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CBS honours memorable Hall of Fame group as part of awards gala

Angela Avery was honored with the title of Citizen of the Year at the Conception Bay South Municipal Awards Gala last week. Avery is a committed volunteer who dedicates her time to food banks, schools and Scouts to make the community a better place for youth and vulnerable people. The president of the Conception Bay South Lions Club, Wade Dicks, was there to present her the award. Chad Feehan photo

By Chad Feehan / Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

From super sportsters to art aficionados and dedicated volunteers, the best that Conception Bay South has to offer were held on high last week at the CBS Arena for the first annual Conception Bay South Municipal Awards Gala.

VOCM host Claudette Barnes emceed the gala while Mayor Darrin Bent, and MHAs Barry Petten and MHA Paul Dinn thanked and congratulated those being honoured.

“Tonight is about recognizing the incredible achievements of the people who contribute the most to our town,” Bent said. “When you volunteer, you make a commitment to the most precious resource that you have: your time. And it’s not that you have extra time that’s the important thing. But it’s that you have the heart and the want to give back to the community and build the community that makes you so proud to call it home.”

The first award presented of the night was the 2023 Coach of the Year given to Chad Murphy who coached the girls CBS Soccer Premier Youth league team through an undefeated season.

In addition to bringing home gold and silver with two teams at Winterfest Soccerfest and serving as assistant coach with the Girls U11 Tier One metro team, Murphy was selected by the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association to coach at its player assessment camps, and has completed his level C coaching license through Soccer Canada.

The Senior Male Athlete of the Year award went to Ethan Gilbert, a multisport athlete from Queen Elizabeth Regional High School.

Proficient in softball, track and field, golf, ball hockey, and ice hockey, Gilbert was captain of his high school hockey team receiving recognition for top scorer, MVP, and Athlete of the Year. He also led the Doug Marshall High School Hockey League Tier 1 league with the most points and goals and was added to the CBS Renegades Junior B roster.

The Senior Female Athlete of the Year Award went to Hayley Ryan, an avid ice and ball hockey player. Ryan was captain of the Eastern Ice Breakers AAA Team, leading the team to gold and silver provincial league championships. While playing on the Canada Games team she was scouted by the University of Maine, and was offered a scholarship to play in NCAA Division 1.

As for ball hockey, Ryan won a national championship title as part of the NL Selects U19 Girls team, won silver at the Senior Women’s National, and was added to the Team Canada Roster to compete in Switzerland for the world championships.

The director of the CBS Hot Shots accessible squash program, Eric Hart, was named the Executive of the Year for his ongoing work to encourage inclusivity in sports.

With help from the CNIB and the Professional Squash Association, Hart expanded the program to include the blind and partially blind, and secured funding from ParticipACTION to set up a squash camp for blind athletes. He also worked with Parasport NL and an association in Wales to develop wheelchair squash, focusing on best practices and specifications for play.

James Traverse was named Junior Male Athlete of the Year after a successful and record-breaking year in swimming. Traverse holds 10 provincial records, as well as a national record as the fastest for his age in the 50-metre backstroke. He also ranks in the top 10 for the 25-metre short course and 50-metre-long course in backstroke.
In 2023, Traverse competed in the Eastern and national swimming championships, and was named top achiever for his age category at the East Coast Championships and Provincial Championships.

The Junior Female Athlete of the Year is Mia Fradsham, an artistic swimmer with the CBS Silhouettes. Fradsham placed first at the provincial Artistic Swimming Championships in the solo, figures, and championship categories, and was selected for the 2025 Canada Summer Games team for solos.
Fradsham has also played volleyball with Frank Roberts Junior High, ultimate frisbee with Queen Elizabeth Regional High, and paddled with the Avalon Canoe Kayak club.

The CBS Strikers Girls U15 football club took home the Team of the Year Award after going undefeated the entire season and through the playoffs where they won the provincial championship. Following this, they competed in a national championship tournament in Waterloo, Ontario, finishing 5th.

The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Caroline Eason, a grade 12 student at Queen Elizabeth High. Among a variety of other causes, Eason volunteers with the Girl Guides of Newfoundland and Labrador where she served as the Activities and Service Project Coordinator for the Youth Forum helping to organize the Purses for Purpose project along the way. She also helps organize camps and activities, beautification projects around CBS, and is a junior leader. Eason is also a member of the Town’s Youth Advisory Council, volunteers at the Heritage Square Retirement Home, decorated cookies with the Tim Hortons Smile Cookie program, and volunteered at the Manuels River Nan’s Kitchen Takeover series.

