Letters to the editor -
I am a teacher and have been coaching hockey and soccer for the past 30 years, 27 of which have been in Harbour Grace.
I will be retiring at the end of June, and I feel I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the important contributions of the Town of Harbour Grace, its employees and those volunteers from the community who have offered their ongoing support.
The success of the school soccer league, in which I have entered a team every year since 1983, would not have been possible without the help and support of the Town of Harbour Grace. We have been given unlimited access to St. Francis Field, which is managed by the town, for practices, games and tournaments. The field has always been in pristine condition, thanks to the efforts of Dave Regular. Dave has mowed and fertilized, painted lines, placed nets and bleachers, and provided clean-up. He has always done a superb job while working around our schedule. Without his continual work on our behalf, our players would not have had the opportunity to play in good conditions.
No game can be played without the presence of referees. The co-ordination and time-tabling of referee services had been arranged by Mayor Don Coombs for all these years. Despite his busy schedule, Don has always found time to ensure the presence of referees and has himself refereed most games, many of which were played in less than ideal conditions. His efforts have meant a great deal to our players participating in the sport of soccer in this area. I would also like to recognize all the volunteer referees who have given so willingly of their time, including: Leeland Anderson, Lonnie Sheppard, Chad Sheppard, Shawn Dobbin, Robert Vaters, Lloyd Meadus, Kevin Bennett, Pat Collins, Sean Cashin and many others. The generous gift of their personal time to support our young athletes is deserving of recognition. Others have promoted and supported soccer by their presence and participation, giving willingly of their time and effort. Two who are most outstanding in this regard are Carl Janes and Ann Coombs.
School hockey has also received the support of many individuals. For the past 30 years the hockey teams of St. Francis School have practiced every Monday and played every Wednesday at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium. Dick Power, Kevin Bennett, Pete Moriarty and Lorne Tucker, the management, both past and present, of the stadium have assisted in providing ice time over the years. Nor could we have done without the efforts of Chris Hearn, Bob Pike, and Garf Mahaney whose diligence in preparing and maintaining the ice surfaces and the dressing rooms continually provided our players with good playing conditions. Maureen Maher has cheerfully provided canteen services for the players, coaches and fans, a task that was frequently monumental, as capacity crowds gathered to support such events as the St. Francis-Ascension Challenge Cup games, the St. Paul's-St. Francis Dave Archibald Cup games and the ongoing league games and playoffs.
Another important figure in our school hockey scene is Gord Dean, who has co-ordinated and performed the refereeing duties, accommodating the last minute scheduling changes that often accompany school hockey play. Gord Dean, Dave Murphy and Paul Collins have frequently officiated our games over the years. Bud Chafe and his dedication to the sport of hockey has been inspiring to players and coaches.
The local business community has supported our school teams over the years, both monetarily and in kind. The purchase of uniforms and equipment has been enhanced through donations from many businesses in this area, both large and small.
Finally, to the players I have coached over the years, their efforts have been a constant source of pride and inspiration to me. I will cherish the many fine memories they have given me.
It has been my privilege to have been a part of soccer and hockey development in the Harbour Grace area, and my job has been made easier by the presence of these individuals and many others I have not mentioned by name.
Garry McCarthy, coach
cc: Town of Harbour Grace