Around the corner from my house is an elementary school with a big schoolyard. Every winter, city workers put up wooden boards around a rectangular section of the schoolyard. This area is then flooded with water, creating an ice rink for community members to enjoy skating and shinny hockey. After living in this neighbourhood for 17 years, I can safely say that this outdoor, man-made rink is enjoyed and cherished by young tykes, old-timers, and everyone in between.
One man stands alone taking responsibility every evening to shovel and flood the ice. That man’s name is Wayne. Out of the kindness of his heart, generosity towards the community, and love for the great game of hockey, Wayne faithfully and tirelessly works to give this gift to the neighbourhood. Often unnoticed and unthanked, Wayne gives his time and energy not for personal reward or recognition, but to give children and adults alike the opportunity to experience Canada’s game.
The community, this country, and our world needs more men and women like Wayne. Giving of ourselves for the betterment of humanity and not for personal gain is a virtue to which we can all aspire.
When Canadians hear the name “Wayne”, we automatically think of Wayne Gretzky. The most outstanding player to ever lace up a pair of skates and take to the ice armed with a stick and a puck, Wayne Gretzky has earned the designation “The Great One”. Not to be outdone, lacing up his boots every night and taking to the ice armed with a shovel and a hose, there is another Wayne…and, at least in my little neighbourhood, we think he’s pretty great too.