Terry Fox Run a Big Success for TCHC
By Redd Fischer
I was trying to explain to South Buffalo’s favortite son, and 2nd best prospect after Patrick Kane, Ed Parsons what Terry Fox meant to Canada. He was ranked as one of Canada’s Greatest People a few years ago by people who measure such things. That Canada’s most famous xenophobe, Don Cherry, was also high on the list called into question the robustness of the survey a bit but one would be at pains to argue against the impact Terry Fox had on our nation and on the world. I still marvel that his story has not been made into a Hollywood screenplay. Long before artists did USA for Africa and Band Aid and long before runs for charity were fashionable there was a kid limping across Canada. Without a lot of fanfare, he started from East to West. It was 1980 and the photos would tell you that without much doubt. The short shorts and tight shirts are classic 1980s and makes one wonder whether or not he was humming some Guess Who or Rush as he ran across the country at a pace of about one marathon per day. Fox was an athlete of some renown at Simon Fraser having run track and played basketball. Tragically, he lost a leg to cancer but he refused to give up on sport. He dipped his toe in the Atlantic and started off. The run gathered momentum as TV cameras started to follow him. By the time he reached Montreal, he was a national sensation. The Expos held a rally for him and since 1980 was deep in the heart of their glory years, there was a huge crowd to greet him. Nos Amours would lose out on the last weekend of the season for the second year in a row to the eventual World Series champions breaking a certain writer’s 10 year old heart. Curse you Mike Schmidt! The crowd went bananas. Gary Carter rushed forward to shake Fox’s hand. A legend was born. Fox made it to Thunder Bay which is something like 4000 km from where he started. The cancer had come back however and the pain was too much. He had to stop and be treated. He never got back on the road and I remember my mother and her friends crying when they heard the news that he had died. It was a “Kennedy” moment for Canadians. Read the above which is an off the cuff 30 year old memory of a great Canadian moment and I challenge you, double dutch dare ya, to say that he is not among the greatest Canucks of all time. For me, it is Sir John A., Pierre Trudeau, Wayne Gretzky, Marshall MacLuhan and possibly John Molson as my top 5.
Isadore Sharp of the Four Seasons Resorts and Hotels was the first to provide funds for the Run for Hope and Terry Fox Foundation and they still do it today. In support of these fine Canadian institutions, a rugged group of guys from TCHC shook off the sins of the weekend and ran for hope on a glorious, sunny Sunday last week to raise some money for a worthy cause. Organizer Tim Laurie was up and ready for this from the get go and was directing traffic and challenging anyone to keep up with him. His young legs and lack of any kind of hangover were a big hurdle for the assembled masses. There was a group doing a 5 km walk once around the Imperial Palace from Sakuradamon Gate. The group included Joji Hiratsuka, Simon Greaves, Chris Antonelli and returning vet Mike Rublack. The boys had their jerseys on and almost every Canadian in the crowd looked on with pride as our boys strolled by. The walking group also had 4 year-old Ben McCain who scootered around the 5 km track and was resplendent in his custom made #6 TCHC Red jersey. The 10 km crowd was led by Tim Laurie and Scott Collins who battled for the fastest time and since I was a fair way back I will say that they were awfully close at the end. Dan Stevens posted a respectable time and also led his ASIJ mates thus getting a double donation for the cause. Ed Parsons was sneaky fast and finished the race in good time. Brent McCain also ran the 10 K finishing the stretch drive with Ben who wanted to dash through the tape.
Pictures were snapped and laughs were had as the boys swapped stories about the run. In the end we raised about 125-130,000 yen from donations from the squad and runners. Any other donations will be gladly accepted. Another great day for the team and another nice charitable donation from TCHC to a worthy cause. Thanks again to Tim Laurie for organizing this year taking over from Cam Knox and thanks to all those who turned out to cheer on our walkers and runners.
A number of our teammates attended a function sponsored by his Honor the Ambassador of Thailand and his wife, to introduce the work of FatherJoe Maier in Thailand, the Human Development Foundation. We had the opportunity to present a team jersey to Father Joe and to make an additional donation above our normal sponsorship.
For some of the guys, , it was the first opportunity to meet Father Joe and to see first hand what the HDF was about.
The Human Development Foundation is basically an institution that provides education, housing, medical care counselling to the poor in Thailand. Though concentrating on children in need the Center provides help to the needy regardless. But the focus is education which in essence builds a foundation for the children to have a chance to live more fulfilling lives.
