Broncos forever – Global Affairs CEO and Humboldt alum on bus crash
Long before he was the head of one of Canada’s biggest global affairs organizations, Kelly Ogle was a Humboldt Bronco. Twice. “I played for the Humboldt Broncos when helmets were almost optional,” he said Monday at the University of Calgary. “I’m sorry if I get a little bit of emotional here, that’s 45 years ago, but I spent two years of my life in Humboldt.” Ogle is the president and CEO of the Calgary-based Canadian Global Affairs Institute, which also has an office in Ottawa and publishes research on defence, diplomacy, trade and development. But before he graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1978, Ogle played junior hockey, suiting up for Humboldt in the 1972-73 and 1975-76 seasons. “I will always remember the community and people, it was a large part of my life, I rode those buses for a couple of years,” he said. “It’s been a tough weekend, and I’ve talked to a number of former players over the weekend, and this is, it’s a large tragedy.” Ogle is originally from Coleville, Saskatchewan near Kindersley and touched on the team’s importance to the town, even when he played. “It is the community from October to April,” he said. “It’s just such a large part of a small community.“I’m beside myself with grief, all I can do is pray.” He was one of the panellists for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s announcement on the federal government launching a new innovation program for addressing defence challenges. The minister addressed the Humboldt disaster at the start of the event. “We are here for you,” Sajjan said.Despite the national and international coverage of the bus crash, Ogle tried to stay focused on his appearance at the university Monday. But that didn’t stop the conversations with former teammates all those years ago and the flow of memories from his trips on the team bus. “Your life is on the bus,” he said. “The hockey’s part of it, but the bus is where the comradeship and brotherhood is, it’s on the bus.” Ogle paused before answering what those conversations were like. “Broncos forever, heavy hearts,” he said.