TRIBUTE TO A FRIEND, MENTOR AND AN EXCEPTIONAL OFFICIAL
“Sunshine, come in here and watch this”, a young local Amateur Official named Rob Martell is going to line the Jets game tonight my Dad said.
As I made my way into the living room way back in 1984 I was not sure what was going on, the TV Broadcaster was explaining the situation that was ongoing and he stated, the NHL could not due to illness get one of the Linesman in to work the game tonight, they called a high level up and coming homegrown amateur Official to step in and take his place. Wow what a Honor I thought to myself, what a opportunity, is this even allowed?
As a Manitoba Grown Official myself way back then starting to spread my Officiating wings, I had heard of Rob Martell, I had not yet had the pleasure of meeting him but I sure knew the name and from that day on, because of that tremendous and unique good fortune, each and every time I attended a Jets game in person, I made certain my Officiating Bag was in my trunk….just in case….
The road that was Celebrated by Rob and his Wife Cindy this evening of October 7th at Canads Inn in Winnipeg Mb along with their 2 boys JT and Cameron began years ago in the Town of Stonewall Manitoba. A young hockey player who made the JR A Selkirk Steelers, turned to Officiating in his later years was awarded the Highest Honor that maybe bestowed upon anyone who begins a sport. To be accepted into a Hall of Fame takes sacrifice, dedication, commitment, effort and a multitude of other ingredients to form a recipe for success, from my perspective and from listening to the well deserved Group of inductees this year, one more attribute must be available to you in your pursuit of excellence, you must have a strong support group, Family, friends, mentors, teammates, individuals who believe in you, trust in you, that help in whatever way they can to make your path clear of distractions.
Robs support group was large, aside from Cindy and his two sons, his Mom Kay Martell; Bernie and Cathy Hendricks, (Former High School principal and football coach. Cathy Vice-Principal); Sharon Pakuliak sister of Kay Martell all were in attendance, also there supporting our Teammate and friend were retired NHLOA Alumni Wayne Forsey, Andy McElman, Kim; and Mike Cvik, Shelley, as well as active NHLOA Members Don Henderson, Ryan Galloway and Vaughan Rody.
“Marty” had numerous other individuals who showed up to share this night with him, Paul Krestanowich, Ian and Marg Heather, Garth and Laura Loeppky, a Special Thanks to Rob Haithwaite and his Wife Sandra both in attendance, Rob was instrumental in creating this application for “Marty” and making certain the process was filed out correctly.
Lastly but certainly not least Bob Martell, Bob was the Winnipeg Jets NHL security for 17 years, tasked with keeping both the Teams and the Officials safe from outside distractions. Bob is Rob Martell’s Father and sadly with his sudden passing 6 years ago was unable in body to witness his sons incredible honor, I will say with Great confidence though that Bob’s Guidance shaped and directed his sons path and Rob realized through his Parents teachings that “there is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs,”
Congratulations from your Proud NHLOA Family Rob, both past and present, you summited your careers staircase my friend, this Award both signifies and solidifies your Success.
Vaughan Rody, NHL Linesman