Realty One

Friday, March 15, 2019


From left: Rod Donison, Sean Brandow and Me
Humboldt Broncos Team Chaplain Sean Brandow gained worldwide notoriety when he spoke at a jampacked vigil at Elgar Petersen Arena two days after the horrendous tragedy which hit his team on April 6/2018. It is still - and will always be - regarded as the worst day in Saskatchewan history.

Brandow's speech, carried on CTV Newsnet, CBC Newsworld, and around the globe on CNN, is still talked about in both the hockey and faith communities.

In fact it was front page material in Canada's MacLean's magazine with the headline: Humboldt Pastor's Anguished Speech - "Where was God?"

On Thursday, Brandow was the keynote speaker at the latest Leader Impact luncheon organized by Southern Saskatchewan Leader Impact Director Rod Donison and his committee.

Brandow spoke for roughly 30 minutes and he touched on his relationship with Broncos Head Coach & GM Darcy Haugan, who perished in the crash. The pair became fast friends when Haugan was hired 3 1/2 years ago and they spent many-a-morning fishing on a nearby lake. Most days, Brandow said, they'd go hours without speaking; simply enjoying their surroundings.

Pastor Brandow did not spend a lot of time on the tragedy during his presentation, other than mentioning he was with Darcy Haugan's wife and mother as they looked for the coach in the wake of the crash.

A good portion of Sean's speech was dedicated to the importance of "rest", both for the soul and for the body. He made sure to make clear the distinction between the two. He mentioned how he picked up many of these tactics over the past year, dealing with the families of the victims and survivors.

The parents of Adam Herold - Russ and Raelene - were in attendance at Thursday's event at Hotel Saskatchewan. Adam, a Montmarte, SK product, was the youngest player killed in the crash at age 16.

When the Q&A portion of the event was over, I introduced myself and asked Sean how he was able to speak so potently that Sunday evening when I knew full well he hadn't slept for 48 hours prior? He explained that he had simply pulled together many of the comments of the people around him that weekend and wove it into a speech.

But I kept pressing, asking him where he came up with the impactful line, "Where was God?"

Brandow said that it simply came from his heart, and that's where the balance of his address came from that night. He also mentioned that comment upset some people, but we agreed you can't please everybody and you can only do what you think is best.

Thursday's event was the largest-ever attended for Leader Impact in Regina, with a crowd of over 150.

Leader Impact is designed for leaders who genuinely want to make a difference and are willing to commit the time, energy and resources to make it happen. They combine the aspects of family, business and faith.



LF said...

Sometimes you can't find the answer until you ask the question. Often the actions (not just the words) of servants like Sean help with the answer.
Thanks for sharing this post.

IMAGIRL said...

I will always remember his speech.

He had to show strength and leadership when he was grieving too. I could not have done it.


Bill Salloum said...

@LF Nicely put.