So the banquet’s been postponed. “Brutal” to quote Bobbie Boston. But it’s not the first time. Back in 1975, it was scheduled in mid November but for some reason the annual game against our arch rivals McGill (we were Mac at the time) had been cancelled and the powers that be rescheduled it on the evening of our banquet down at Mcgill stadium on what was then astro-turf, the stuff was brutal. It was a ferocious rivalry as they saw us as a bunch of farmers and we saw them as a bunch of corrupt lawyers, doctors and accountants (actually when you think of it neither of us were terribly wrong). Anyway with all the added tension because of us missing our banquet, after 8 minutes a huge brawl broke out and the ref just said, “that’s it,” and walked off. I remember leaving the pitch and hearing one player say to another, “do we still get the beer and food?”
At least we had our priorities straight.
Anyway this postponement, as hard it is to accept, does allow the chance to explain some of the trophies, something that is impossible during a night of raucous revelry. The captains mugs are self-explanatory. They use to be the only cups handed out, the previous year’s captain to the present year’s. An interesting side note is that the oldest mug in the club is the men’s and women’s rookie-of-the-year cup which goes back to 1976, the first year we had a women’s team, which I believe was the first in Canada, or very close.
The captain’s mug or the original one anyway went all the way back to 1964, but it was lost by some dufous in 1980. Yes that was me. I went into a phone booth to call someone to check the spelling of a name at Fairview where we were getting it engraved and left it in the phone booth. We went on the radio and offered a 200$ award but to no avail.
The most interesting awards are the ones that begin organically, like the “Most Practices Made, Fewest Games Played”. It’s cool not because I’ve won it a few times but check the names: Alarie, Phelan, Marge Thompson. There was always a story behind why someone couldn’t play but still came out to share the joy of training with their teammates. In the case of Alarie, Marge, Phelan, they were playing for Canada and had been asked to avoid playing to avoid injury. This year’s winner is exceptionally deserving and the story no less interesting.
Another award you won’t find on any other club is the Johnny Rugby Award. It was originally presented to Graham Jamieson in 1980 to reward his enthusiasm and also I think because his mother washed the kit after every game. A joke award? Maybe, but look at the names. Lise Gauthier played for Canada; Jonny Fixtures, that was Jon Antonecchia; in 2016 the entire Rikley-Krindle clan won. It is a special award and this year’s winners (now there is a hint) are especially deserving.
And this year we’ve added a really unique plaque, “THE X FACTOR”. It recognizes two people but really pays homage to all who came out this summer to keep the whole ball rolling, which is why it’s subtitles “Courage when it’s most needed.”
Of course, I can’t tell you the winners but I’m confident we’ll be gathering soon and then we can celebrate the season we played in the pandemic. Do you remember practicing with masks? Post-training beers standing 2 metres apart? A drag yes, but I hate to say it but there will be somethings I’ll miss about Covid. Mixed touch? Lining up against Tessier and Miller and then a few nights later seeing them take on the Americans. That’s what keeps me coming back.
And of course I’d like to find that Captain’s mug.
One more thing three people that deserve an award but won’t be getting one (sorry guys) are Spooner, Sommer and Bobbie (with support from Nico and Hughanna). They did what I thought was impossible—organizing a banquet in just 6 days, and now it looks like they’ll do it twice.
Don’t miss it!!
PS: Oh yes, they gave me a job to do, which was to raise money to try to make it an open bar. A shout here to Meghan Stewart, Dave Snow, Graham Jamieson, Jon Antonnechia, Matt Degraff, Jay Lunan, Jazz Poulin, Jay Baker and one anonymous donor who is afraid of his wife seeing his name. No one has asked for a refund and we are still accepting donations, the goal being to subsidize food and drink (ie: open bar!!).
Pps: I can’t leave without a plug for our community and social activities. On Sunday Dec 5, the food bank counts on our help to assist at the end of the day to move the food to a storage location, just show up at harpell any time after 3 pm. They won’t be checking vaxicode but it’s masks compulsory inside Harpell.
Ppps: don’t forget your booze bottle we’ll be drawing a whole wack of booze on dec 22. Please pick up some tickets, they sell themselves, everyone loves the booze basket raffle.
PPPPS: I just heard from spooner, a new SURPRISE award has been added!!!! This is so exciting