Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Righton Family Tradition; 40 years as Nitro fan

The following was published in the Kimberley Bulletin on September 8, 2015

The first time that I went to a Kimberley Dynamiters game, I met some of the long-time season ticket holders. Oblivious to the Civic Centre Arena customs, I was sitting in a reserved seat, marked so eloquently by an ‘R’ with a lit stick of dynamite in it. They told me that they had been sitting in those same seats for over 30 years. I gladly changed spots not wanting to mess with tradition.

Afterward I learned that one of those longtime season ticket holders, after working with their spouse and son in different capacities, was David Righton. He has supported the Kimberley Dynamiters for well over 35 years.

David attended his first Dynamiter game with his dad, attending only once, which was enough to motivate him to become a Dynamiters season ticket holder and create his own tradition. Part of his tradition was taking his son, Jonathan, to Kimberley Dynamiter games.  The first game that Jonathan went to was when he was seven years old, in 1991. This father-son duo attended many, if not all, the Dynamiters home games together.

During that time Jonathan began taking photographs at games. Some of his pictures have appeared on the front page of the Kimberley Daily Bulletin newspaper. While many of his game day pictures are shared on the Dynamiters Facebook page for family, parents, and fans to see.

Unfortunately, David Righton passed away in the summer of 2014. For 23 years the two attended games together. So this past season, 2014-15, was Jonathan’s first season without his father in attendance. It was a difficult and an emotional time for Jonathan, as the Dynamiters were one of the top teams in the KIJHL, as they won their division in the regular season. The Dynamiters then proceeded to win the Eddie Mountain Division, Kootenay Conference, and eventually the League Title, first since winning the league title in 1979-80, before going on to win silver at the Cyclone Taylor Cup.

With all that emotion, Jonathan announced at the conclusion of the season that he was dedicating his whole season’s photography work to his dad, David Righton. An honor he felt his dad deserved knowing how much his dad supported him in photography and the Dynamiters.

Jonathan now continues carrying the torch of the family tradition that will soon be reaching 40 plus years of the Righton family supporting the Kimberley Dynamiter’s.

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