Sunday, May 05, 2013


Unsung Heroes


                                                      Ron Genereaux-Making a Point

All communities, everywhere, have unsung heroes. They are the people who do things, unselfishly, day after day, for the good of the community. It is a good thing that these people exist; otherwise, the community would not benefit from their efforts. There are times when the work of these people is recognized; there are more times when their efforts go practically unnoticed.


Many of these people do not need recognition for the work they do. Prince Edward County recently lost Ron Genereaux. He was an unsung hero.


For almost twenty-five years, he dedicated many winter hours as a hockey coach in The County. There are countless other individuals who do the same thing, year after year. They are also on my list of unsung heroes, no matter what their motives may be.  Initially, Ron coached because his son needed a coach for his team. That is a natural connection, and takes place year after year at the rink, on the field. In Ron’s case, his dedication continued long after his son had finished playing.


Ron’s best friend, and coaching partner, was Rick MacDonald. The pair of them worked the benches in and around these parts for years. “Ron always had the defense, and I coached the forwards,” McDonald told me last week. “At the rink, there was never any question about any of my decisions as a coach. But once we were in the car, no more than fifty feet from the arena door, he would let me have it for something I had done. And I usually deserved it.”


For many years, Ron stood at the rail, at centre ice, above the seats in the Old DukeDome. His distinctive voice carried throughout the building, especially when he targeted an opposition coach who deserved his wrath. Those were the days when arenas were silent during stoppages in play, when there were no blaring rap tunes before faceoffs. Ron would unload on a coach, usually from Kingston or Toronto, with a tirade that always hit the mark. He knew he had accomplished his goal when the coach would holler back at him, sometimes asking him to step outside!


MacDonald told me that Genereaux always was the driver when there were “away” games. The reason, I enquired? “The rule was, whoever drove controlled the radio. He wanted to listen to his music: blues, and heavy metal, plenty of Neil Young. He would not take a dime for gas. My only contribution was to supply the Tim Hortons’ coffee. In those days, Ron coached three teams: one travel team, and two house league teams.”


Genereaux was a huge Bruins fan, and was excited about the 20013 playoff between the Bruins and the Leafs. His interest was kindled in the days of Bobby Orr and Derek Sanderson, but his personal favourite was Ray Bourque. His favourite baseball player, without question, was Rickey Henderson. Rickey played with an edge, had a wicked sense of humour, and always had plenty to say. Those who knew Ron well could argue that he and Rickey were similar in more than a few ways.


Ron dedicated himself to his life’s profession, and served his community as an employee of the Children’s Aid Society. MacDonald told me that there were several times during a game when Ron would receive a text message from one of his former clients, and he would act upon it immediately. It might mean driving to Ottawa early the next day, posting a bond, setting up accommodation. No matter, he was always there for the people.


I suppose it was Ron’s way of giving back, here and there. Not well known was the fact that Ron had been raised in many homes as a foster child.


Ron will be missed by his wife Susan, his two children Marisa and Adrian, and three grandchildren. He also leaves behind an extensive Star Wars collection. Wherever you are, Ronnie G., “May the force be with you”.


James Hurst

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