Memorial honours Noah Dugas

'He was truly a special kid'

Erin and Cole Breadmore set up a memorial at Memorial Gardens for a vigil by classmates, Saturday. PJ Wilson/The Nugget

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Noah Dugas was “an exceptional kid. Loving, kind, compassionate.”

The 13-year-old who died last week after suffering a blood clot in his brain, was remembered Saturday at a small memorial set up outside Memorial Gardens.

Erin Breadmore, whose son, Cole, “was in the same class as Noah since junior kindergarten,” worked with Cole to set up the memorial, where a vigil by his classmates was scheduled for the early afternoon.

“They are a very tight-knit group of kids,” Breadmore said. “They are having a difficult time. They are missing their friend very much.”

The memorial and vigil, she said, were a chance for Noah’s friends to “get together in a safe environment” and pay tribute to their friend.

“Noah was an amazing kid,” Breadmore said. “This is to let the kids know they are supported and loved in difficult times.”

Noah, a AAA North Bay Trappers hockey player who sported No. 71, drew the attention of NHLers and celebrities alike, and resulted in a campaign to raise awareness and funds for the family under the hashtag #NoahStrong.

After the news broke of Noah’s passing, hockey sticks, gloves and jerseys were placed outside the doors of hockey players throughout the area to honour his memory.

North Bay council last Tuesday held a moment of silence for Noah, who Mayor Al McDonald described as a courageous young man.

“I believe he had a greater purpose,” Breadmore said. “I know he is up in heaven playing hockey” with some of the all-time greats of the game.

While the vigil for Noah’s classmates was a private affair, Breadmore invites anyone or any group to visit the memorial and leave mementos, pictures and other items in a memory box to let Noah’s family know how much #71 meant to the community.

Those who wish to organize a vigil at the site can call Breadmore at 705-471-3746 to set a time. Pandemic protocols must be followed.

“This is a difficult time for everybody,” she said. “We want to honour him and be together.

“He was truly a special kid.”

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