Ryder brings the Stanley Cup to Bonavista

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A large crowd gave a big round of applause when the helicopter carrying Michael Ryder and the Stanley Cup touched down at the RCMP station in Bonavista Aug. 30.First to get a glimpse of the cup were family and friends. As the cup was taken out of its case and the champ hoisted it over his head, fans cheered.

It was the moment everyone had waited for - to see one of their own raise the most coveted prize in hockey.

For Bonavista residents, it was a time to welcome home their hero.

Also on hand were people from all over the province and other parts of the country, even visitors from Labrador and Saint Pierre.

Everyone wanted to get a glimpse of hockey's holy grail.

Thousands of people lined the parade route, cheering and waving each time Ryder raised the cup over his head.

Some of the largest crowds were in the downtown area where people came outside their workplace to see Ryder and the Cup as it rolled through town before winding up at the Cabot Stadium.

Inside the stadium, minor hockey players and figure skaters along with their coaches and parents, who waited anxiously to have their picture taken with the pair, weren't disappointed.

Ryder made a stop in front of each group so that parents could take photos of their children.

For an hour, for former Boston Bruin and new Dallas Star made his way around the stadium, smiling and shaking hands with coaches and players alike.

Following the photo session inside the stadium, activities moved outdoors to the softball where throngs of people were gathered.

Several special guests were on hand for the celebrations, including Premier Kathy Dunderdale, MP Scott Simms, Liberal Opposition leader Kevin Aylward and NDP leader Lorraine Michael.

When it came time for Ryder to speak, the crowd erupted with chants of of his name.

"Well, I didn't expect this many people. Thanks for coming out. I hope you have a good day. Thanks for the support you've shown me over the years, and I'm happy to bring the Stanley Cup to Bonavista. Hope you have lots of fun today."

Thousands lined up to have their picture taken with the Stanley Cup. Despite the long wait, nobody seemed to mind. They were just glad to be on hand for the celebrations.

Many resident from the Burin Peninsula made the trek to see Lord Stanley's mug up close.

Eileen Rose of Fortune, who constructed a tinfoil version of the trophy for her husband, George, a major Bruins fan, as a 39th wedding anniversary present, was among them.

The Roses, who made the trip along with a group of other family members and friends, had the replica with them in Bonavista.

"When he got home from work, I had a surprise for him. I made it from a cookie jar, two beef tubs, an icing container, a butter tub and tinfoil."

Eileen indicated their cup has spent the past few months being passed between Rose family homes in Fortune. It even spent some time on display at the recycling depot.

"It was hard on the Habs fans when they used to come in."

Organizations: Habs

Geographic location: Bonavista, Labrador

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