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Each year at our Annual General Meeting we celebrate the spirit of volunteerism by recognizing the special achievements, efforts, dedication and commitment to lacrosse that is so strong among our members. Awards are given out in many categories, as described below, and in addition to recording the recipients name on the trophy/plaque each winner gets a keeper trophy affectionately called the "Gary".
- The "Gary"
Each recipient of a BCLA award, as described below, gets a "keeper" trophy in recognition of their achievement. It is after this trophy that our Awards, collectively, have become known as the "Gary." The name is in honour of a tireless supporter of lacrosse Gary McIntosh who held administrative posts at many levels of the game including stints at the Commission, Directorate, Executive Board and CLA Director levels. Gary's own numerous awards included the Tom Gordon Plaque, Hugh Gifford Merit Award, Art Doust Merit Award, Canada's 125th Anniversary Medal, and induction into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
- Hugh Gifford Merit Award
Candidates are selected from the ranks of team managers, irrespective of division or level or championship standings. Candidates will be judged on their accomplishments of instilling sportsmanship in their players their leadership and contribution toward improving the image of lacrosse.
Hugh Gifford was the son of Tom Gifford who served as a Liberal MP in the House of Commons. Hugh played Field Lacrosse for the New Westminster Salmonbellies from 1912 to 1919, and went on to coach them for several following years.
- Sohen Gill Award previously called the Tom Gordon Plaque
Candidates are selected from the executive ranks of the leagues, member associations and the BCLA. This individual is considered the one person who has done the most for lacrosse in the past year. British Columbia's Mr./Ms. Lacrosse.
Tom Gordon served as Commissioner of the Senior Division for several years in the 1950’s and ‘60s, and not much later as the President of the Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA). Tom was the spearhead for the establishment of the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in New Westminster.
- Norm Wright Merit Award
This award is presented annually to a member of an organization of the media, radio, television or newspaper, regardless of size or frequency of publication who is deemed to have contributed to the promotion of lacrosse.
- Ted Fridge Family SPIRIT Award
Presented to a family who is deemed to have contributed to the development and promotion of lacrosse, locally or provincially.
- Ruth Seward Merit Award
This award is designed to recognize outstanding involvement of an individual at the local level. Candidates are chosen from a local association or team, and are judged of the voluntary, extraordinary contributions to that association or team.
Ruth Seward was a niece of Chief Dan George of the Burrard Reserve.and her husband, Teddy, was a hereditary Shamon of a Vancouver Island Reserve. They lived on the Squamish Nation Reserve in North Vancouver where Ruth became coach of one of the North Shore Bantam teams by default when there were enough players from the white and First Nations areas of North Vancouver to form two teams. Teddy coached one team, and Ruth stepped in to coach the second team.
The two teams ended up in the 1969 season in the Greater Vancouver Championships, and Ruth’s team won. In her spare time, Ruth also managed to knit First Nations sweaters in team colours complete with numbers for both teams. She passed away in the summer of 1971.
- Jimmy Gunn Merit Award
Candidates are chosen from the ranks of referees. They are judged on their achievements toward promoting sportsmanship and the image of the game.
Jimmy Gunn was an outstanding senior referee – one of the type that you seldom notice during a game. He was an avid supporter and trainer of new referees, and in his own way, an early supporter of refereeing positioning and signaling. Typically, he was dumbfounded when asked to present the first award in 1969.
- John Cavallin Merit Award
Candidates are chosen from the ranks of team coaches, irrrespective of division level, league or winning record. They are judged on their accomplishments of instilling playing ability, sportsmanship and competitiveness in their players.
John Cavallin and younger brother “Fritzie” played minor lacrosse for the Hastings Bluebirds, eventually rising to play for the Vancouver Burrards in the 1930’s and 40’s. Eventually, John graduated to coach the Burrards. In his career, John won several Mann Cups as both a player and coach…one of the outstanding coaches of his era.
- Bill McBain Merit Award
Previously John Cavallin Merit Award for box lacrosse. In honour of Bill McBain’s significant contribution to the lacrosse coaching programs, not only in BC, but throughout Canada and the world, the BCLA Executive has re-named the Merit Award for Minor Box Lacrosse Coaching to the Bill McBain Minor Box Coaching Merit Award.
- Art Daoust Merit Award
Candidates are selected from the executive ranks of Field leagues, member associations and the BCLA. Candidates will be judged on their accomplishments toward fostering and promoting the game, improving the image and stature of lacrosse both at their level of function as well as provincially.
Art Daoust played minor lacrosse for Burnaby's Val Roche but there was no Junior or Senior Lacrosse at that time in Burnaby, aside from the Senior Women's team. He continued his interest in lacrosse and served in minor capacities until the 1960's when he became president of the BCLA.
- Les Wingrove Award
Candidates are selected from the executive ranks of Box leagues, member associations and the BCLA. Candidates will be judged on their accomplishments toward fostering and promoting the game, improving the image and stature of lacrosse both at their level of function as well as provincially.
- Dr. Don Hedges Merit Award previously called the Dal Martin Merit Award
Candidates are selected from the ranks of team trainers, irrespective of division level or championship standings. Candidates will be judged on their accomplishments and contributions to the game of lacrosse.
- Jack Crosby Merit Award previously called the Leon Hall Merit Award
This award is presented annually to an association, regardless of size, which strives to foster and promote the ideas of the BCLA generally, and who strives to improve, promote and develop all facets of lacrosse within the community, while co-operating with all governing bodies, and at all time recognizing the primary importance of the betterment of lacrosse.
- Irvin-Calder-Nevard Merit Award
Candidates are selected from the ranks of sponsors. This award is a testimonial for outstanding public service made by firms, organizations or individuals through lacrosse sponsorship.
Ted Irvine used to own a soda pop company, sold in the original stubby bottle, on 2nd Avenue in Vancouver close to the old Cambie Street Bridge in the late 1930’s. The Maltese Cross of his pop company was adopted by the Vancouver Burrards whom he sponsored.
Russ Calder owned a cartage company on Cambie Street close to Georgia. He was a long-time sponsor of many local boys and women’s teams in the 1930’s and ‘40’s.
Harry Nevard was a New Westminster Fireman who repaired broken lacrosse sticks free of charge for many early years. He also used to supply young players with sticks - mostly free of charge
- BCLA Presidents' Awards
This new award, the British Columbia President's Awards, promote and celebrate the spirit of volunteerism by annually giving BCLA organizations an opportunity to acknowledge and thank an individual who has demonstrated outstanding dedication and commitment to lacrosse within their organizations. Each nomination will be the winner for their local community, senior league, or minor box/youth field association.
- Subway "Way to Go!" Award
Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame
The Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame has, since 1967, been the repository of the history of the sport in Canada and Canada's involvement in international competition. In recent years the Hall of Fame has expanded its mandate to function as a museum of the history of lacrosse. The Hall of Fame houses records of the inductees, and collects, catalogues and displays artifacts of this sport, some of which predate Confederation.
The Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame was the brain child of Tom Gordon. He was ably supported by Jack Fulton, Harry McKnight, Art Daoust, and Bill Ellison. It was first proposed in 1963 at a CLA Annual Meeting, and adopted at the next CLA AGM. It was registered with the BC Societies Act in 1965. At the CLA AGM in Montreal on January 19, 1966, forty-eight first members were inducted to the Hall. As a result of continued effort by Jack Fulton, supported by Harry McKnight and Don Benson, the official opening of the Hall as part of New Westminster Parks Board, took place on May 17, 1967.