The annual autumn Ice Hockey tournament in Thailand in its various forms, has always had a close affiliation with the HDF with proceeds from the tournament going to the HDF as sponsorship for the children and to support the activities of the HDF in general.
The Tokyo Canadians Hockey Club has been a participant in the tournament since 1998 and each year we have been donating to the HDF, through direct donation from our team funds. It was suggested by Brent Carlson that to have some continuity and a more personal connection to the HDF that we sponsor a child directly as a team and in 2007 we began our sponsorship of Lek.
Lek at the time was a teenage girl like any other, who given the opportunity has shown that her talents and effort were such that she has been awarded a chance to study overseas in Norway. We as a team should be proud that we had a least a small part in providing this opportunity, and we should be thankful that we were given the opportunity to do so.
For the new members of the team, I think the reception was an opportunity to see first hand what our fundraising efforts have achieved. I think the new members should be aware of the traditions of our team such as our charity activities. We should be aware of the efforts of Jimmer (James Heather) who makes it a point to visit the HDF when in Thailand, to see Lek as does Rob Voisine one of our non-Tokyo based players. Others such as alumni Jason Young have sponsored their own child at the center. We have, when down for tournaments, taken a bunch of the kids out, to movies, go-karting, and other stuff and really its part of what we should be doing as a team.
When Bobby Chung saw the news about the troubles in Bangkok in the spring, he got together colleagues and teammates to make a donation to help out at the HDF. This in part because as a team, we are no longer strangers to what happens there because of our connection to the HDF. And Bobby stepped up and got people to open up and help.
And as those who attended the reception will know, our presence as the Tokyo Canadians at the last tournament was missed, not by the other teams, but some of the kids, Lek for one, came out to the rink to see us.
Sure we are an uber beer-league, rag-tag collection of players. who are brought together by our passion for the game of hockey, but through our activities off the ice we can make a difference as a team. So whenever we're pressed to sell tickets, or showing up for an event like the Run for Hope, remember this is what we are about. The hockey is a bonus.
Special thanks to the Ambassador of Thailand and his lovely wife, who actually are hockey fans from their days in Canada, for hosting the event.. Thanks to Tom Crowley who kept us in the loop for the reception, Thanks to Nitaya, Usanee and others who helps arrange our visits to the HDF in Thailand.
And of course thanks to Father Joe.
For several years the Tokyo Canadians Hockey Club has sponsored a young women; Lek, at the Mercy Center in Bangkok. The violent riots of May 20th that threatened the centre and the detailed accounts the team received from both Lek and Father Joe saddened but inspired the team into action to help.
Stepping up was long-time TCHC member Bobby Chung, who lead the donation drive and successfully raised Yen 161,000 from colleagues, team members and friends. The team has asked that this extra donation be used to improve the security of the center.
Below is an email account of the Events from Father Joe:
Thank you for your so many prayers and emails. As I write this, Bangkok is burning, filled with smoke of burning buildings and burning petrol doused auto tires. That terrible acrid smoke - one hospital had to evacuate all their patients as the smoke was literally killing them. Even in ICU - coming thru the air con.
Several buildings - department stores, banques are scorched and some on fire. The apparent leaders of the protesters (6) surrendered this early afternoon as the army tanks tore down their bamboo - tire barricades. It unleased the whirlwind. Marauders in small bands on motorcycles carrying beer bottle fire bombs (filled with petrol) torching the city - anywhere they can. Tonight is not going to be pleasant. Marshall law in in place. Curfew begins at 8:00 p.m. Plus Rumor has it that there will be a military coup d etat tonight.
We here at Mercy Centre worry about our aids patients & 200 children's safety.
However the winds have blown away from us, thus we are smoke free. Our older boys are keeping watch on the street level, and the girls keeping night watch from the 3rd floor where they have a clear view, plus our normal night watchmen. You never know. Any danger would be fire bombs thrown by outsiders on racing motorcycles. To them any building will do. Anything that will burn. Also, our community leaders from 31 different section of Klong Toey & walk up five story flats have organized their own young men both on foot & motorcycle to guard our beloved slum neighborhood during the night. The total slum is on alert. We protect our own.
