ANTIGONISH, N.S. - The Antigonish Arena was awash in the spirit of support and comradery Sunday (Oct. 28) afternoon during the second annual Inspector Tony Perry Memorial Hockey Game.
Named in memory of the former staff sergeant with the Antigonish RCMP detachment, who passed away in October of 2016, the fun game sees RCMP members facing-off against a team of first responders, while organizers raise money through donations, a 50-50 draw and an auction, with great items generously donated.
The event raised money for two special groups this year; the Helping the Helpers committee, which held their major event the previous day at St. F.X., and the Antigonish chapter of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers), one of the many community groups Perry supported, enthusiastically, while working in Antigonish.
To recognize Perry’s diligent and compassionate work, the Antigonish chapter of MADD has created a scholarship in Perry’s name which it has presented during the last two Dr. J.H. Gillis Regional High School graduation days.
“Tony meant a lot to many people,” Darrin Young, from Team RCMP, said after the game.
Recently promoted to sergeant and transferred to a Halifax posting, Young said he worked a lot with the Antigonish detachment while stationed in Pictou County and, like Perry, worked in Newfoundland for a time.
“Not when Tony was there, but when he was here, actually,” Young said.
“But this is great; it’s nice to be able to come out and play Canada’s game for charities … do something we all enjoy.”
He talked about the opportunity to enjoy the company of fellow RCMP members and first responders in a fun and relaxed environment.
“Normally when we see each other, it’s a scene we’re responding to, because that is our job, but we don’t get an opportunity to have fun and share the comradery often; these are the times you smile about,” he said.
Willie Bray, deputy fire chief with the Antigonish County Volunteer Fire Department and a player with Team First Responders, echoed those sentiments.
“Everyone had a lot of fun; we can’t wait for next year,” Bray said.
“Hopefully they’ll be able to keep this going and do it every year. I’m pretty sure that locker room in there will continue to come out,” he added, gesturing towards a room full of his teammates.
Both men praised the organizers of the game and the support it received from the community.
“It’s great to see the community come out and the amount of money they’re able to raise for the charities,” Young said. “It always goes to great causes and helps a lot of people in many different ways.”
“It’s great causes being supported,” Bray said. “It was nice to see everyone out there supporting a great community event.”