St. Stephen Aces Jr. A Hockey Club

Aces captain honoured with Brian Parsons Community Leadership Award

By Kate Scott – Saint Croix Courier – Reprinted with Permission

Ricky Young, captain of the St. Stephen Aces, has been chosen to receive the first annual Brian Parsons Community Leadership Award.

The award was presented Monday, Feb. 27, during an Aces appreciation dinner. Longtime friend Rick Purcell presented the award, created to honour the memory of Parsons, who died in March, 2016. Parsons’ family – his widow, Patty; daughter Samantha, and son-in-law Jamie Kinney – were all in attendance and on their behalf, Purcell thanked the Aces organization for its meaningful gesture.

Purcell described Parsons as a leader in the community, and noted in addition to many years in the printing business, Parsons was involved in many local organizations, volunteering much of his time. The Boys and Girls Club of Charlotte County, the St. Croix Vocational Centre, and Meals on Wheels, were named as just a few organizations that “were near and dear to his heart.”

“Brian was a firm believer to shop local to help local business prosper,” Purcell said, adding jokingly, “I think Brian was the only local person to never go to Calais to buy gas or milk,” to the response of a soft chuckle from the crowd.

Purcell also recognized Parsons’ love of sports, “especially hockey.”

“Being on the ice first as a player, then a referee for 26 years, and finally coaching, which I know was his passion. Brian loved teaching kids; some say he was just a kid at heart.

“He coached kids of any age or any talent and instilled confidence, fair play, working to do their best, work hard to respect the officials, respect for opponents, and respect for the game; but most of all to have fun on and off the ice and don’t be afraid to laugh,” Purcell said.

He then named Young, a native of St. Stephen, as the first recipient of the award. Upon receiving the award, Young described it as “an honour,” and said he got to know Parsons after becoming a member of the Aces.

“Whether I saw him at the golf course or at the grocery store, or most the time at the walking track at the civic centre, he would always stop and talk hockey, whether it was about our last game or about his favourite team, the Chicago Blackhawks,” Young said.

He described his relationship with Parsons as a perfect example of the relationships he’s built in the community as a member of the Aces “that are truly special to me.”

“I had the honour to make Brian’s memorial bench that’s located at the St. Stephen Golf Course and that meant a lot to me because Brian really touched me as a person. He was a great guy. It’s an honour to win this award.”