The Community Group of the Year Award went to the Conception Bay Family Resource Program, which provides resources and programs for playgroups, book clubs, paint and craft nights, healthy baby clubs, and garden programs to families. In 2023 alone, the group supported 178 families to access those programs.
The Citizen of the Year Award went to Angela Avery who is a dedicated volunteer with youths and vulnerable people. Avery is also involved with the 1st Topsail Beavers and chairs the Topsail Elementary School Council. she is a grocery helper with the Kids Eat Smart Breakfast Program at Topsail Elementary, volunteers with the CBS Paradise Community Food Bank, and is a faculty advisor for Enactus Memorial.

Known for brightening up traffic boxes in the town, visual artist Jill Moores was dubbed Artist of the Year for Written and Visual Arts. Nine of her paintings depicting the communities that comprise CBS are on display at the Town Hall. Moores teaches children at local schools through the ArtsSmarts program, is a board member with the Art Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, and works with the Conception Bay South Public Library to help create art with residents.

Country music singer Justin Fancy captured the Artist of the Year award for Performing Arts. Fancy enjoyed another successful year with the release of his second album Whiskey and Me. The past year also saw him win the ECMA Entertainer of the Year Award, and he was nominated for Country Recording of the Year. Fancy recently toured Newfoundland with country music star George Canyon and has helped fundraise for local initiatives incuding the Canada Summer Games, Easter Seals, and the Gathering Place.

Musician and performer Zealya Hallingham won the Rising Star of the Year Award for her varied musical accomplishments last year. She received the Renaissance Award at Queen Elizabeth High where she is active in drama, choir, the jazz and rock bands, was the winner of the NL Music Newfound Talent Award, and won Best Musical Composition at the NTS Atlantic Drama Festival for her song “Sweet Forget Me Knot.”

Four people were inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame, including Christopher Davis Jr., Scott Parsons, Brenda Tilley, and Brian Tilley.

Davis began playing hockey at the age of five, working his way up from minor hockey leagues and all-star teams. He won the 4A Boyle Trophy with Queen Elizabeth Regional High School in 1989 and played junior hockey with the St. John’s Junior 50’s before moving on to senior hockey with the Southern Shore Breakers and Flatrock Flyers where he won the Herder Cup with both teams. In softball, Davis played Senior Men’s A Fastpitch for Stanley’s Sports Pub, which won the league championship in 1993 and 1994.

Parsons, who was an athlete himself in his younger days, was inducted into the Hall for his years of building and contributing to sports in CBS. Parsons is also a member of the Rotary Club of Northeast Avalon and is a big supporter of the Church Lads Brigade (CLB) and its efforts to give children of all ages and means a chance to play sports. Parsons is also a volleyball and hockey coach, and an Honorary CBR Junior Hockey Renegade.

For decades, Parsons and his family have contributed jerseys, equipment, and transportation to sporting teams through Parsons and Sons Transportation Limited and the S.S. Meigle Lounge. The family has been associated with sports in CBS for longer than there has officially been a CBS.

Brenda Tilley has played softball since the mid 70’s, winning multiple awards including MVP, Most Home Runs, the Golden Glove, and a silver medal at the 1980 NL Summer Games. In the 1980s and 1990s she was a member of multiple winning soccer teams playing in the Jubilee Cup championships, the Atlantic Regional Championship, with CBS All-Star Teams and the CBS Raiders. Tilley also played with CBS and Eastern Edge women’s hockey teams, and has coached hockey, soccer, and badminton.

The last person to be inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame for the night, Brian Tilley, was certainly not the least. Tilley, known to friends as “Fe,” was a standout defenceman in hockey, and an all-star in soccer and softball. Tilley came up through the Holy Spirit and CBS minor hockey systems, and with an outstanding cohort of teammates, won provincial All-Star championships every year from 1976 to 1981, and numerous other achievements in the CBS Senior League thereafter. In softball, Tilley was part of a squad that captured a provincial Senior B championship.

Tilley also served as a coach or assistant coach with numerous minor hockey and softball teams for over 20 years, helping many to win championships, following in the footsteps of his late father, Art Tilley, who was one of the builders of minor hockey in Conception Bay South.

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