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P.E.I. hockey legend Forbes Kennedy humbled by City of Charlottetown honour

Former NHL star and Charlottetown hero Forbie Kennedy, centre, talks to former Charlottetown deputy mayor Stu MacFadyen prior to Monday’s regular public monthl;y meeting of council. Council unanimously agreed to name a volunteer award in Kennedy’s honour. Also pictured at left is Larry Resnitzky, who published Kennedy’s story in the book “Forbie’’.
Former NHL star and Charlottetown hero Forbie Kennedy, centre, talks to former Charlottetown deputy mayor Stu MacFadyen prior to Monday’s regular public monthl;y meeting of council. Council unanimously agreed to name a volunteer award in Kennedy’s honour. Also pictured at left is Larry Resnitzky, who published Kennedy’s story in the book “Forbie’’. - Dave Stewart

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The City of Charlottetown honoured one of the city’s hockey legends at its regular public monthly meeting Monday night.

Coun. Mitchell Tweel, chairman of the parks and recreation committee, announced the city is creating the Forbie Kennedy Volunteer of the Year Award, an honour that will be given out annually at the Citizen Recognition Awards during the Natal Day celebrations.

Larry Resnitzky, who published the book “Forbie’’ last year, sent a letter to Mayor Philip Brown asking the city to consider naming a volunteer award after the former NHL star.

Kennedy was in attendance at Monday’s council meeting and seemed genuinely humbled by the gesture, and that standing ovation he received once Tweel finished reading the citation.

“It feels good, yeah,’’ Kennedy told the media following the announcement. “It’s something that’s going to be around for a long time. I’ll be long gone and it will still be here.’’

Tweel said he’ll always be struck by how much Kennedy gave back to the community after his NHL career ended.

“That is something that I don’t think is really celebrated and that is an everlasting legacy that Forbes Kennedy will leave this city and this province as a baseball coach, as a hockey coach, he’s been a tremendous mentor and he devoted and dedicated his services over several decades,’’ Tweel said.

“I see the same faces when I go in the rinks working with kids and then the ballfields, same people. They’re working hard keeping kids out of trouble.’’
-Forbie Kennedy

Forbes Kennedy speaks to Ron MacLean during the launch of a book on the legendary figure in late 2018. - File
Forbes Kennedy speaks to Ron MacLean during the launch of a book on the legendary figure in late 2018. - File

 

Kennedy, 83, said he learned how to give back from the best.

“I just put in what people did for me, like when I was a young fellow playing ball it was Charlie Ryan, Tom MacFarlane, Bill Murphy, they came back from overseas and they’d look after us and I’ve always tried to do the same as they did.’’

Growing up, Kennedy said it was never hard for find people to volunteer their time to help kids.

“It wasn’t hard to get guys to coach baseball, wasn’t hard to get guys to look after hockey teams. They all did their job and didn’t ask for anything, just came out and helped kids out,’’ Kennedy said.

The former NHL player said he still sees the same dedication on the balfields and in the hockey rinks today.

“I see the same faces when I go in the rinks working with kids and then the ballfields, same people. They’re working hard keeping kids out of trouble.’’

When it comes to being a good volunteer, Kennedy said it’s always important to focus on the team as a whole, not just that one special player who might make it to the big leagues.

A lot of people seem to be interested in Kennedy’s story these days. His book “Forbie’’ is a hot seller in Atlantic Canada.

Kennedy deflects most of the credit to his publisher, Resnitzky and the author Gary MacDougall.

“Gary and Larry did a good job,’’ he said.

Tweel said naming a volunteer award after Kennedy is just one small way to say thank you.

“He’s given so much back we would never repay Forbie for what he’s done. This is just a small recognition by the city and I was very honoured to move that resolution,’’ Tweel said.

Twitter.com/DveStewart

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