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Cyril Simmonds named patron of St. Anthony’s Winterfest

Cyril Simmonds is the 2018 Winterfest patron.
Cyril Simmonds is the 2018 Winterfest patron. - Stephen Roberts

A lifetime of volunteering in sports, recreation and in the community

ST. ANTHONY, NL – In a lifetime of volunteering and serving his community, Cyril Simmonds says the highlight has been his involvement in sports and recreation.

He’s had his hand in all kinds of sports in a number of capacities over the years, and says one of his “greatest moments” was his role as manager of the fast-pitch softball all-stars.

Over the span of nearly a decade with Simmonds in the dugout, the team managed to win every tournament held from Rocky Harbour to St. Anthony at least once.

The team clinched its final title in Woody Point, defeating the Norris Point Braves.

“Usually the Norris Point Braves was the team we’d always have problems with,” he recalled.

Simmonds helped organize a broomball team at Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital in 1980. He played broomball for a few years and coached the St. Anthony women’s broomball team.

He also played ice hockey for over 40 years. Simmonds started playing senior hockey for the St. Anthony Ramblers in 1968. Later, he laced up his skates for the Goose Cove Flyers, the Raleigh Hee-Bees and the St. Anthony Black Horse team, and did some refereeing as well.

During that time, Simmonds served as president of the St. Anthony Minor Hockey Association and St. Anthony Recreational Hockey.

He says he always had fun playing and enjoyed the friendships he made along the way.

As a hockey player, he finally hung up his skates for good at the age of 64, but his love for the game has continued on through the generations.

Simmonds has watched his children and now grandchildren learn to love the sport.

“It’s great to be able to watch them grow up and play hockey too,” he says.

In fact, his granddaughter, 13-year-old Jenna, now plays Under-15 Triple A ice hockey in Corner Brook.

He beams with pride over her play.

“She’s doing really well,” he says. “She’s got a wicked shot.”

Today, at the age of 69, Simmonds remains active volunteering with the St. Anthony and Area Lions Club. He has been a member since 1993 and served in various capacities, on both local and district levels.

Simmonds has been club president, zone chair, membership chair, first and second district governor and district governor.

Currently, he is serving as the first vice-president of the club and as zone chair for region N3.

In recognition of his work with the organization, in 2017 he received its highest honour with the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, presented to individuals for their achievement and dedication to the Lions Club.

“I enjoy being around people, working with people and helping out in any way I can,” he says. “Being involved with the Lions Club helps you do that, because our motto is that we serve.”

Simmonds has volunteered in many other capacities over the years. He was president of the local Northern Drifters snowmobile club, volunteered grooming trails for seven years, was a member of the Kinsmen for seven years, spent nine years on the Grenfell Co-Op board of directors, and has served on the Grenfell Historical Society board.

Biography

Born in 1948, Simmonds of Goose Cove was the oldest of 13 siblings.

His father, he says, was a “jack-of-all-trades” – a carpenter by trade who worked as an engineer and skipper for 23 years on a boat owned by McDonald’s and Sons.

His mother was a stay-at-home mom who worked with the school board for a time.

“It was exciting growing up in a big family,” Simmonds says. “You not always got everything you wanted but we were never without anything.”

In fact, being the oldest, he recalls he had a bit of an advantage over the other siblings.

For example, he got a bicycle first.

“I had one of the first bikes in Goose Cove,” he says.

He married in 1969 and settled in St. Anthony, where he and his wife Maude raised their three children - two daughters and a son.

For 23 years, Simmonds worked at the X-ray department at Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital. After that, he went into fishing for a few years.

In 2000-01, he took the carpentry program at the College of the North Atlantic in St. Anthony, and then worked for five years as project manager with SABRI before retiring.

Today, he enjoys his leisure life by spending time with his five grandchildren, maintaining his cabin, rabbit catching and snowmobiling.

Simmonds feels honoured to be chosen as the 2018 Winterfest patron.

“I was very pleased I was submitted and I’ve been involved with sports for most of my lifetime,” he says. “It was a great honour to be selected.”

stephen.roberts@northernpen.ca

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