Snowmobile rally celebrates John Hawboldt’s life

Amanda Jess
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SCOTSBURN – Christina Hawboldt was blown away when she was told that the Dalhousie Mountain Snowmobiling Club were going to name their annual Scotsburn rally in memory of her late husband, John. 

Snowmobiling enthusiasts revved up in Scotsburn on Saturday to remember former Dalhousie Mountain Snowmobile Club member John Hawboldt and to raise funds for the club. 

Riders piled into the John Gammon Recreation Hall on Feb. 22 to drive the trails in John Hawboldt’s honour and to help the club raise some extra funds.

“He would’ve been really shy about it, but he would’ve been so honoured,” Christina said.

Although he was more reserved, he had many friends.

That was clear by the turnout at the rally.

The previous night’s rain did nothing to deter anyone from coming out.

Reg Crewe, director of the club, said approximately 100 people had registered for the rally, up from about 65 last year.

He attributes that to John.

The whole day was a family affair for the Hawboldt’s. They drove in on snowmobiles from Salt Springs, and headed to a nearby camp for a potluck afterwards.

Although it wasn’t easy for her, Christina was convinced by her son-in-law to get back on the trails.

“Sometimes you have to make yourself do stuff.”

John, 51, passed away Feb. 22, 2013 in a snowmobiling accident near Gunshot Road in Salt Springs.

The rally was only her second time out in the past year, but she used to go out as much as she could.

She would usually go with family and friends to a memorial rally in Waterville.

This year, she participated in the rally with family, including her two daughters and her son-in-law as well as family friends.

Her son-in-law purchased a snowmobile only a month ago to take her on the rally.

John was very involved in the DMSC, helping out when he could.

He loved doing anything outdoors, his cousin Paul, said.

“He was the life of the party.”

John was a logger for many years, for what seemed like forever, Paul said.

Paul spent a lot of time with him as a child. John grew up in Millsville, while Paul lived in Plainfield.

Their large family would fill up their grandmother’s house in Trenton every Sunday.

“Family was everything to him.”

John was easy-going and always teasing people with his dry sense of humour.

His personality is what Christina liked about him when they first met.

Their time together started when Christina was 19, and he was 20.

She moved to Canso when she was 16 from Newfoundland, and that’s where they met.

They ended up in Pictou County with all of John’s family, and were married 28 years.

Spending time with her cheerful granddaughter, 19-month-old Shelby Kearley, has gotten her through the year, Christina said.

Kearley has already been hit with the snowmobiling bug, accompanying the family on short rides around the yard.

“She grins from ear-to-ear,” Christina said.

The rally and breakfast raised approximately $1,800, which will go towards grooming the trails.

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda 

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