Good day Green,
Last Saturday at St Julie, a fitting tribute was paid to a pioneer of rugby in Quebec – Mr. John Jones. The day started off with an old boys game between the Ottawa Senators old boys and a mixed old boys team combining the St Lambert Locks and the Montreal Irish.
Once John Jones had presided over the ceremonial coin toss, the ref signalled that the game should begin.
Under a light drizzle of rain, the teams took to the field (some players wearing the coveted no-tackle red shorts). The game was intense but friendly and, by all accounts, a great display of rugby prowess. The final score being of little importance, we are happy to note that no player appeared to suffer any major injuries and players from both sides were reported to have visited the bar early and often once the game was over (rumour has it some players may have visited the bar before and/or during the game…).
Following the old boys games, the Irish took on the Bermuda Mariners in a friendly. It was another good showing by the Irish boys who, once again, came out in large numbers and took on a “spirit”ed Bermuda Mariners team. The final score was 7 tries to 2 in favour of the Irish, and a special mention goes out to the five rookies that scored their first tries with the club: Seb, Morgan, Rob, Hugo and Yannick (first senior try). I’m sure they would agree that beer drank from a dirty rugby boot always tastes better! The game was followed by singing, speeches and a Mariner’s kangaroo court!
After the games of the day, all present paid tribute to Mr. Jones through various speeches, stories, songs and presentations. I think it’s fair to say that people will look back fondly upon this day and be happy that they were there to thank a man who played an instrumental role in the development of rugby in Quebec through his work with the St Lambert Locks, Champlain College and the MIRFC.
Here are a couple of quotes from friends of John Jones that sum up the day:
“Maybe the best rugby day ever at St Julie, John Jones singing Waltzing Matilda with a choir of a thousand, powerful stuff, accompanied by John Dennett on the barbecue.”
“I would say it was an excellent, possibly the best day we have had in years -I congratulate who ever conceived the idea and all the people who worked to make it happen, and there were many. I believe John enjoyed himself so much.”
“It didn’t matter if you played for the Locks or the Irish or for that matter any club. What mattered was that we made one day magical for John.(…) I will always remember that day from the time we kicked off to seeing John sing in front of that crowd. If only we could bottle up that energy and use it as a cure for all that makes the world hurt!”
Special thanks should go to all the people that helped make this day a success. Although there are too many to name, here are a few: Mike Magee, John Dennett and co. for doing all the leg work, organizing, and cooking; the wonderful ladies who managed the bbq for the entire day; the St Lambert Locks who once again showed that they’re all class; Mark, Gareth and all others that came out early to help out; Krissy and Kym for selling t-shirts; all the rookies that helped carry beer cases around and the kind folks that helped serve for the pig roast; and a big thanks to the wonderful Sheena, Vicky and Marie – that was the busiest I’ve seen the bar and you guys were great; lastly, thanks go to the numerous people I surely forgot.
Don’t forget, men’s season opener on SUNDAY June 6th against Beaconsfield at St-Julie! Mark your calendars.