Terry Conroy Mini Ice re-dedication ceremony welcomed by community members

(Fort McMurray, AB, February 7, 2014) – Wood Buffalo region dignitaries, representatives of the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo (RRC), local youth and members of the family of the late Terry Conroy gathered on the afternoon of February 7 to celebrate the re-dedication of the mini ice surface at the Suncor Community Leisure Centre.

The Terry Conroy Mini Ice, originally dedicated in 1996 in honour of the legacy Terry Conroy left in the community as a long time minor hockey coach, sport enthusiast, and mentor for young athletes, was re-dedicated during a ceremony that included comments from Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Mayor Melissa Blake, community member and former local minor hockey player Peter Jurak, Charles Conroy, son of Terry Conroy, and Mike Cachia, Chair of the Board of Directors of the RRC. Also in attendance were the Honourable Don Scott, MLA for Fort McMurray-Conklin and Associate Minister of Accountability, Transparency and Transformation, Mike Allen, MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, and members of RMWB Council. The re-dedication ceremony was followed by a free public skate for youth 12 and under.

“The Conroy family is very pleased to take part in the re-dedication of the Terry Conroy Mini Ice. This demonstrates that the community long remembers the contributions that people make over the years to make Fort McMurray a great place to live, play, and grow,” said Joyce Conroy, on behalf of Charles and Tonda Conroy, and the extended Conroy family.

Terry Conroy moved to Fort McMurray in 1975, employed by Alberta Housing Corporation as Manager of the Gregoire Mobile Home Park.  As his son and daughter began participating in sports, Terry volunteered for many organizations, including minor hockey, junior hockey, gymnastics, swimming, baseball, and lacrosse.  He coached hockey at every level from Peanuts to the Junior ‘B’ Voyageurs.  Terry held many positions with the Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association and was a Director on the Northern Alberta Athletic Association (the Oil Barons Junior ‘A’ Club) and the Minor Baseball Association.

Conroy is also remembered for his annual backyard rink, an ice surface that replicated an ice arena in every regard including blue and red lines, nets at both ends, and lighting. This rink became the focal point for young ice enthusiasts who would arrive with skates and hockey stick in hand, ready to sharpen their skills or enjoy a game of shinny.                                                 

“As recreation in this region grows it is of vital importance that we continue to remember and honour the contributions of the founders of sport in this community,” said Tim Reid, Chief Executive Officer of the RRC. “Mr. Conroy was much more than just a hockey coach, as his mentorship and support encouraged and inspired dozens of local youth to pursue their dreams in sport and education, and we are proud to honour his legacy today with his family and the community in attendance. The Terry Conroy Mini Ice is where young residents of this region will once again begin to pursue their dreams, just as they did decades ago in a backyard rink built by one man’s dedication and devotion to youth, sport, and community.”

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