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Screaming Sirens welcome in Cornerbrook


March 4, 2013
By Dannette Dooley

by Danette Dooley

There was a different twist to the RCMP “B” Division Amey/Hoey Memorial Hockey Tournament in Cornerbrook this year – an all-female entry.

The women travelled from all over Newfoundland and Labrador to lace up their skates, reacquaint with members they haven’t seen in years, enjoy great meals together and, most importantly, remember two comrades who lost their lives while policing in Newfoundland and Labrador.

{Fallen officers}

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Cst. Terry Hoey was 21 when he was killed Nov. 6, 1958 while serving in Botwood, Newfoundland. He and two other officers responded to a domestic dispute between the owner of a local restaurant and his son.

After getting no response from the living quarters they entered a side window and knocked on the living room door. There was no answer and they found the door had been heavily barricaded. They called out to the owner, asking him to open the door. Immediately a shotgun blast ripped through the wood, striking Hoey in the chest. He died at the scene.

Cst. Robert Amey was 24 when he was killed Dec. 17, 1964 in Whitbourne, Newfoundland after four men broke out of prison in St. John’s. They stole a car and ran through a RCMP roadblock near Whitbourne. A chase ensued and the four fugitives soon abandoned their car and ran for cover.

They were discovered hiding but, even though cornered, refused to surrender. Amey went to the car to radio for help and the four rushed Cst. David Keith, beating him severely and taking his service revolver.

Amey could see Keith was down when he ran back and that one of the fugitives was armed. He attempted to hold them at gunpoint but one fired three shots. Amey was hit in the chest and died instantly.

Using Amey’s gun, Keith was able to arrest all four fugitives.

{Well remembered}

Sirens player Cpl. Ann Noel of “B” Division’s Drug and Organized Crime Awareness Services remembers her father (Royce Getson) talking about Hoey.

“We have Hoey’s and Amey’s pictures in many of our offices in the province and when Dad came to visit me one day, he looked up at Cst. Hoey’s picture and he said, ‘Ann, I trained with that man.'”

The Sirens lost all three of their games but took gold when it came to being the best dressed team and the squad that had the most fun on and off the ice, Noel says.

“We had beautiful purple jerseys with matching socks,” she laughs.

Noel says eight teams participated in the tournament – both in a fun division and a more serious division where the skaters are all avid hockey players.

The teams consisted of RCMP officers, retirees, civilians and others who work in law enforcement and corrections.

“We had our opening ceremonies and opening remarks by a representative of our commanding officer to remind us all why we were there and to thank the membership for all the hard work that we do in the communities – work that’s not always as pleasant as the tournament,” Noel says.

Noel plays recreational hockey in Gander and quickly signed up when the call went out for females to enter a team.

Already, she says, women are asking about joining the team for the 2014 tournament.

{Warm welcome}

The male officers were very welcoming, Noel said, though she suspects they held back while on the ice. “I don’t think they played their best against us,” she noted with a laugh.

Despite losing all their games, Noel says Wanda Richards, an analyst with “B” Division Criminal Intelligence Analysis Section (DCIAS), did an outstanding job in goal.

A civilian member of the force, Richards helped round up the women for the team and raise money for the jerseys.

“Traditionally this has been a guy’s tournament but the organizing committee went over and above when I told them we wanted to enter an all-female team. We had a great time meeting some of the faces of our members from around the province. It was a lot of stress free, innocent fun,” she says.

Both Noel and Richards say the tournament works because it is supported by the commanding officer.

“Assistant Commissioner (Tracy) Hardy allowed us to use force resources like our police cars to make sure everybody could get to the tournament. It’s supported from the top down,” says Richards.

dooley@blueline.ca