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Friendship tournament honours memory of local athlete


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The eighth annual Christmas Friendship Tournament, in memory of Phil Sears, is slated for Dec. 27 to Jan. 1 in Brookfield.

Up to 30 house league teams from across the province have come here to compete in friendship over the past seven years.

‘Phil is remembered for his qualities as a coach, as an athlete and especially as a person,’ Stephen Henderson, longtime friend of Sears, wrote in the program's booklet for 2003/04.

‘Philip grew up in Brookfield and made the most of his large circle of family and friends. He played games and sports almost everyday in every season and learned invaluable lessons from this competition.

‘Phil learned to play with determination, honesty and respect for his teammates and competitors. His size, strength and speed made him a good athlete; his thoughtfulness made him a coach’s favourite. Phil listened, tried hard and always played with passion.’

Sears graduated from Saint Mary's University with a Bachelor of Commerce.

He lived and worked in Halifax, until marriage, then moved back to Brookfield and worked for the Randy Sears Honda Dealership in Truro until his death from cancer in 2002.

This year the tournament is co-chaired by Shawn Bernard and John McMinn.

The number of teams competing is still to be determined for the friendship games, played appropriately during the Christmas season.

There is no admission charge and everyone is encouraged to stop at the Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex to cheer the youngsters on.

Sears' family members are often in the stands. They are pleased that the local minor hockey association carries on this tournament as a fitting tribute to a favourite son, brother, husband, father and friend.

Sears' widow Kim and daughters Chelsea and Melody were delighted last year when the Brookfield bantams, under coach Kary Elliot, won their division.

Melody expressed an interest in wanting a banner and, sure enough, Elliot saw that the family were presented with a replica banner, which holds a special place in their home and hearts.

Kim and the girls always try to be on hand for the presentation of awards.

The South Colchester Minor Hockey Association present a Phil Sears Memorial Leadership Award every year to a minor hockey person worthy of this honour.

Sears is fondly remembered by all who knew him. Kudos to the association for honouring a young athlete whose life was ended too soon.

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The Brookfield Elementary School concert played to large crowds on Wednesday afternoon and evening, Dec. 12.

The teaching and support staff does a tremendous amount of work to bring such a high quality concert to the public. Music teacher Sheila Miller, the sound man and lighting person are to be commended.

The children delivered songs representing countries from all over the world.

From the talented emcee Ty Graham to the outstanding rendition of ‘O, Holy Night’ by Grade 2 student Victoria Fraser, it was a special show.

All the students had songs to sing, instruments to play and they took great pride in presenting their selections.

The school is blessed with good creative leadership and discipline.

Judy Matheson is a lifelong Brookfield resident and dedicated volunteer with many community organizations. To have your community news appear in her column contact her by email at judy.m.matheson@eastlink.ca.

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