THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 6 N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 7 817 Matthew joined the 25th Dunbar Heights Scouts and Bill served 13 years as a Cub leader, Scout leader and Venturer advisor. He and a colleague took a group of Venturers to Peru. Among his many scouting honorifics, Bill was known for a year as “Baloo” (the bear from The Jungle Book). Since childhood, Bill has been a passionate hockey fan, but never played the game. When Matthew joined the Vancouver Thunderbird Minor Hockey Association (“MHA”), Bill eagerly jumped over the boards (figuratively) to support the kids and ensure that every kid, regardless of ability, had a chance to play. First as a team manager and then as a director of the association, Bill could be found at the rink, even when Matthew’s team wasn’t playing or, later, when Matthew wasn’t refereeing. He made sure parents, managers, coaches and, above all, kids had what they needed to do their respective jobs. He kept his ear to the ground and was one of the few who could manage the personalities of parents, coaches and kids in the hockey world. Not having played the game can put some parents at a disadvantage in the unique world of hockey where many believe their child is the next Wickenheiser, McDavid or Crosby. However, Bill quickly earned the respect of the Thunderbirds’ leadership. He did not interfere with others and only drew a line in the sand when decisions were being made for a reason other than for the benefit of kids. When the issues of body-checking and concussions were under discussion, it was Bill who researched and analyzed the latest information and distributed a paper so that the governing body comprising presidents of MHAs could make an informed, evidence-based decision. Bill served as president of the Vancouver Thunderbird MHA for two years. Those he worked with at that level appreciated Bill’s extraordinary attention to detail, giving them confidence that nothing would slip by when he was at the helm. They saw he was working for the greater good, not just for the benefit of one kid. Never one to cross the line, let alone get close to it, Bill’s principled approach inspired other directors and staff. In recognition of his exceptional service, the Vancouver Thunderbird MHA made Bill a life member, and the Lower Mainland governing body Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association recognized Bill as “Amateur Hockey Executive of the Year” in 2013. Bill went on to become a director of BC Hockey, serving from 2013–2016. One of a very few elevated to this level, Bill worked in a leadership role with hockey officials across the Lower Mainland and the province, including leading a review and re-organization of BC Hockey’s governance and policy manual, continually demonstrating the integrity and kid-focused approach for which he had become known.
Nov Advocate 2017
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