This past Sunday, the funeral of a hometown boy and true hero of Stratford took place.
Mr. Art Boon, a veteran of D-Day and local sports and community titan was honoured with an emotional ceremony at the Stratford Rotary Complex. Though I knew of Mr. Boon, or more accurately chief warrant officer Boon, through military channels I was not aware of his longstanding involvement with both sports, community and family until I attended the funeral. There I learned that he was a true gentleman and family man. He passed up an opportunity to potentially play professional hockey after the war to instead return to Stratford and aid his family, specifically his ailing father. Art was deeply involved in the Stratford community in a variety of ways. He was most importantly, a loving father and husband.
Though the level of attendance was respectful, I was frankly disappointed at the number of empty seats and the relatively senior age of the attendees. It made me think that if he had pursued the opportunity to play for the Detroit Red Wings, how different the crowd and community response would have been. I wondered what type of turnout there will eventually be for another Stratford hometown boy, Justin Bieber, when he passes. Why do we worship sports and entertainment celebrities so much when we have giants of true character, like Art Boon, amongst us?
Maybe this is a moment for us all to reflect on who we value in our society. Rest in Peace Mr. Boon.
Related: Country, community, family: Boon gave back his entire life
Robert P.M. Talach