Dr. Sport: Mounties always get their (Chap)man — with Canucks help

 

Delayed dream to come true: Terrace cancer survivor will finally get to meet his NHL heroes

 
 
 
 
Retired hockey broadcast legend Howie Meeker in an antique buffalo coat and fur hat, flanked by Burnaby RCMP Staff Sgt. Major John A. Buis, right, and Buis’s son Jamie at the latter’s graduation from the force in 2013 in Regina.
 

Retired hockey broadcast legend Howie Meeker in an antique buffalo coat and fur hat, flanked by Burnaby RCMP Staff Sgt. Major John A. Buis, right, and Buis’s son Jamie at the latter’s graduation from the force in 2013 in Regina.

SCENE & HEARD: In the spirit of Variety’s 50th Show of Hearts Telethon this weekend, Canucks executives Victor de Bonis and Chris Brumwell have illustrated they do care about their fellow man.

It’s a story that goes back to October 2008 when 11-year-old Nathan Chapman, a budding member of the Terrace Pee Wee rep team, was hoping to realize his dream of skating with his heroes during a pre-game warm-up at a Canucks’ National Hockey League game.

It was around that time when Nathan was diagnosed with leukemia, and had to undergo extensive chemotherapy treatments at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. His parents — Ryan, a Grade 3 elementary school teacher and Catherine, a public health nurse in Terrace — both took stress leaves to be at Nathan’s side.

Today Nathan is an 18-year-old cancer survivor and an apprentice electrical engineer in Terrace. He still plays drop-in hockey and has never given up that boyhood fantasy of one day meeting some of the Canucks.

Through the dogged efforts of Staff Sgt. Major John A. Buis, RCMP Burnaby Detachment, the Canucks were approached via email Friday asking if there would be a way to have Nathan attend a practice one day this season. It took all of three minutes for club CEO de Bonis and communications VP Brumwell to respond, both using the word “absolutely” in separate replies.

Sgt. Major Buis is a longtime supporter of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast bike ride and heard about Nathan’s plight through friend Cam MacKay, a senior boys basketball coach at Caledonia High.

It is yet another example of a Mountie never giving up. “I’ve been waiting eight years for this,” an emotional Sgt. Major Buis said Friday. “I know what it means to Nathan and his family, including his best friend and older brother Nolan. They’ve stuck together every step of the way.”

SHORT HOPS: Sgt. Major Buis and son Jamie still talk about meeting hockey legend Howie Meeker during Jamie’s graduation at the RCMP Training Academy Drill Hall in Regina three years ago. Meeker was the grad’s guest speaker and wore an antique buffalo coat and fur hat that had been worn on the Prairies by members of the RCMP until the 1950s.

Today the former “Golly Gee Willickers” Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster enjoys feeding birds in his backyard and looking after the gardening with wife Leah at their home in Parksville. He’s 91 years young and looking forward to being inducted into the Newfoundland/Labrador Sports Hall of Fame in April. Meeker, the NHL’s rookie of the year in 1946-47 (Gordie Howe’s rookie season, incidentally!), got his start in television in Newfoundland, where he lived for 25 years before heading west.

END ZONE: Only a handful of the 8.3 million CTV viewers of Sunday’s Super Bowl game would be aware those clever Bud Light television commercials highlighting the iconic brands “MyTeamCan” campaign were recorded by voice-over artist Al Murdoch in his Port Moody studio. Murdoch is the Canucks’ deep-voiced PA announcer.

Greg Douglas’s Dr. Sport column appears every second Saturday in The Sun.

drsport@telus.net

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
Retired hockey broadcast legend Howie Meeker in an antique buffalo coat and fur hat, flanked by Burnaby RCMP Staff Sgt. Major John A. Buis, right, and Buis’s son Jamie at the latter’s graduation from the force in 2013 in Regina.
 

Retired hockey broadcast legend Howie Meeker in an antique buffalo coat and fur hat, flanked by Burnaby RCMP Staff Sgt. Major John A. Buis, right, and Buis’s son Jamie at the latter’s graduation from the force in 2013 in Regina.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your voice