There will be no violence. No fire. If the night alert lasts, tomorrow night we
will cook huge pots of rice gruel for the watchmen throughout the slums.
On caring for children living in the "war" camp for the Protesters for the past two months with their relatives... We have put out the word far and near, to any and
all, that we here at Mercy will accept all children, moms, elderly folks who need
shelter. We will give bus fare to help them get home to the Provinces, or what they need here in Bangkok, especially medical. Plus, naturally, anyone else in trouble.
We will refuse no one. Never have. Never will. Because of the terrible economic
toll, we expect lots of children and destitute cases, and sick people. Somehow we
will find a place for them, get some sort of medical care and always have food on
As I send this off to you, I just received a telephone call of a slum fire, set
deliberately, but that the people caught the arsonist and put out the fire. I do
not know what they did to the arsonist. Some things, it's better not to know.
On a Cheerful note. Tomorrow is another day and the Lord and Our Blessed Mother will protect us. But Please Please do pray for us all.
In the name of all our children and Klong Toey & our staff, & Exec. Director Ms
White Out at Jingu as Tatsu Shines
By Redd Fischer
The NHL season has just begun and thanks to the Game Center Package on nhl.com, I was able to catch a few games this week. A few observations before getting to this month’s edition of the R&W Classic: First, my greatest fear has not been realized. I opined in another space that the hopes of the Canadiens entire season hinged on the ability of Carey Price to handle the pressure being handed the #1 job. On this I was, and continue to be, bang on. No goalie faces more pressure to perform that does young Carey. I also held out that there was a better than average chance that he would have a slow start and that this would lead to a death spiral of media negativity and an eventual parting of the ways. I assigned a 25% chance to the reverse scenario. In fact, young Carey has been solid and the Habs are off to a very respectable 3-1-1 start. This is the best case scenario if you are a Habs fan. There is no reason to give up on a goalie before the age of 25 especially one with as distinguished a portfolio as Price. His stats (GAA, Save %) were virtually identical to Jaroslav Halak. Unfortunately, on the most important metric, wins, Halak was well ahead. How can this be? The answer is simple. When your goalie can handle 50 shots a game and post a .950 save percentage as Halak did on many nights, your forwards can take a step out of the zone early, defensemen can wheel up the ice with confidence and people are generally a lot looser knowing that the goalie could bail them out. Maybe the Habs are getting that confidence with Price. No need to dust off the usual parade route, but a playoff spot looks possible. The Leafs, who take a lot of abuse at Jingu, look very good. Their top 5 defensemen are extremely solid and Jiggy is channeling his 2007 self. Kessel will score 40 goals this year and if anybody can step up on line two, the Leafs will have to inform local golf clubs that they will not be holding their season ending tourney in April this year, as they have for the last five. Nine points of a possible 10 to start the season has to be Ron Wilson’s best case scenario. You cannot win a Stanley Cup in October but you sure can, in these times of three point games, create a hole that is very difficult to dig out from. The NHL is back and so are the Tokyo Canadians ready for another season of local games and overseas tourneys.
The October game is the first R&W game of the year and this usually means heavy turnout. A big group of skaters made it to Jingu for the game and it was a good one. The early going was fast and defensive for a change. The White squad, led by BJ, Naoto Hamashima, Mike Larose (he of the booming shot) and Wes Browne, was creating a lot of ice and chances but they were stoned in the early going by Tatsu who was on his game on this night. It seemed appropriate then that the scoring would be opened by a defenseman. After a series of shots on Tatsu, Red finally corralled the puck and moved up the ice. Brent McCain took a pass and broke in over the line, dropping to a streaking Satoshi Kobayashi. Koby let a rocket go as Patrick Morris crashed the net. Morris got hog tied, slid into the net and created a diversion as the puck eluded Nobu Araki’s glove hand making it 1-0 Red. Minutes later Koby was at it again with a blast from the point and Red was off and running with a 2-0 lead.
White finally got things going as BJ danced through a crowd and got in alone. Tatsu stopped the breakaway but BJ and Naoto kept at it and BJ got a lucky one as he snuck a weak shot through traffic that went in off a Red defender’s stick.
Big Mark Didcott got Red back on the better side of a 2 goal game with a pretty goal, taking a drop pass from newcomer Fred Sanford and roofing a snap shot. Diddler was back on form and was the best Red attacker in the game. White got it back to 3-2 with some great forechecking by Dave McKinnon and Scott Collins that freed up BJ again for his second. Clearly frustrated by Tatsu, Naoto picked up the puck at center and, with a determination not often seen at Jingu, he went through the entire Red team before wrapping it around a sprawled tender to knot things at 3.
