On an otherwise quiet summer day at SAC, an apricot-coloured convertible mustang pulls up beside the Memorial Chapel with Robert Thomas '17, and the Stanley Cup in the backseat.
Robert is coming off an impressive rookie season with the St. Louis Blues, putting up 33 points in 70 games, while playing a prominent role in the Blues’ historic midseason turnaround. In the playoffs, he suited up for another 21 games and signs of the long battle were visible as Robert walks across the Quad with a big toothless smile, carrying the cup with a cast on his left wrist.
Despite the battle wounds, there was certainly no pain felt. Instead, it was all smiles with plenty to be happy about. Robert is returning to the school he grew up at, the school his younger brother just graduated from, to spend a significant portion of his day with faculty, staff, and the entire SAC summer camp.
The Quad was Robert’s first stop on campus for some photos around the cup with family and friends. Highlighted of course by lifting the cup high above his head over an area that come wintertime, turns into an outdoor rink that he surely spent time on as a kid. “A lot of my close friends to this day come from St. Andrew’s, so this is a really special place for me and my family,” Robert says as he reflects on his time as SAC.
From there, Robert hopped on a golf cart with the cup and made his way to Yuill Family Field, where 300 young campers, and SAC faculty and staff, anxiously awaited his arrival. Chants of “Ro-bert! Ro-bert!” echoed from the bleachers as he pulled up to mid-field. Group by group, the kids and their counsellors took their turn getting photos with Thomas and the Stanley Cup. It was obvious how much this meant to Robert, “I grew up in these kids’ camps, and it’s great that I am going to be able to share this day with you guys,” he said to the crowd.
After what was likely a record-setting amount of high-fives, Robert and his family took the stage for a special presentation from the head of school, Kevin McHenry. “I think it is safe to say that the name on the back of the jersey deserves special and unique recognition,” Kevin says as a SAC Varsity Hockey jersey is held up with his name on the back. “Robby, congratulations on bringing the Stanley Cup home to Aurora, and sharing it with your St. Andrew’s family.”
Next, Robert was on his way to the Aurora Community Centre, to meet with the players and coaches of the York-Simcoe Express teams. After that, he continued to Matchell Park where hundreds of fans gathered, along with the Mayor of Aurora, Tom Mrakas, to celebrate.
Perhaps the most refreshing stop of the day was at Dairy Queen right after Matchell Park. Robert surprised customers and went behind the counter to make and eat a well-deserved blizzard out of the cup.
All in all, Robert and his family celebrated all over Aurora, and everything from infants and small dogs to rubber chickens and ice cream found their way into the bowl of the Stanley Cup.
The day wrapped up at the Thomas’ as they hosted a street party for family and friends complete with food trucks, mom’s homemade cookies, and you guessed it – more photos with the Stanley Cup.
Story by Sean Maillet