‘Leon May Memorial Trophy’ unveiled in Fortune

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

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

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, Charlie Dominaux, father Ches May, Robin Savoury, Rhonda Savoury and Chelsea Savoury – were on hand for the ceremony at Fortune Arena this month. 

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.”

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

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.”

Organizations: United Towns Minor Hockey Association, Grand Bank

Geographic location: Calgary

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