Brothers in arms

By Rick MacDonnell

If there’s one thing that can be said about the Olympics, it’s that it brings all kinds of people together. Lloydminster’s Bud Miller Park was brimming with people from all walks of life, including twins Harold and Harvey Hawer, lifetime residents of Lloydminster, who have been waiting 77 years to see the Olympic Torch with their own eyes."

“It’s great to see all these kids out having so much fun with [the festivities], but when you’ve been waiting to see the torch as long as we have, it’s an entirely different experience,” said Harvey. “When you get to be a little older and a little wiser, you realize that this moment means so much more than the symbol of some games.”

“It’s about community, and spirit, and ... and coming together,” added Harold.

Content to stand far to the side of Bud Miller Park, the Hawer brothers were all business when it came to waiting for the torch to arrive. Arms clasped behind their backs – mirror images of one another – both Harold and Harvey kept their eyes fixed on the point where Merv Mann, a local hockey player and coach, would later enter the park, torch ablaze.

Such controlled intensity would be envied by the Olympians themselves, to be sure.

No strangers to sport, Harold and Harvey still take part in a curling league twice a week, and together they’ve participated in the Canadian Senior Games three times in lawn bowling.

“There’s a 55 to 70 group, and there’s a 70+ group. If you’re over 70, you can still play in the 55 to 70 group, if you want. Each time we’ve gone, we’ve competed in separate divisions,” said Harvey. “We don’t ever want to compete against one another.”

“He just doesn’t want me to beat him,” laughed Harold.

Later in the evening, as the torch finally entered Bud Miller Park and parted the sea of passionate supporters, I glanced across the crowd and saw Harold and Harvey, still in that same spot, still with their arms clasped behind their backs.

No shouts, no screams, no claps. Just a turn, a look, and a nod.

Then a smile.

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