(LOL) S.O.S. Anmwey! Gen yon ti kilót ki kontrarye.Named after Hab;
Classmates in Haiti confused when he identified self
By KATHERINE WILTON, The Gazette
May 19, 2010 Mats Naslund Civil, an employee at BMO, spends a lot of time explaining his name to his clients. He was named after the hockey player after the Habs won the Stanley Cup in 1986.Photograph by:
DAVE SIDAWAY, THE GAZETTE, The Gazette
In the winter of 1986, Gertha Labady went home to Haiti for the baptism of her nephew.
As the child's godmother, Labady was given the task of naming the cute little boy.
As a rabid Canadiens fan, she was determined that her nephew would carry the name of her favourite Hab.
"She told my mother she absolutely wanted me to be called Mats Naslund," recalled Mats Naslund Civil, 24, who is all grown up and works at a BMO branch in downtown Montreal. "She said he was very famous."
When Civil began working behind the bank counter about six months ago, he said he often had to explain the story behind his name to perplexed customers who were baffled when they saw Mats Naslund Civil on his name tag.
"Every day, at least two or three customers would ask me about it," he said yesterday. "They would say: ''Is that your real name?'' Some of them thought it was a joke."
A few months after Civil's birth, Mats Naslund the hockey player would help the Canadiens win their 23rd Stanley Cup, etching the high-scoring Swede into the heart of Habs fans around the world and making Civil's full name a topic of conversation for most of his young life.
As a young boy in Haiti, Civil remembers the confused look on his classmates' faces when he would stand up and say his name.
"They couldn't pronounce it," he recalled. "They couldn't say it, so they called me Mats or Max, which is more common in Haiti."
While Civil's mother agreed to name her baby Mats Naslund, in private she
called him Jean-Loup, a name she preferred and found easier to pronounce.
When Civil's family moved to Montreal in 1999, he said people here were surprised to learn that a young black Haitian was named after a small Swedish hockey player. Civil said he remembers doing an online search of Mats Naslund's name and learning that he was named for a small hockey player who was a star with the Canadiens.
With the team doing so well in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs, Civil said he
wouldn't be surprised if new parents name their children after today's hockey heroes, such as P.K. Subban. "Why not?" he said. "It is fun."
Civil said he is proud to have been named after the high-scoring left winger
and said the name has brought a lot of laughter and fun into his life.
"It is a great conversation starter," he said. "It makes people smile. I have even been asked for my autograph."
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