Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Well this is n recognition to an AMAZING volunteer that should be recognized from many years ago. My Dad Rod McInnes lived for the town of Terrace, the rink and kids enjoying hockey.
He started coaching as soon as my brother and I could put on skates. He coached both my brothers’ teams, as well as mine. But it was the above and beyond that always made him stand out.
From the 5:30am practices where we would get up extra early and pick up any kids who didn't have a ride to the arena on the way and in a small Northern town like Terrace, often in snow storms.
Everyone always called him ‘Coach.’ Everyone at the arena knew him and he talked to everyone, not just in our town, but in rinks across northern BC.
From as early as I could remember, he started building a rink in our backyard. He would be out late at night flooding and scraping the ice so it was perfect for all the neighbourhood kids the following day. Even in the offseason, the neighbourhood kids and us would play in our ‘league’ we named after him the “Rob B McInnes Hockey League.”
As my brother and I both moved into rep hockey, my dad continued to be involved, even if not as coach. He would run the practices when the coaches weren't on skates. He would drive our hockey bus almost every weekend for both our teams to all the northern communities to ensure we got to our competition ... and again often in snow storms.
But no matter what he did on the bench, no matter how he talked on the ice, no matter what the score, no matter how long the drive through the snow he was always there with a smile and as positive as could be. He would even draw books for the teams with all the kids as cartoons for tournament pamphlets.
It's been a long time since we've both moved from our small town and I only wish this nomination format was around when I was younger because he deserves it any given year tenfold. Whether we were doing bottle drives or needing to have billets for out of town teams, there was always room at our house.
And this all didn't stop at the rink.
For example, the neighbouring town of Kitimat named a beach by the ocean after him after recognizing that every day during his lunch break from his truck driving job from Terrace to Kitimat, he was cleaning up the beach from any garbage that was on it ... and believe me it wasn't just that beach that he continues to clean.
My dad recently went through a two (2) plus year bought of Mantle Cell Lymphoma that was extremely hard, not only for him but those around him as well. But even through that, he still had his smile, kind words and extreme positivity ... even writing poems, playing guitar and drawing pictures for the doctor, nurses or kids who came to visit. Now that he is on the recovery side, he is taking every chance he can to now watch his grandkids, and even hit the ice.
I couldn't even write in the words above how much he did for our town of Terrace, and its minor hockey programs. To this day, all those kids that have now grown up, still call him Coach.