A large crowd of family and friends gathered at Aldergrove Athletic Park on Friday, Sept. 28 to share memories of the late John Jones, and to dedicate a sports field in the park in his memory.
John’s widow, Wanda, and their two sons, Kyle and Ryan and their spouses, were there to share the ceremonies with dignitaries and to unveil the interpretative sign and rock base sign posted in the park.
Joh Jones was an active Aldergrove resident who was deeply committed to his community and the Aldergrove United and Youth Soccer Clubs. An avid soccer player and coach, he was a champion of the sport and was devoted to helping people of all ages learn and enjoy the teamwork, skill and athleticism of the game.
Jones also started the local Over 40s soccer team, which became the Over 65 team, and was one of the original organizers of the Barry Bauder Memorial Soccer Tournament.
He was integral to the development of the Aldergrove Athletic Park, by not only leading the charge for the community effort to build it but also providing his technical expertise as a principal of Gemco Construction, also based in Aldergrove. He volunteered his company’s services at cost in developing the infrastructure required at the park, saving the Township over $100,000 in the required underground services for the Rotary Field House.
He also actively promoted the construction of the two new synthetic turf fields, which opened in 2012.
Jones, a husband and father of two, passed away on March 23, 2018, at the age of 71.
Mayor Jack Froese opened the ceremonies by fondly remembering how Jones had taught him how to coach his daughters’ soccer teams back in 1980.
“John Jones raised his family in Aldergrove, where he was involved in the community and dedicated to promoting active living,” said Froese. “He had a great impact on this community.
“He has left a legacy that will live on for years to come, and Township of Langley Council is proud to be naming a field in his honour, in the park he helped build,” said Froese.
Fellow United Soccer Club members Reid McDonald and Hilary McRoberts also spoke of the contributions Jones made for the sports and the park. The club also presented the Jones family with a framed jersey with his name “J. JONES” inscribed on it.
“We could always count on his support of whatever we were doing,” said McRoberts. “We’re thrilled that the field is named for John Jones, we loved him very much.”
John’s son Kyle spoke on behalf of John’s widow Wanda and his brother Ryan, noting that, “I’ll never forget his smile when he stepped onto the soccer pitch and the countless hours he spent discussing plans for the athletic par. He gave so much more than he took.
“I remember his favorite saying: ‘A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.’”
Aldergrove Athletic Park is a joint site that is home to the Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre, Aldergrove Community Secondary School, Betty Gilbert Middle School, and the Aldergrove Rotary Field House.
The park has seven soccer fields, two synthetic turf soccer fields, and an all-weather gravel field. It also features five baseball diamonds, an enclosed batting cage, two tennis courts, a ball hockey box, skateboard park, mountain bike park, picnic shelter, basketball court, and community garden plots.