CANMORE – For nearly three decades, Darryl Lockwood has had his hand in pretty much every aspect of what makes the Canmore Eagles Junior A Hockey Club work.
And the generous efforts of the man who does it all haven't gone unnoticed.
In gratitude for his significant contributions to hockey in Canmore, the Eagles president has been honoured by the province with a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Award, given to those making their communities a better place to live.
“To be recognized at that level is really truly amazing,” said Lockwood. “I got recognized for [the award], but it really does go out to all the volunteers and supporters of our club to keep Junior A hockey in Canmore and I’m forever grateful for everyone involved now and in the past.”
This year marked Queen Elizabeth’s 70th year as the leading monarch for Great Britain and its commonwealth. She passed away on Sept. 8 at age 96. The award is being given to 7,000 Albertans throughout 2022.
Lockwood was presented with a plaque and pin by Banff-Airdrie MP Blake Richards on Thursday (Nov. 10) during a surprise ceremony on the ice before puck drop at the Eagles home game against the Blackfalds Bulldogs.
Andrew Milne, Eagles head coach and general manager, said the reason he’s still a part of the organization is because it’s surrounded by people like Lockwood, who are committed to helping the club and community.
“Darryl is the epitome of that, just a selfless act in any situation,” said Milne. “He’s the club president that you’ll find working the bar, announcing the game, taking tickets, cleaning the dressing room, you know, whatever he has to do. That’s the type of organization we want, we pride ourselves on being good community citizens and it starts at the top.”
Lockwood said two of the biggest factors of why he’s invested so much time into the club have been the community and friendships built throughout the years.
“It’s a place where the community can come and enjoy some entertainment 40 nights a year; a place to visit with your neighbours and cheer on your team that’s where my drive has been over the years is the community aspect of it,” he said.
Having a passion for hockey, Lockwood’s history with the Junior A club dates back to 1995 when the family-run Lockwood Autobody shop was one of the first sponsors for the new club coming to town.
When asked to join the volunteer board of directors, Lockwood felt it was a big privilege. This season is Lockwood’s 13th year as club president.
It’s been a “family joint effort” as well for the Lockwoods, which have been billet parents, and his wife, Vicki, volunteers. At games, Lockwood is usually a social butterfly, visiting with billets, parents, and supporters, working the upstairs bar, and even as the voice over the speakers at games.
“To give back to your community is a special thing and an important thing,” said Lockwood. “I’m just one of many who volunteers their time and efforts into the club and I thank them all for their work and their support that they’ve given me over the years. That’s what keeps me going.”