UPDATED: Big day in Bonavista as Ryder takes home the Stanley Cup

Glen Whiffen
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3:42 p.m. — Michael Ryder told a cheering crowd this afternoon at the softball field he couldn't believe so many turned out to welcome him home with the Stanley Cup. He thanked everyone for the support. A little earlier, Ryder carried the cup into Cabot Stadium, where hundreds of screaming minor hockey players and figure skaters had their photos taken with Ryder and the cup.

At this hour, a huge line of people beginning at the softball field and nearly encircling the nearby stadium wait patiently for the chance to get their photo taken with Ryder and the cup.

SEE THE PHOTOS

Politicians are out in full force including: Premier Kathy Dunderdale, NDP leader Lorraine Michael, Liberal leader Kevin Aylward, MP Scott Simms, MHA Roger Fitzgerald and Mayor Betty Fitzgerald.

There's a huge RCMP presence both helping to control the crowd for security, being aided by the local fire department and other volunteers.

•••

1:38 p.m. — While Michael Ryder may have the Stanley Cup for one day, the dream of it coming to Bonavista was carried on the shoulders of many from the town who, over the years, made sacrifices for love for the game.

Today, along with the many visitors from outside the town, those folks are gathered to celebrate one of their own reaching the top of the hockey world.

All of the players who laced up the skates on the local ponds and marshes, the old outdoor rink at Harbour Pond, and in Cabot Stadium likely thought about bringing the Stanley Cup home.

In a way, Bonavista is a fitting place for Lord Stanley’s mug.

The community and the cup have storied histories — the town through its ups and downs as an old fishing community since discovery of Newfoundland more than 500 years ago, and the original cup with its dings and dents over the years after being lost and found by winning teams, kicked into a canal, used as a flower pot and left in a snow bank.

Both are rugged, yet beautiful and full of meaning.

The original bowl of the Stanley Cup was retired to the Hockey Hall of Fame in the 1962 where it remains on display — a priceless symbol of the best of hockey.

The replica the teams get to carry to their respective homes carries the names of winning team members — and Michael Ryder's name is engraved upon it.

(According to the Hockey Hall of Fame website, the Stanley Cup, notably the oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in North America, was donated in 1892 by Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston and son of the Earl of Derby. He purchased the trophy for $50 at that time.)

•••

12:30 p.m. — The helicopter carrying Michael Ryder and the Stanley Cup lands in Bonavista. Cheering crowds gather around Cabot Stadium and RCMP headquarters, where the chopper landed.

A parade is currently underway and Bonavista’s streets are lined with people.

“It’s a thrill for me, a dream come true to bring the Stanley Cup to my home town,” said Ryder, who was met by a large number of family members.

“They supported me ever since I’ve been playing professional hockey and I wanted to bring the cup home to them.”

•••

12:15 p.m. — Crowds awaiting arrival of Stanley Cup and Michael Ryder in Bonavista. Updates to play-by-play coverage taxed by cell troubles... Stay tuned.

•••

11:20 a.m. — The Stanley Cup got its first ding of the day when the table the cup was placed on toppled, as Michael Ryder attended a send-off celebration in St. John's. About 50 people showed up at the rooftop of 95 Water Street to congratulate Ryder on bringing the cup to Newfoundland and Labrador. Ryder and the Cup are scheduled to board a 3D Helicopters flight to Bonavista shortly. SEE THE PHOTOS

•••

11 a.m. — A formal cup send-off is underway in St. John's, with the gathered guests awaiting the arrival of Michael Ryder and the Stanley Cup.

The Telegram's Glen Whiffen is at the event and will join Ryder and Premier Kathy Dunderdale on a helicopter ride to the Bonavista area.

•••

It’s a big day in Bonavista as crowds are expected to gather in preparation for Michael Ryder’s visit with the Stanley Cup.

Events scheduled for Bonavista include a parade through the town at 12:30 p.m.; a viewing at Cabot Stadium for Bonavista-Trinity Minor Hockey Association children, coaches, committee members and parents, and Bonavista Figure Skating kids, coaches, committee members and parents.

