Mountie dance earns trip to Hawaii
By Danette Dooley
By Danette Dooley
What started out as a way to cheer up his children resulted in a free trip for two to Hawaii for RCMP Cst. Robert Hynes and a fundraiser for a fallen comrade.
The story begins when Hynes’ wife Lori Hynes took a video of him arriving home from work, in full police uniform, breaking into dance to Bruno Mars
The video was taken in November, 2014 – about a month after the family moved from St. Paul, Alberta to Barrhead, Alberta.
While it’s accepted that RCMP members will be transferred several times during their career, the move isn’t always easy on their children.
Leaving their friends behind in St. Paul was devastating for his daughter and her nine-year-old brother Kempton, Hynes said.
“My kids were having some issues at school and finding it hard to make friends. My wife decided we needed to do something to cheer them up. So, she would have afternoon dance parties when they got home and I’d get off at 4:30 (pm) and I’d join in.”
When Hynes began dancing out of his jacket, his daughter joined in and his wife began videoing the impromptu dance party. She shared the video, called “My Dancing Mountie,” with RCMP spouses via their private Facebook page.
“Their Facebook page is a great online community of RCMP spouses and when they get behind a cause, they are definitely a strong voice. My wife has certainly found some benefit in being part of that group.”
The video caught the attention of another RCMP officer’s wife, who contacted Lori and asked if she could nominate Hynes in a Facebook contest called “Most Loving Person in Central Alberta.”
The contest was started by a couple from Alberta who received a free trip for two to Hawaii when they bought a new car from a local Ford dealership. They decided to donate the trip to the most loving person in Central Alberta. There were more than 15,000 nominees and Hynes was one of ten finalists.
The finalists attended a random draw for the trip in Stettler, Alberta in January. While his name wasn’t chosen, the Ford dealership that awarded the initial trip decided to donate three more – one to the couple who held the contest and another to auction off to raise money for the family of RCMP Const. David Wynd, who was shot and killed while responding to a call.
The third trip went to Hynes as a thank-you for his service with the RCMP. It was a pleasant surprise, he said. Cst. Steve Nolan, who mentored Hynes in St. Paul, lauded his work in the community.
Hynes was instrumental in organizing a cadet corp at the First Nations reserve in Good Fish, he noted, and also spent time helping people on the reserve during his off duty time.
“Rob spent a lot of time on the reserve doing community policing work. At Christmas time he would dress up like Santa Claus and sing songs. He’s a very caring person with a big heart, a really nice guy.”
Born in St. John’s, NL, Hynes joined the RCMP in 2008 and began working as a police officer the following year.
“I did about five and a half years in St. Paul doing general duty policing before I took a school resource officer position in Barrhead this past October.”
His work, particularly in the First Nations school, prepared him well for his most recent position, he said.
Hynes said he’s proud of his career with the RCMP and, as much as he’d love to be policing in his home province, he’s content carrying out his duties in Alberta.
“The most difficult part of this career is being away from home. My kids are growing up only getting to see their grandparents once or maybe twice a year if they’re really lucky. But you hang on to the friendships you make in the community and you have those friendships for the birthdays and other special occasions.”
Knowing the video that won him the trip has put smiles on other people’s faces (it presently has almost 9,000 hits on YouTube) makes Hynes chuckle.
“Lori often records us being silly but this time I was just getting off work and I really enjoyed the song that was on. My daughter started mimicking my dance moves… it was just one of those moments that was luckily captured on video.”
Const. Robert Hynes with his six-year-old daughter, Jessa
Const. Robert Hynes and his wife Lori Hynes with their children, nine-year-old Kempton and six-year-old Jessa.
Const. Robert Hynes with some artwork given to him by school children in Alberta