LETHBRIDGE - Hundreds of people arrived at Nicholas Sheran Arena Saturday afternoon (April 14) to share their memories of Humboldt Broncos Defenseman Logan Boulet.
21-year-old Boulet was one of 16 people who died, when the bus they were travelling in to Nipawin, Saskatchewan for a playoff game, was involved in a catastrophic accident with a tandem semi-truck carrying a load. Just weeks prior, when Boulet turned 21, he signed an organ donor card. Six of his organs were donated, saving half a dozen lives.
A hush fell over the packed arena at 1 p.m., while the Lethbridge Firefighters Pipe Band prepared to begin the ceremony. As the band played “Scotland The Brave” making its way across the arena, Boulet’s parents took their seats facing their son’s casket, followed by other family members. Boulet's casket was adorned with orange flowers and green and yellow ribbons.
Reverend Terry Shillington opened the ceremony with a welcome and a few brief comments. Psalm 23 and John 15:9-12 was read by Brian Friesen, who called Boulet a hero.
Former teachers, coaches, friends and family all described Boulet’s mischievousness; his ability to “catch all the jokes,” his empathy for others, and his talents and incredible work ethic not only on the ice, but academically, musically, and in other sports.
His former science teacher Jared Heidinger told everyone, “the best stories to me are that the hero doesn’t know they’re the hero. They just live their life. And they go and they have a character about themselves…and then a situation comes along where they make a choice. And this choice of action has repercussions that affect many people…even the very future changes because of these heroes …and in his way, Logan’s organ and tissue donation decision was made because he was just- his desire to bring the possibility of positivity to people in the event that he passed."
“Through his character, Logan always was inspiring to me in life and he will continue to inspire me in his passing. And that’s what a hero is to me.”
Boulet’s Godfather Neil Langevin, noted a quote from the author of the book “Wonder.”
“I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”
Langevin asked the crowd to cheer for Logan, and as the entire arena filled with a loud chorus of “LOGAN….BOULET…LOGAN…BOULET,” he then asked everyone to give Logan a standing ovation.
There were few dry eyes in the arena as Boulet’s Uncle Kevin Higo thanked the first responders, Nipawin Hospital, the ICU’s doctors and nurses at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, the Humboldt Broncos, City of Lethbridge, family and friends, local schools and community groups, and described some of his nephew’s final moments with one of the nurses as she checked Logan’s heart.
“She came in and she put the blue jelly on him…and I got to sit there…we had to turn him a little bit and move him…she was all done and she turned around. She looked me right in the eye and she said ‘that’s the strongest heart I’ve ever been a part of for donation.’
“I looked at him (Logan), and it was the bravest thing I’ve ever seen. He was so brave. There wasn’t fear in him…he was so strong.…that’s the bravest man I’ve ever seen.”
As the ceremony concluded, the pipe band played “Amazing Grace,” while honourary pallbearers escorted Boulet’s casket from the arena to be taken away for a private family burial ceremony.
Anyone and everyone who knew the Boulet family - or who didn’t know them; who simply came to offer their support - were encouraged to stay and share their memories
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