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Longtime hockey announcer receives accolades from Amherst Midget AA Ramblers

Hockey mom Becky Chitty and hockey player Resse McLean presented Tim Ripley with a gift during their final Midget AA Ramblers game of the season on March 24 at Amherst Stadium.
Hockey mom Becky Chitty and hockey player Resse McLean presented Tim Ripley with a gift during their final Midget AA Ramblers game of the season on March 24 at Amherst Stadium. - Contributed

AMHERST, N.S. – Tim Ripley has been announcing Cumberland minor hockey league games for 25 years.

On March 24, the Cumberland County Midget AA Ramblers presented Ripley with a gift during their final game of the 2018-2019 season.

“I was kind of surprised. I wasn’t expecting it,” said Ripley.

Before presenting the gift, Midget AA Ramblers hockey mom, Becky Chitty, said Ripley is part of the team and a fixture of Cumberland minor hockey.

“Tim is a great score keeper, a wonderful announcer and, luckily, able to do bilingual announcing as well,” said Chitty.

The AA Ramblers play in the New Brunswick Central Midget Hockey League, so they host teams from New Brunswick all the time.

“He’s bilingual when he’s announcing and, being a border town, it looks good when teams from New Brunswick come in,” said Shawanoswe Tooley, Midget AA Ramblers head coach. “When you go to a minor hockey game you don’t expect that, and it looks good on us, it looks good for the town, and it looks good for the county.”

Ripley is 50-years-old. He grew up in Truemanville, went to Amherst Regional High School, and learned French in school. He also speaks a little bit of Spanish and German.

“One of the first games I did in French, it was a house league team from Dieppe that came in, and just a couple days later there was a letter in the Moncton Times and Transcript,” said Ripley. “A parent of one of the Dieppe players wrote the letter saying how nice it was that there was someone in Amherst taking the effort to announce the games in French too.”

Ripley started announcing games 25 years ago after he came out to help a friend who was announcing games.

He announces hockey at all levels, from Novice right up to the Maritime Hockey League’s Amherst Ramblers, which he started announcing five years ago.

“I started running the clock the first year the new clock came in,” said Ripley. “Ralph MacDonald was announcing the games at the time, but the following year he had to bow out for health reasons, so I started doing that as well.”

He says some players names can give him a hard time.

“I don’t have trouble announcing names but every once in a while there’s one that throws me for a loop,” said Ripley. “When teams are from out of town you get the occasional name where you have to think for a minute about how you’re supposed to announce it.”

Besides hockey, Ripley also announces for Amherst Little League and for minor baseball at Robb’s field.

“I find I’m busier in the winter than I am in the summer.”

On top of that, he has also volunteered with the Lions Club in Amherst for 25 years, where he serves as secretary, zone chairperson, and edits their monthly newsletter.

“I also call TV bingo in the Thursday night bingo,” said Ripley.

Tooley says Ripley is always very very reliable.

“At the beginning of the year I say, ‘Hey Tim, can you do the clock for us,’ and he says ‘yup.’ You don’t even have to call him. He looks on the website and shows up.”

Tooley says it was the parents on his team who decided to get him a gift for all he does.

“It should be commonplace that, at the end of the year, he’s acknowledged because he does such a fantastic job,” said Tooley.

And how long does Ripley plan to continue to announce games?

“As long as I’m able to do it,” said Ripley.

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