Hockey dad receives Canadian Immigrant Award


By Lincoln DePradine

Jamaica-born Karl Subban (left) whose three sons, P.K..Malcolm and Jordan, are professional hockey players, is one of the 2018 recipients of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards. Standing next to Karl Subban is his father, Sylvester Subban

The Subbans remain a tightly knit family who spends time together, despite the busy schedule of three male adults who are professional hockey players.

“When we get together, it’s like no time has passed,’’ said Karl Subban, who was chosen as one of the  2018 recipients of the “Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards’’.

As the father of P.K. Subban, Malcolm Subban and Jordan Subban, he is widely regarded as the ultimate hockey dad and the patriarch of one of hockey’s most famous families.

P.K. plays for the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League; Malcolm is a member of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights; and Jordan is a prospect, and under contract, to the Los Angeles Kings.

Karl Subban, who lives in Nobleton, Ontario, was brought to Canada from Jamaica with his parents when he was 12. They settled in Sudbury.

His father, Sylvester Alexander Subban, accompanied him on Tuesday to Toronto, where he (Karl) received his “Canadian Immigrant Award’’.

“I would love to have had both my parents here but mom has passed on. They are responsible for me being here,’’ Subban said. “They say parents are the first teachers and the home’s the first school. I can tell everyone that I had great teachers and our home was a great school. I’ve lived a pretty good life because of them.’’

The awards’ program, now in its 10th year, is presented by Canadian Immigrant, a national multimedia platform that says its goal is to “help immigrants settle and succeed in Canada’’.

Organizers say award recipients are immigrants “who have demonstrated incredible contributions and achievements in Canada’’.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the title sponsor of the awards,  will hold  a second ceremony on June 27 in Vancouver.

In congratulating this year’s winners, RBC said “their stories of perseverance and courage are motivating and inspiring to all Canadians’’.

Subban is the only recipient of the Awards born in the Caribbean. The other 24  arrived here from countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Iran, Syria, the Philippines, Palestine, India, Italy, Venezuela, China, Zimbabwe, Portugal, Nepal, Colombia, Rwanda, and Pakistan.

Winners received a commemorative plaque. A $500 donation also will be made to a registered Canadian charity of their choice.

Subban, said he felt “good’’ about receiving the award. “I see it as a team award,’’ he told the Caribbean Camera.

“The team Subban story is built on education and hockey. It all started with a dream,’’ Subban explained. “First, it was my parents’ dream to come to this country and to have something better for themselves and for us. And I instilled that in my children, as my parents did.’’

Subban, whose wife Maria was born in Montserrat, also is the father of two daughters, both of whom are educators. He himself is a retired principal and author of, “How We Did It: The Subban for Success in Hockey, School and Life’’.

Subban has a philosophy that implores everyone to have a dream, recalling his own dream after making friends and beginning to play hockey for the first time after arriving in Canada with his parents.

“It gave me something to do; it gave me a dream and it made me feel great about myself in my new country. That helped my transition to Canada a great deal,’’’ said Subban.

Summer offers an opportunity for the Subbans to get together in Nobleton, he said. “Christmas is also a really important time for us; that’s when we sit down and break bread together,’’ Subban added.

During the hockey season, said Subban, “the boys know that we’re there cheering somewhere; it might be in my basement or somebody else’s basement or back in Jamaica. But they know that we’re there rooting for them and we’re only a phone call away’’.