The 3 M Line got things cranking and Patty Mo got a beauty from the doorstep on a pass from Shawn Montague. Montague then finished a pretty 3 way to make things 5-3. With Tatsu standing tall and Red moving the puck well, it felt like this would be a blowout. Special guest ref Chuck Vincent, resplendent once again in his LA Penitentiary issued orange jumpsuit, dropped the puck at center ice and it seemed that White was fading away but it did not turn out quite that way. Joji Hiratsuka, admirably taking one for the team and playing defense, grabbed a puck at the blue line and launched prayer at the net. It was answered. Seconds later Wes Browne got his first of the new year with a nice effort and it was all square at 5. Things tightened up as Chuck V and Mike Baxter, sporting a vintage Jets jersey as a linesman, called it tight. Tim Laurie was discussing this after the game and he was impressed. Said the slick winger, “Chuck V and Bax were on tonight. Chuck’s was reminiscent of a young Ron Hood. Good hair, a sharp part and an eagle eye for icing and faceoffs. Bax was on that line calling it every time. It kind of reminded me of Don Koharski. Man, they were in mid-season form.”
Back to the action and Mihail Komatsu, looking a bit Milan Lucic-like, got a pretty goal for the second game in a row, taking a beautiful pass from Bruins aficionado, Chris Antonelli. This made it 6-5 Red but White would just not go away quietly into the Tokyo night. Newly minted member Mark Bookman got in alone only to be stoned on his break by Tastu. White kept pressing with Chaw firing his patented wrister at the net time and again. TCHC Director of Hockey Operations Kevin Holt, who played a solid game for White, blocked a clearing attempt and fired it at the net. It bounced around as Red’s captain Dave Lotocki and Brent Carlson tried in vain to clear the zone. Former Indiana Hoosier Frank Harrison gathered up the loose puck and top shelved it tying things up at sixes and energizing the White bench.
This is where it all fell apart for White for some reason. Diddler netted a beauty and McCain finally got off the schneid with a quick shot over Nobu’s blocker side shoulder. Dan Stevens added a goal from his “office” just off the side of the net. He is deadly there and you have to pick him up. They do not call Dan the Silent Assassin for nothing. Then came the dagger. Brent Carlson gathered up the puck and some steam at center ice. He took two strides inside the blue line and let a Guy Lafleur circa 1978-too many men on the ice game laser go for the Legends Sports Bar Highlight of the Night. I joke but it was a rocket and just like that it was 10-6 Red. Diddler completed his hat trick with a beautiful effort again going upstairs. Chris Antonelli got a goal on a scramble and for some reason White pulled their goalie trying to get it close for posterity. It was ill advised as McCain picked off a Kevin Holt clearing attempt and tapped it home for his second as the buzzer sounded. Make the final 13-6 Team Red.
Your Allied Pickfords 3 Stars
Takeshi Tatsumoto – Red: Tatsu saw a lot of rubber on this night and stopped all but one of the approximately 12 breakaways that he faced. The score was flattering to Red thanks to Tatsu.
Mark Didcott – Red: Back in the saddle again, Diddler scored 3 and a couple of them were highlight reel material. Maybe there are a couple more big years left in those legs?
Brent Carlson – Red: Scored the goal of the game and, along with Koby and Dave Lotocki, logged a lot of ice against a hard charging White squad.
The Tokyo Canadians Hockey Club’s semi-annual party is coming up.
The party is going to be on Friday, November 12th from 8-11pm at the F1 Pit Stop Cafe in Roppongi.
The cost of admission is 4,000yen for all you can drink. The admission ticket will also automatically enter you into a raffle for various prizes.
If you have been to one of the previous parties then you will know it is always a lot of fun, good music, and great prizes... to be won!
A portion of all the money raised will be donated to charity.
Date: Friday Nov 12, 2010
Cost: 4000 yen in advance, 4500 yen at the door (All you can drink)
Location: F1 PitStop Cafe <<http://www.f1pitstopcafe.co.jp/English/access/>>
If you or your friends would like to come and need tickets, please contact any of the member, or e-mail us via "contact us".