N.B. city council discusses Colby Cave memorial proposal

Ways to commemorate the life of a well-known local NHL hockey player was up for discussion at North Battleford city council Monday evening.

Before council was a proposal to honour the memory of Colby Cave, the former Edmonton Oiler and Boston Bruins hockey player who died April 11 of last year at the age of 25 from a brain bleed.

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The proposal before council came from Mallory Simmonds, representing the Colby Cave Memorial Planning Committee. In correspondence to the city, Simmonds reported that the committee is in the “planning stages of honouring this young man and his hockey history in our community, with hopes to announce our plans on the one year anniversary of his death.”

Her correspondence noted Cave was born and raised in the Battlefords and played minor hockey in the community, including with the under-18 AAA Battlefords Stars. Simmonds noted Cave had not only put the Battlefords on the map as a hockey player, but also “left behind a legacy of being a respectful, coachable, hard working teammate.”

Some members of the Battlefords Minor Hockey Association along with Cave’s parents and local sponsors Innovation Credit Union and Access Communications have started planning on how he should be honoured. Among the ideas the BMHA board has approved include:

(1) Creation of the Colby Cave award to be presented every spring to players from each hockey division who showcase coachability, teamwork, sportsmanship, work ethic and respect.

(2) Launch of the Colby Cave Memorial Spring Hockey Camp, which would run during the Easter school break and be available to all players from the area.

(3) Finally, the renaming of the roundabout in front of the Civic Centre along with the hanging the banners with images of Cave’s jerseys worn over the years, as well as a physical monument.

It was that third item that requires the approval of council to go forward. The committee is proposing the roundabout and access road be renamed “Colby Cave Way,” with “Memorial Way” a second choice. The idea is for the banners to be added to light posts on a less permanent basis.

As for the monument, the suggestion is to put it up somewhere within the roundabout. Ideas for a monument include a statue of Cave, or covering one of his hockey sticks in bronze and having a plaque put up there. Also a consideration is, if a new arena is built, whether the memorial could be relocated to that location once it is built.

In remarks at council Monday, Councillor Kelli Hawtin noted there was “a lot of things to consider here,” including how this works with the existing street naming policies and bylaws.

The consensus that quickly emerged at the meeting was that council discuss the issue at length at a future planning committee meeting, which would include looking into the current street naming policy.

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