‘Leon May Me­mo­rial Tro­phy’ un­veiled in For­tune

United Towns Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion also re­tires jersey of youth who died trag­i­cally in 1996

The Southern Gazette - - SPORTS - BY CARL ROSE SPE­CIAL TO THE GAZETTE Carl Rose Photo

With the as­sis­tance of his neph­ews, Char­lie Dom­inaux and Robin Savoury, the ‘ Leon May Me­mo­rial Tro­phy’ was un­veiled at For­tune Arena Mar. 29.

Leon was just 16-years-old when his life ended as a re­sult of a tragic ac­ci­dent. He fell while hunt­ing with his bud­dies on Jan. 23, 1996.

Sis­ter Rhonda Savoury re­called, “That day brought the United Towns Mi­nor Hockey to a stand­still for a few days be­cause, not only did the May fam­ily lose a son, brother, un­cle and nephew, but the United Town Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion had lost a friend and ded­i­cated player.”

As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Bob Cle­ments told the crowd as­sem­bled for the un­veil­ing that Hockey New­found­land and Labrador made a de­ci­sion in 2013 they would no longer pro­vide tro­phies for provin­cial tour­na­ments, and that each or­ga­ni­za­tion would be re­spon­si­ble for pur­chas­ing its own.

“We de­cided to pur­chase the tro­phy and ded­i­cate it to the mem­ory of Leon May. Un­for­tu­nately, this year United Towns won’t be host­ing a provin­cial tour­na­ment, so we de­cided that we wouldn’t wait any longer on such a mean­ing­ful ded­i­ca­tion and that is why we’re hold­ing this pre­sen­ta­tion to­day.”

Ches May, Leon’s dad, said the fam­ily is hon­oured that the as­so­ci­a­tion has cre­ated a me­mo­rial to his son.

“Leon dearly loved the game of hockey, and he would be proud to know his mark is left at the arena. A goal­tender is a stress­ful po­si­tion, but win or lose, he was happy just to be able to put on his skates and hit the ice.

“I have al­ways been a proud fa­ther to Leon – the fact that he has left such a last­ing im­pres­sion eigh­teen years later is re­mark­able.”

Leon’s sis­ter Rhonda told the crowd that she was sure Leon was smil­ing down on For­tune Arena.

“If he was here to watch his nephew Char­lie play in the tour­na­ment this weekend, he would be proud to know Char­lie is fol­low­ing in his foot­steps. He would be in the stand blow­ing the air horn that he was so pop­u­larly known to use dur­ing all of the games that he watched when his team was not play­ing.”

Fol­low­ing the un­veil­ing, the Char­lie and Robin raised their un­cle’s jersey to the rafters of the arena where it will hang as a per­ma­nent re­minder of Leon’s pas­sion for the game and the many friends he made through the sport he loved.

Char­lie said he re­grets that he never had the op­por­tu­nity to meet his Un­cle Leon but said it feels good that ev­ery­one tells him he is just like him.

“I am a goalie, just like he was, and I work hard to fol­low in his foot­steps. I am proud to raise his jersey and know he will be watch­ing over me as I play in this weekend’s tour­na­ment. Per­haps he will be sit­ting on the goal post to keep a puck or two out of the net.”

Robin, Leon’s other nephew in­volved in the cer­e­mony, is a hockey player in the midget di­vi­sion.

Leon’s high school friends have dis­persed from the area, but his best friend, Trevor Hick­man, now liv­ing in Cal­gary, ex­pressed his feel­ings in an e-mail.

“Hav­ing this tro­phy in hon­our of Leon means a great deal to me. It shows the people of Grand Bank and For­tune still and al­ways will re­mem­ber my good friend. I thank you for keep­ing his sports­man­ship and love for the game alive in both our towns.”

In his mes­sage, Trevor en­cour­aged all the young hockey play­ers to have fun and meet new friends when play­ing in hockey tour­na­ments.

“That is what Leon al­ways did. He was an in­spir­ing per­son, one that we will al­ways re­mem­ber.”

The United Towns Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion have ded­i­cated their provin­cial tour­na­ment tro­phy in hon­our of Leon May. May died trag­i­cally in a fall while hunt­ing with friends in 1996. Mem­bers of Leon’s fam­ily – from left Renita Dom­inaux, Liana Dom­inaux,...

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