsor, were both involved in the ceremonial puck drop.
Anthony noted that with his own involvement and his son's participation as a player, this year's event saw three generations of Grimes take part in his grandfather's tournament.
Exploits teams had a great showing at the event, taking three of the six medals awarded.
Exploits Bantam A Cataracts took silver in the A division, losing 6-4 to a team from Corner Brook in the championship game. Springdale ended up with the bronze.
In the B division, Bishop's Falls took gold, beating Gander in the championship game. The Exploits Bantam B Cataracts took bronze in that division.
Anthony said feedback from the participating teams was nothing but positive, and said the sportsmanship displayed at the tournament was top-notch.
"We get a lot of comments from visiting teams and coaches of visiting teams about how well our kids did on and off the ice," he said.
Anthony said each year the tournament is made possible only with the help of many dedicated volunteers. He said his co-chair Penney Wells was also a big part of organizing and executing the event.
"People are pretty good when something needs to be done. People just pitch in and help out and everything pretty much falls into place."