From 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Dunderdale and Bonavista Mayor Betty Fitzgerald will be among guest speakers at a gathering on the town's softball field behind Cabot Stadium, a field Ryder also frequented as a kid.

At 3 p.m. there is a half-hour set aside for corporate sponsors, then a public viewing on the softball field from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. where Bonavista residents and visitors alike will be able to line up and get a photo taken with Ryder and the cup.

Ryder — who in the upcoming season will be a member of the Dallas Stars along with fellow Bonavista native Adam Pardy — won the cup in June as a member of the Boston Bruins NHL team.

Updates, with photos and video, to follow throughout the day.

Organizations: Bonavista-Trinity Minor Hockey Association, Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins NHL

Geographic location: Bonavista, Cabot Stadium

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Recent comments

  • Bonnie
    August 30, 2011 - 21:06

    Way to go Micheal Ryder!!!!! Reading about the day that you spent with the cup ,sounded quite amazing to say the least. I wish I had flown home to be their with my family, my son would have been so siked!!!!! Halifax day with Brad Marchand was nice but nothing like Newfies day... Congrats again.

  • Karen
    August 30, 2011 - 20:48

    CONGRATULATIONS RYDER, It's a proud day for fellow newfoundlanders. As a mom of two boys I can only imangine the joy your parents feel to see you bringing the cup to Bonnivista. Habs, Toronto, Bruins who cares what team.. you worked hard and brought the joy and excitement to your hometown, Be Proud And Enjoy Every Minute.... GO RYDER GO

  • JohnBucyk
    August 30, 2011 - 19:03

    Waited 39 years for the Bruins to raise the Cup !!! Too bad Darryl Williams couldn't bring it home , as I know him . But i'm a Big Bad Bruins fan . Way to go Michael . You have made Bonavista and all NL proud .

  • JasonP
    August 30, 2011 - 15:33

    The Bruins are a bunch of hypercrites and they SUCK! Never in my life have I seen such an undeserving champion, until this past year.

    • TonyP
      August 31, 2011 - 08:01

      Jasonp - Angry much? You're the difference between winners and whiners.

    • barb hennessey
      August 31, 2011 - 11:08

      You are such a sore loser.

    • Catherine Grant
      August 31, 2011 - 19:53

      I was disappointed with CBC's clip on Michael Ryder bringing the Stanley Cup to his hometown, Bonavista. I stayed up especially to watch this segment. It was very disappointing as I did not see any of the celebration. The clip was focused on the table and the cup falling to the floor. And a recount of all the abuse that the cup has received over the years. The reporting of this piece of news was sub-standard and reminded me of the National Inquirer instead of the National Broadcast that I was expecting!

  • Eli
    August 30, 2011 - 14:55

    This day belonged to Michael Ryder who wanted nothing more than to share the day and the Stanley Cup with the town and people of Bonavista. We know polititians have no shame especially with an election around the corner. Shame!

  • Don
    August 30, 2011 - 13:49

    Some people you just can't please because if Dunderdale didn't show up, the same people would still be complaining. Congrats Michael....the province is so proud of you!

  • Barry
    August 30, 2011 - 13:31

    Its to bad that Dunderdale had to show her face there today, theres a time and place for politics and this was not it.

    • bt
      August 30, 2011 - 18:31

      She had to show up you dummy!! She is the rep for the province. Where have you seen an event where the mayor, MHA, Premier etc did not attend an important event relation to their province etc .

  • Bostonono
    August 30, 2011 - 12:18

    Go Boston - Habs SUCK!

  • nl hockey fan
    August 30, 2011 - 09:55

    way to go mike, you deserve it. the leaders of all three parties are going. Totally disgusting. This is a celrbration and no place for grubby politics. Where were they with congrats when hw won the cup.

    • Mike
      August 30, 2011 - 11:24

      Michael Ryder likely doesn't even know who Kathy Dunderdale, Kevin Aylward or Lorraine Michael are. How did Dunderdale manage to snag a ride on the chopper?